Ink by Amanda Sun | BOOK REVIEW

Ink by Amanda Sun
Publisher/Year: Harlequin Teen June 25th 2013
Genre: Fantasy and some Mythology
Series: Yes, Book 1 of the Paper Gods series
Other Books From Author: Nope, it’s Amanda’s debut

I’ve received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion, promise!

Amazon| Goodreads | @Amanda_Sun |

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!


18 thoughts on “Ink by Amanda Sun | BOOK REVIEW

  1. I hate those “i love you but i’m not good for you, so we can’t be together” type of stories. I’ve never intended to read this one, and even less now.

    • You’ve just summarized all I feel for this book! The Japanese setting is unique and refreshing and brings back SO MANY YOUNG DREAMS, pity the characters didn’t match up to it! I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for more in the next book =)

  2. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one Alicia :( I agree with you that there were a wad of clichés and it could be annoying, but I really just fell in love with this one and got hooked! So I guess I was hoping that it would be the same with you.
    Hope that you’ll enjoy other novels that come your way then :)

    • Glad that you enjoyed it Emily!! No two people will have identical tastes in books, and I guess cliches put me off a book a lot more than they affect your choice of reading haha! Maybe I’ll try again another day and MAYBE I’ll fall in love with it? =P


  3. I had this on my TBR list, and despite the reviews I wanted to read it–until I read this review. Thank you so much for not fluffing it up. I know for certain the passages in Japanese would drive me crazy, and the whole “Please stay away from me I’m not good for you” while the other character is constantly fantasizing about him is high on my ‘dnf’ reasons. I hope you’re enjoying what you’re reading now. :)

    • THANK YOU =D We have similar “Do”s and “Don’t”s on this matter, especially characters who make the whole “stay away from me thing” very cheesy… 100% DON’T!!! Haha hope you’re enjoying your current read too!

  4. This was a great review! I hadn’t read the synopsis for this because the cover is so ugly, but it actually sounds really cool. I love the idea of Tomohiro’s drawing coming to life. Too bad it fell short =(

  5. Eh, sorry this one didn’t work out for you! I’d heard a little about it before, but this was the first review of it I had read and though the plot does sound like it has the potential to be pretty great, I don’t think it’s for me- especially not after reading your review.
    I have a lot of trouble reading books where the romance is the main factor, and this sounds like a romance I definitely would not like.
    Great review!

    • I’ll always feel guilty when the story falls flat for me even though the idea is SO AMAZING. It seems to be my fault that I can’t enjoy the story! Though in this case, the romance is clearly not my favourite, and I won’t be recommending it any time soon =P Hopefully the second book picks up!

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