Publisher: Mira Ink
Released: July 5th 2013
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
A MAGIC MIGHTIER THAN ANY SWORD
A DESTINY THAT CAN’T BE DENIED
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. (from Goodreads)
I really didn’t know what to expect with Ink but I ended up really enjoying it and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series
First of all, I loved the setting. I won’t pretend to be an expert on Japan or Japanese culture (though I am a massive anime/manga fan), but it seemed like Amanda Sun really knew her stuff and that was reflected in her writing. The characters didn’t come across as fake or unbelievable and I really liked the main character, Katie. She moved to Japan to live with her aunt after her mum died, and she was struggling with her grief as well as adjusting to a completely new environment and language. I was really impressed at how she picked up the language and went to a local school instead of an international one (at her aunt’s request, but still, she could have decided against it). She seemed to be managing quite well for a newbie, though she was finding it difficult to make friends. I could empathise with her – she was pushed into this entirely new situation, didn’t really have any idea what to do and understandably was frustrated about it all. She did have a good friend in Yuki, who was really supportive, and Tanaka who just seemed like a really nice and genuine guy. I liked that Katie wasn’t afraid to say what she was thinking, and she also had this habit of sometimes blurting out things when she felt awkward which I loved because I do that too (remind me to tell you the story about my French teacher and how I completely embarrassed myself in front of her some time).
Tomohiro, the love interest and source of conflict/crazy happenings, was quite a fascinating character. Perhaps I should have, but I really didn’t guess the mystery behind the moving pictures, and even when that was revealed, I wasn’t sure where the storyline could be going. It was actually a mystery for me instead of something obvious that I could work out in the first ten pages (which, believe it or not, happens quite often). His personality as well – one minute he was acting like a complete jerk, the next minute he was being as sweet as can be. I got that he felt he needed to act like a jerk so people would stay away from him but I felt kind of sad that he felt it was necessary to do that. He was a bit of a tormented soul. I did like his relationship with Katie as well – it was just so cute when he would blush because she’d called him by his first name! It was a little bit instalovey, but luckily it wasn’t too bad and I still enjoyed the romance.
Plot-wise, I feel like it was quite simple – interesting stuff going on but not too complicated, yet that was enough - it was still really engaging and I still stayed up way later than I should have finishing the book. I was drawn in immediately – and I seriously mean like from the first page or so. I loved that there were actual drawings as well! The artwork was great and really added to the story. I really liked the inclusion of Japanese words/phrases too (was so proud when I could understand some of the non-translated parts without referring to the glossary – I guess I picked up a few phrases watching so much anime over the years! If only I could actually hold a conversation...:P).
Overall, I’m really glad I read Ink and if you’re looking for something a little different from your normal YA but not drastically so, definitely give it a go.