Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Book Review : Ink by Amanda Sun

"When the ink stopped being ink and started being. . . well, something else."
- Ink, Amanda Sun

  • Release Date : June 25th 2013
  • Genre : Urban Fanstasy
  • Page Number : 377
  • Publisher : Harlequin Teen

. . . And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine. 
 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. . .Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive

At first glance Ink is your basic YA formula; teen girl in a new environment and a chance encounter finds her inexplicably drawn to the jerk whose personality changes could give you whiplash.

However, Sun freshens up the usual YA status quo by setting the story in Japan, giving the story a nice bout of culture and diversity. The setting gives readers a glimpse into how other people live without being "showcase-y" about it. There isn't an attempt to spoon-feed the reader, meaning Sun doesn't attempt to explain every nuance about Japanese life to the readers.

The first chapter of this novel will without a doubt pull you in. American Katie Green is an outsider living in Shizuoka, Japan with her aunt after the death of her mother. All she has to do is keep her head down until she can move in with her grandparents in Canada. 

Just as she starts to adjust, she glances one of  Tomorhiro Yuu  drawings, and to her surprise the drawing looks right back at her. As Katie tries to make herself at home in Japan she grows closer to Tomo and learns more about his mythical pull over ink. 

The connection between Katie Greene and  Tomohiro ebbs and flows like ink on a page. It's the ultimate story of the boy with the destiny and the girl who might get in his way . .  . or destroy him. The villains in this novel did fall a bit flat . Our heroes (so to speak) are these highly imaginative beings that I felt the villains would have stood out more if they weren't based so much in reality.

Ink isn't a true to form paranormal romance and I would categorize it more of contemporary/magical mash up. It's a slice of life story with a few mythical elements spread throughout. I'd be remiss not to say that this novel might appeal to fans of Anime. I spotted a few Japanses Media Tropes in the book;  the  No Koreans In Japan trope, the Kendo Team Captain and Katie is described as tying on a silk scarf so maybe Joshikousei ?

 Ink will make the perfect beach read this summer with its sizable romance, light paranormal elements and a story that runs off the page.

*Galley received from NetGalley

 I watched a few YouTube videos of Kendo, the sport Tomo and Katie participate in, and while it's not as cool  as Sun makes it sound you get a feel for what the Kiai yell is.


  1. You guys have changed around again! I am glad to see it. The site look awesome.

    Ink sounds like a great read. I am going to have to put that book on my TBR list. Books that really immerse the reader in the culture are the best and probably one of the major reasons why I like reading so much. I like that you did your homework too, Jess, and looked up what the sport went into. Great review!

  2. ooh, this book definitely sounds captivating! i hadn't heard of it until now, but i'll definitely have to check it out. sound super unique! lovely review, jess! :)

  3. Thanks ! I like the more modern clean cut look. There is a lot to look up in this book. Some things I thought I could figure out via context but I wasn't always right. Another item featured in this book are the strawberry cream sandwiches. They look so good !

  4. Ink has been kind of flying under the radar but with a cover like that I think it will jump out at fans who love pretty covers !

  5. Can we all just take a minute to shamelessly bask in the beauty of that cover? I've heard a lot about 'Ink.' All the reviews I've seen up to date seem to really favor the book. I actually just added it to my summer reading list. I really like the culture aspect you mentioned it makes the novel's plot seem more genuine. Although, I'm not too sure about the villain part you mentioned.Thanks for the heads up! I hope I love it as much as you did (:

    Ana @ Characterized Book Reviews

  6. First off I love the cover and I love the way you summed this one up. I find Tomo's ability to draw something that comes to life imaginative and fascinating. And I like that the setting is so different than what I'm used to. I'll have to try this book one day.

  7. The cover is what drew me in at first, so did the "animated" drawings

  8. Haha I think its so cool that you went and watched some kendo youtube videos. I'm glad that you ended up liking it! I thought it was so well done, and culturally accurate!

  9. I just read When You Were Here and I was in love with the Japanese setting in that one, so I think I would be really taken with this story, as well. I love the way you describe it, like the author didn't make the setting too obvious because that's annoying.

  10. I just saw a review of When You were here and when I learned that it took place in Japan I knew I had to read it next.


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