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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Ink by Amanda Sun (Paper Gods #1)

Publication Date: June 8th 2013
Genre: Young Adult & Mythological/Fantasy
My Goodreads Rating: 3/5
Source: Own Copy

Katie Greene has just lost her parents, but to make the situation even worse she's being sent across the world to live with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan. Katie feels lost in a new culture, struggling to learn Japanese and Asian cultures as she tries to fit in at her new Japanese school.

Then she meets Tomohiro, the star of the school's Kendo team. His mysterious scar draws Katie in, but when she sees his drawings moving, she understands that she may not be prepared to understand how he really got hurt. Katie and Tomohiro make a dangerous team. A team dangerous enough to put a target on their backs.

In the first novel of Amanda Sun's "Paper Gods" series, she explores the cultural difference between Japan and the rest of the world, distinguishing it as a country where even the most common activities are rooted in religious and cultural logic. She demonstrates this difference by constantly putting Katie in awkward situations, where she finds herself doubting her sanity and place in this new world.

Sun further explores the mythology of ancient Japan linking Gods to modern day activities such as drawing. This was what pulled me into the book, the aspect of a contemporary Young Adult rooted in Ancient Japanese Mythology. Unfortunately, the book failed to deliver on certain fronts.

While Katie's character was unique in certain ways, as all characters are, she faced the same love complex that many YA main characters face and was somehow immediately drawn to both her friends and her crush. Katie also displayed predictable emotions when around Tomohiro, as did he, by constantly avoiding her to prevent danger.

The plot of the series however, is very unique. Amanda Sun spiced up the ubiquitous premise of "capture, attempt at escape, capture, escape" by incorporating modern expressions, Japanese culture and general wit.

One other thing that I absolutely cannot fail to mention is the beauty of this cover! It is printed on a material that either is, or resembles canvas, so it looks like each cover has been especially hand-painted!

I'd recommend this book to anyone who's interested in culture and tradition. Although the characters are slightly predictable, the rest of the book is interesting and intricately detailed. Anyone who's been reading a lot of heavy material and is looking for a change in their reading pace should try this out as well!

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