Ink by Amanda Sun (Review)

January 10, 2014 Book Reviews 9 ★★★★

Ink by Amanda Sun (Review)Ink by Amanda Sun
Series: Paper Gods #1
Published by Mira Ink on July 5th 2013
Pages: 326
Format: eArc
Source: NetGalley



Katie Greene is lost in the wake of her mum's death. Sent to Japan, she meets gorgeous but aloof artist Tomohiro, whose tough attitude intrigues and scares her. Then things get really strange. When they're near each other, Tomohiro's drawings start to come to life…

Soon the wrong people begin to ask questions, and Katie and Tomohiro must risk everything to protect the truth

I have a yen for Japanese culture (yeah…I went there) so am always looking for fiction/movies that provide an insight into this unique and fascinating country. I was hesitant to try INK after mixed reviews but was pleasantly surprised to find a book that I connected with almost immediately and thoroughly enjoyed reading. I’ve only recently started reading Manga but I noticed some parallels and themes that feature heavily in INK which I think helped me enjoy the book more.

Katie is an American girl who has just recently moved to Japan to live with her aunt Diane after her mother dies. Overwhelmed by the new way of life, Katie can’t help but feel lost and intimidated by all the new experiences accosting her senses at every turn. When Katie overhears her fellow student and resident bad boy Tomohiro break up with his girlfriend. In a fit of anger, Tomohiro throws his notebook of sketches aside and when they scatter Katie is stunned to notice one of them move. Sure that she imagined it, Katie can’t help but feel drawn to Tomohiro and is determined to find out more about him and his mysterious drawings.

At first glance there is a lot of clichés in this book as Katie despite being humiliated by Tomo on several occasions continues to go back for more and behaves a bit stalkerish however as the book went on and Katie and Tomo actually communicated and connected with each other I felt their relationship grew and developed and it became a non issue for me.

The highlight for me was the descriptions and world building. I loved how Sun created a picture of Japanese culture that was fascinating and realistic and focused on how overwhelming it would be for a Westerner to experience. Particularly social etiquette where hugging your best friend and calling a person by their first name straight off the bat are considered no-no’s. I was captivated by the history intertwined with legend of the Kami and their role in this book. The pacing of the book flowed well for me and I found it a pleasure to pick up every time, fully immersed in Katie’s and Tomo’s story.

I liked Katie as a character, I really felt she grew from the intense grief-stricken girl we meet at the start of the book into a young woman capable of adjusting to new situations and unafraid to following her heart. Tomo was interesting but it wasn’t until the story really started to develop in regards to the Kami that I really started to like him and root for him as a character.

While not everyone’s cup of tea, INK was highly enjoyable for me and I adored Sun’s take on the Kami legend and her well-crafted story and am aching to find out what happens next in RAIN.


9 Responses to “Ink by Amanda Sun (Review)”

  1. Oana

    I know this book has lots of mixed reviews, and most of them are not that positive. The cover is incredibly beautiful! I also love Japan and anything that has to do with its culture. I wouldn’t probably be able to live there for more than a week, though. I tried learning Japanese last year, but I didn’t get very far. Lol.
    Have you read the “Tales of the Otori” series by Lian Hearn? I’ve only read the first book, “Across the Nightingale Floor”, and I loved it. The setting is a half-historical, half-imagined Middle Ages Japan.

  2. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    Nice pun Dani! Brought a smile to the face 🙂 I totally agree with you with this book being exactly like a manga, but that’s probably what made me lessen my enjoyment of it, because it didn’t come out quite right as a book. Katie’s obsessive stalker behaviour was a bit scary lol! Anyway, love the new blog design, it looks so cute and totally suits you!

  3. Nuzaifa @ Say It with Books

    When this book initially made an appearance on blogs I was very excited for it because of the Japanese setting but then the reviews that followed were mostly on the negative side so I sorta lost some of the excitement. :/
    Katie’s relationship with Tomo sounds like a no-go for me so I don’t think I’ll be picking this one up anytime soon.

    Glad to hear you enjoyed it though, Danielle!

    P.S.-Love the new header! 🙂

  4. tonyalee

    Great review, love! I have been really curious to see how much you would like this! I’m glad you did 🙂

    I love that this one gets into details about the culture! 🙂

  5. Trish @ Between My Lines

    All the negative reviews put me off this book but you have made me curious about it again now. The insight into Japanese culture sounds fascinating. I’ll keep it in mind if I see it go on sale!

  6. Jessica@Lovin' Los Libros

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one! I liked it also! I did mention the cliches in my review, but if you can get past them then it’s a good read. I liked the worldbuilding also! I am a bit fascinated with Japanese culture, so it was neat to see!

  7. Alise

    Your new blog design looks amazing-it’s so pretty!

    I agree about the cliches but I enjoyed this one too. It would be great to see more of the fantasy and drawing aspects in the next book.

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