Book Thoughts: Ink by Amanda Sun

(**I received this book from Harlequin by being a member of Harlequin Teen Panel.)

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Summary:

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they’ll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

My Thoughts:

I’m going to start off by saying that the summary of Ink really intrigued me; the story itself though, was a good read, but I don’t think I will be counting down the days until the sequel.

Ink’s protagonist, Katie Greene, is likeable. I enjoyed her sassiness and her willingness to confront the people that act nasty towards her. At times, she acts ungrateful towards her Aunt (who takes her in after her mom’s death), but for the most part Katie’s courageous and no-bull-shit attitude made up for it.

To continue, the setting of this whole novel is wonderful. I loved the interspersed Japanese words and sentences throughout the book. Some words were repeated enough times that I knew them by the end of the story, which I am very thankful for (because now I can say I know a few words in Japanese). Besides the language, I loved the details Katie notices in the world around her; I couldn’t forget that this YA book was set in a country other than America, which in turn gave the story a more magical and adventurous feel.

Although the plot entertained me, there were enough repeated clichés to keep me from loving it. I think it is awesome that Amanda Sun has written a story based off of Japanese Gods. Because of that, Ink has a great fantasy element to it. On the other hand, this book sounded like other books thrown together. Boy meets girl. Boy has powers. Girl is the reason boy can’t control himself. Yes, I know a lot of YA books have that exact plot so I can’t really judge, but in the end a book with that outline has to really WOW me. Somehow, Ink didn’t.

In the end, I’m glad I read Ink. I spent a few days crushing on Tomohiro along with Katie, wishing I was eating Japanese food, and wishing I was just in Japan. For anyone interested in Asian culture, or just looking for a little fantasy read, I suggest you check Ink out.

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