Friday, June 19, 2015

Ink (Paper Gods #1)

Author: Amanda Sun
Goodreads Rating: 3.67
Pages: 369
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.

 A brave heroine, mysterious powers, an adorable and dangerous romance, and a whole lot of Japanese culture! This book takes everything I love and just mixes it together in a page turner book of amazingness!

Due to my overzealous love of Japanese culture, I was drawn in by page 1. I love Sun's quirky, humorous and sarcastic writing and instantly love Katie. I do appreciate anyone who can make me chuckle and I just love Katie's spunk. I really start to feel for her being in a new country and having to learn everything. It sucks being the new kid at school, but it sucks even more when you don't even know the language.

Tomo hooks me in another way. I always love the big, brooding, dark character with a hidden soft spot, but Tomo takes it to a new level. On the outside he is rough and gruff, but on the inside he is hurting and is drawn to Katie, who might see him for more than the monster he thinks himself to be. All this is escalated when his strange ability to bring his drawings to life seem to be reacting to Katie.

And here is where the plot pulls me in. There are people with special powers, Kami (or gods), who can control ink. Tomo is haunted, literally, by his abilities and now him and Katie have to figure out why the ink is reacting to her so much. Throw in the Yakuza, Japanese mobsters, and others looking to use Tomo's ability and you got one heck of a plot filled with mystery and action. Add in a touch of romance too, and you got a trifecta!

Usually where I ding some books that I read is in the romance part. I don't go for the "love at first sight" kind of notion or the "Oh my god I can't live without him/her" act. Sun does a good job of avoiding the "love at first sight" for me. I actually really liked how Tomo and Katie started out hating each other, then becoming friends and then discovering something more (that stuff gets me every time). She comes close on the "can't live without you" bit, BUT! I understand where Katie is coming from. It's not the hopeless, needing the other person to survive, ordeal. Katie discovers that she could be "making decisions" based on Tomo (and I am saying "making decisions" to avoid spoilers. You'll understand it more when you read it!), but realizes that she is more making those decisions for herself and taking charge of her life, which I thought was awesome :)

Overall, this was a great book and I highly recommend it! I can't wait to see what happens in the next book and what other things Sun will come out with. Definitely an author to watch :)

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