Ink by Amanda Sun
The Skinny: 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. – From Goodreads
BFF?: I’m…. not sure about Katie. On the one hand I had mad respect for her. Her she is, orphaned, living with her aunt in Japan, not really sure about the language, having to adjust to a totally foreign culture… and she pretty much nails it. Sure, she struggles, but she works at it so she can assimilate. That being said… omg this girl. I like when characters are snarky or sassy or even smart. But Katie was kind of annoyingly so. And she cried all. the. freaking. time. HOWEVER… she eventually began to grow on me as she began learning more about stuff, adjusting to all the freaky things that were going on. Is she my favorite? No. But I can see potential.
Readability: I had a super hard time with this one because it was just difficult to get into. While the random Japanese terms SHOULD have made this one a little harder, I actually found myself enjoying it and felt like the writing put me in the middle of the setting.
Crush Level: 3
Maybe in some places (Forks) being a moody, slightly erratic, brooding jerk to a girl is considered hot. Maybe this is what some girls (Bella) like. I, personally, prefer my boys nice and positive (Peeta). Sure, Tomo had some moments where he was really sweet and brave, and you could see that he genuinely cared for Katie, but seriously… Tomo, I’m gonna let you finish but Edward did your role better.
Japan holds a very special place in my heart. When I was 2 my dad, who was in the Marines, was stationed in Okinawa so we lived there for a little while. While I don’t remember a ton from there, it’s always interesting to see things set in Japan. I feel a little bit of a bond to it! This book was totally immersed in all things Japanese though; it genuinely felt like being a part of it, not just a visitor!
This isn’t really something I know about, so I loved learning more about it through Ink. The myths behind the kami, Japanese gods, was especially interesting, especially seeing how Sun weaved it into her story.