I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.
Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.
A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.
And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.
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.
Author: Amanda Sun
Length: 377 pages
Series: #1 of Paper Gods
Publication date: 25th June
Following the death of her mother, Katie is horrified to be sent off to Japan to live with her aunt – ‘the piece that never fit’. Thrust into a different culture, with only minimal Japanese and an aunt she barely knows, Katie’s life only gets more complicated when she starts to see pictures moving. Unsure whether to believe her eyes, or whether these are hallucinations caused by stress and grief, Katie tries to ignore it, but she can’t help feeling that the mysterious Tomohiro is somehow connected. Despite his cold reputation, Katie is drawn to Tomohiro, and as they grow closer the ink spirals further out of control.
Amanda Sun’s writing is wonderfully descriptive and evocative without feeling overdone or excessively wordy. Beautiful, graphic imagery will have you easily able to visualise Shizouka, leaving you feeling completely immersed in Katie’s world.
I loved Katie as a character; although reluctant to move to Japan, she threw herself into learning the language and customs, and didn’t give up her feisty nature. My only criticisms are both YA cliches related to the love interest: I felt she became too attached too quickly, and that she ditched her friends for him. This seemed particularly cruel particularly considering how willing her friends were to go out of their way for her. Tomohiro was a bad boy with a tortured past, which felt a bit cliche, but I did enjoy finding out more about him and seeing their relationship grow. Diane, Katie’s aunt was also a great character, though I’d have liked to see a little more of her.
Ink had a wonderfully unique premise, and I thoroughly enjoyed the occasional Japanese word, and the snippets of culture. One thing I will say about Ink is that it is definitely drama filled, with an additional side plot reminiscent of an action movie. Although, I found that side plot a little bit of a stretch, I couldn’t help getting engrossed as it progressed. If a unique premise and lots of drama sounds like your sort of thing, Ink is definitely worth a try.
Buy it? The kindle version is still £5.39, so I’d wait and get the paperback on a deal.
In a nutshell: Unique, evocative but with a few cliche elements.