I’ve received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion, promise!
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.
Ink follows the story of Katie Greene, an American. After her mom passed away, Katie restarts her life in Shizuoka with her aunt, where she has to pick up a new language, new culture and make new friends. I empathize with how desperately she wishes to leave this place, because Ink throws in too much random “Japanese jargon”. TOO MUCH. I was falling out of the Japanese conversations, and I couldn’t understand the characters enough to invest myself in them. Sometimes, the Japanese words aren’t even random. THEY COULD BE SPELLING A MAJOR PLOTLINE and I have NO FREAKING IDEA what they’re talking about. So frustrating.
I understand how Amanda Sun is trying to make this as authentic as possible, so okay, I can live with user-unfriendliness.
Our main character, Katie, is bland. Her whole personality consists of stalking Tomohiro, fantasizing over Tomohiro, being in love with Tomohiro… She thinks she’s normal, but she clearly isn’t, and she acts impulsively to the point where I sometimes feel embarrassed for her. The minor characters don’t impress me either: Jun is flirtatious. Yuki gossips a lot, Diane is sweet blahblahblah… I had a hard time understanding their significance in the story.
Let’s talk about Tomohiro. This guy is a jumble of clichés– bad boy hero with a mysterious secret and a tortured past, and constantly pushing the love of his life away because he’s too dangerous. Ugh. Again? Really? I’m not against forbidden love, but Tomo, you don’t create a 30 page reenactment of “And so the lion fell in love with the lamb”. NO. NOT ALLOWED.
The only thing that saved me from DNF-ing this book is the Japanese setting and mythology. The mystery behind kamis is intricately-developed, and weaved into story such that it’s actually believable and slightly fanciful. We have the Japanese mafia and some crazy paranormal element backing up the magical occurrences. I especially loved the scene when the dragon unfurled from pages, it felt SO REAL. I became more optimistic of things to start happening, to get into it, but I don’t know?! After that we just came back to the same romance, the same sappy love story.
Ink isn’t my favourite. I liked some parts but I got issues with it. There was a lot of build up for a lot of bland characters and I realized by the end of the book, that I just didn’t care anymore. That’s purely personal opinion, and I hope to hear what you think!
Your thoughts? Have you read this one yet? Planning to? How did it work out for you? Share in the comments below!