I received this book for free from NetGalley, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Ink by Amanda Sun
Series: Paper Gods #1
Published by HarlequinAUS on 25th June 2013
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
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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.
I actually thought it was illegal for a novel with a cover this good to be so painful. Illegal! But when I checked with my lawyer, she said I should get out unless I was going to pay her – and I am definitely not going to pay her! Pfft. So I’m still not sure about that. But what I am sure about is that Amanda Sun has a lot of potential as a writer, even if this book was a painful mess for me. I know that doesn’t seem to make sense. Even I can’t explain it.
It’s redeeming feature is that, once the relationship between Katie and Tomo was underway, the story did pick up considerably due to the not-insignificant sexual chemistry between the two. No points if you’re able to guess the reason for that!
Okay, I lie. I never really got Katie’s Tomo obsession. I can tell Amanda Sun has a talent and knack for manufacturing a sweet and tender relationship. When Tomo and Katie were together, it was the only time I really liked them. Individually, though, meeeeehhhhhh. Tomo was more like the paper drawings he made – just a bunch of ink on the page.
Katie fares only marginally better. This girl must seriously be a 9/11 truther or false flagger. Everything makes her suspicious. Give her a look and she’ll stalk you for months! Teenage boy spends time alone? Most normal people would rightly assume excessive masturbation on his part. Not Katie. Something’s gotta be up with that, amirite? I could make fun of her all day, but you have to give it to her. Crazy stalker or not, the girl has agency. She believes in her instincts, stands up for herself and makes her own decisions. Especially when it comes to the decision to stalk. Gotta give that girl some serious stalking props too, may I add.
So the characters can be flat and irritating, but the story still has entertainment value and the setting itself is detailed and almost lovingly illustrated for the reader. But, and here’s the big BUT. Narratives are a bit like pitches. If you see them coming too often then it’s gameover. Ink has so many tells, I hope it doesn’t play cards. The characters are always about five steps behind the reader and every plot point is thoroughly predictable.
Ultimately, it’s not a horrible book. It’s just generic, which is the most disappointing of all. Because for many people out there, Japan and everything related to it holds a special place in our hearts. So when an author is setting their novel there, it really needs to be something amazing. It needs to be near perfection to live up to all our hopes and dreams. There’s a lot of power in fulfilling hopes and dreams. And you know what they say about great power?
Goddamn it, Ink! Will you take this seriously?!
Amy @ Book Loving Mom
This cover is absolutely gorgeous! It’s too bad that the book was a bit predictable and just didn’t quite live up to the beautiful cover. Great review!
I started reading this book, but then stopped because my attention kinda floated away. I agree that it is very generic. I really did wish Ink would have lived up to it’s hype for me.
I CAN’T, KAT. Sometimes I can’t with you. You make things too funny for my stomach muscles to even attempt to handle. Will YOU take my intestinal pain seriously?
Something told me that this book wasn’t going to be great. A gut feeling. And the fact that there are other reviews like yours that said the same thing (and made me laugh too). If only people writing Japanese novels could just write an anime first and then stick into a book. THAT WOULD BE AMAZING.
I’m reading this one as we speak and I’m noticing a lot of the same issues you are. My biggest issue is how annoying Katie can be at times about being a foreigner. Like we get it, you’re new here, you don’t need to mention it a million times. I’m not too far in so I can’t exactly judge the story or anything, but there’s just something off about Katie. She is such a stalker, only it’s played off as something that’s completely normal. It’s weird.
So disappointed was looking forward to the release. The setting could have been such a great launch pad for a successful story considering all the anime influences. Alas, even abysmal books are entertaining in your reviews!
That’s exactly how I felt about it! So glad I’m not the only one! I thought maybe it was my absurdly high hopes for it getting in the way, but I just could not connect to the characters, and they did feel quite flat. I think Diane was the one I liked the most, and probably the one with most charisma. Everyone else felt too generic, which is really odd, because Katie IS fleshed out, and yet she still manages to feel generic. I don’t even know how that’s possible :-/ Straight after finishing, I read Insomnia, and the contract was very clear. Parker, Addie and Finn came to life for me in a way none of the characters from Ink did. I really hope the sequel is much better!
Great review! I would’ve had high hopes for it just because of the cover! I love everything Japan – haha mostly food and anime honestly, but so sad that this book didn’t deliver. I almost read it before but didn’t like her stalker tendencies.
Oh my gosh that COVER! It’s a shame that the book is generic, because that truly is a beautiful piece of art haha. Thanks for the review – that Spiderman gif made my day.
I agree the cover is beautiful, but the whole Japan setting…. was disappointing to me. But I live in Japan and I also learn Kendo, so it could be that I have a higher standard for books like this.
Plus, Katie just annoyed me. She didn’t do anything but stalk. She’d probably make a good witness though (;
I have not read the book but a detailed review, i think i will check the book and then come to a point that review was helpful or not………
A stalker? This Katie chick actually sounds like my kind of girl. I’ve been known to go on rants about people who set their facebook accounts to private. Anywho, great and funny review as always, Kat.
I’ve got this on my Kindle right now, but as the reviews trickle in and people comment on the lacklustre relationship and how disappointing the Japanese setting was, I keep avoiding it!
The book cover is gorgeous! Though I do wish the story was a bit refined I guess I could say. Honestly, I really do think this novel is more fit to be… More of a manga instead of a novel. It was a bit too cheesy in some parts, and way too predictable. The personality of Tomo was a bit bland without Katie with him, and Katie was a bit annoying. In my eyes, she acted as a really creepy stalker. Anything to slightest bit that seemed weird to her, she will stalk. She acted a bit like the weak, “fragile” girl, when she spoke like a tough one. I wish Katie’s character was a bit better. This novel should have really been a manga instead. All of the Japanese words, the descriptions…. Yeah.