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 want to thank HarlequinTEEN and NetGalley for a copy of Ink in exchange for an honest review.
Sigh. I don’t want to write this review. I don’t want to take a book with such an interesting synopsis, amazing cover, and cool author and say that I was disappointed in it. That I didn’t like it. I don’t want to have to list the reasons and relive the heart ache.
Ink is a highly anticipated upcoming release. It’s set in Japan, and the mythology behind it is so original and unique that I was sure it would be a new favorite. Drawings that come to life, that literally leap right off the pages, is such a cool concept! Pair it with a foreign setting, and this book was destined to stand out.But it didn’t. Not at all.
There are so many of the clichés I hate in this novel. Insta-love, helpless protagonist, guy who warns the girl away, stalking for god’s sake! Katie reads like a blond Bella in Japan, and while Tomohiro isn’t nearly as bad as Edward, he is far from the smokin’ hot kendo champion Amanda Sun tries to make him out to be. The book focuses largely on the romance, but it’s yet another rushed love story with little to no real chemistry, so the whole story feels forced and flat as a result.
Thankfully though, this book wasn’t all bad. The setting was amazing, descriptive and realistic. Sun made me forget at times that I’ve never been to Japan, know little about its culture, and transported me there. There was such an authentic feel to it. I wasn’t at all surprised to learn that the author had spent a considerable amount of time there; there’s a familiarity with the country in the prose that shines in a way that so many other aspects of this book failed. The mythology is still pretty cool, leaving me wanting to know more about the kami, the people with the power to control and give life to the ink. The paper gods. I just wish it could be through a different set of eyes, with a different cast of characters.
I think what breaks my heart so much about Ink is that the potential is here. There’s just enough good about it to leave you imagining the novel it could have been, the novel it should have been. If the characters and their relationships had been as thought-out and unique as the mythology and the setting, Ink would have been everything I had hoped for. Instead, it’s just another disappointing, trendy addition to the already saturated world of YA romance.
Ink - 2.5 out of 5 stars