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Title: INK (The Paper Gods #1)
Author: Amanda Sun
Pages: 377 pages
Format acquired: Paperback (ARC)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication date: June 25th 2013
Source: Received from author and publisher (Thanks, Amanda and Harlequin Teen!)
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
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.
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I have always been interested with the Japanese culture, a land so technologically advanced that never truly removes itself from its historical roots. Of course, when I heard that a book was coming out that revolved around Japanese and its many mysteries, I was immediately intrigued. I literally just died for this book, I was insanely desperate to get my hands on a copy and when I finally did, I was left speechless.
No one can disagree with me when I say that Japan is a beautiful country, and the way Amanda Sun wrote INK only emphasized its beauty even more. She did so with vivid details that colored and graced every page. I fell in love with Japan and its culture all over again. Amanda was right to say that INK was cheaper than airfare because it's true, you are transported to the beautiful scenery of Shizuoka without even having to pay anything more than a few dollars. So that's always a plus. Haha!
It's safe to say that Tomohiro is my favorite character in this book, and it's not just the fact I'm totally crushing on him but it's because he's the deepest person in the book. I connected with him the most even though INK was written in Katie's point of view. Tomohiro isn't your average troubled boy, he's so much more than that. Tomohiro is a kami, a god in a sense. And he has the ability to make his drawings come to life, without even meaning to. Yikes! Let's face it, having powers will not always be a good thing, and this is one of those times. Other than the fact that Tomohiro is plagued by horrifying nightmares, his drawings are actually out to kill him. Or everyone else. He lives such a dangerous and lonely life due to the fact that if he let anyone close, there's a big possibility that they may get hurt. Everything he does is for the sake of protecting others because he's afraid of becoming what he fears the most, a monster. And when he meets Katie, all his carefully laid out plans were crushed to dust. The ink reacts to her in such a way that neither of them understand, so Tomohiro did the only thing he knew to do... answer the ink's call.
I felt that Katie was in a phase throughout most of the first half of the book. I have no idea what phase it was but maybe one that has the possibility of endangering herself? I either wanted to conk Katie in the head or fly into the book just to save her. I'm not saying that she can't make the right decisions, I'm saying that she needs to be more aware of how her decisions will affect other people. But in a way, I understand why she is the way she is. Even though her mom died a few months back, the wound is still fresh. It's never easy to get over that sort of thing. And now, she's afraid to lose the ones she loves. Katie seems like the type of person who is naturally curious in a way that she always has to know what's happening, and it's good that she's asking those questions. Stranger danger, after all. Other than that, it's what helped that book progress. I don't dislike Katie but there's something about her that's saddens me. I don't really know why.
Tomohiro and Katie's relationship was slow, sweet and adorable. They were both skirting the like/like-like line but no one was putting the first move so someone had to. They were so cute together! Their moments when they just sat and Tomo drew was very calming. Their romance wasn't rushed and it didn't overshadow that action-y/Paranormal aspect of the story. Amanda Sun was able to delineate their romance and all the serious stuff, because there's a lot of serious stuff.
If Tomo won't ditch Katie for me, I'd 100% go with Jun even though he's a few lettuces short of a salad. Whaaat? You'll understand what I mean when you read INK, so please do. But first... *chases Jun*
INK is one of my favorite reads of 2013 because it brims with so much uniqueness and vitality. Amanda Sun's idea is so fresh and unheard of that it made INK so enjoyable, it made me feel special and tingly. Harlequin Teen took a lot of care with this book, there are so many extra bits to it that anyone will enjoy INK. *cough*Book2Preview*cough* INK was a beautiful and heartwarming book that taught me we shouldn't always rely on others because there will be times our decisions will influence others in both a negative and positive and they'll mostly end up hurting instead. This book isn't just about romance, gods and drawings, it's about trust and knowing when to and when to not. INK is a very deep book that needs to be delved in further. I just can't wait for you to read INK and be transported to the beautiful and dangerous world that Amanda Sun has created. I do hope that you will enjoy your stay.
About the author:
I’ma YA author and proud Nerdfighter. I was born in Deep River, Canada, avery small town without traffic lights or buses, and where stranger safety iscomprised of what to do if you see a bear—or skunk. I started readingfantasy novels at 4 and writing as soon as I could hold a pencil.Hopefully my work’s improved since then.
Inuniversity I took English, Linguistics, and Asian History, before settling intoArchaeology, because I loved learning about the cultures and stories ofancient people. Of course, I didn’t actually become an archaeologist—I have anintense fear of spiders. I prefer unearthing fascinating stories in thesafety of my living room.
ThePaper Gods is inspired by my time living in Osaka and travelling throughoutJapan. That and watching far too many J-Dramas. I currently live in Torontowith
myhusband and daughter. When I’m not writing, I’m devouring YA books, knittingnerdy things like Companion Cubes and Triforce mitts, and making elaboratecosplays for anime cons.
You can find her here:
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