Published: June 25, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Series: Paper Gods #1
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars
I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.
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.
My Review: I think it's important to note that I don't read manga or watch anime. I'm pretty sure the only anime I've watched is Sailor Moon and I'm almost positive that I haven't read a manga book. So I have almost no experience with Japanese stuff. I was pretty excited about this book when I first heard of it because it sounded pretty awesome but I had no idea what to expect. I had some problems with it but overall it was a pretty enjoyable read.
The part of this book that I liked the most was probably the setting and the mythology that was mixed in. I haven't read anything like Ink so the book take place in Japan was interesting and new to me. It was obvious that the author did her research and the way she used Japanese in the story was very easy to understand. The strongest part of the book was definitely the world building. I felt like I was actually in Japan. The book had the potential to be something amazing but it fell flat with the characters and the romance.
I did not like the main character at all. Katie just moved to Japan and she had two friends. She's a social outcast and the first thing that happens in the book is her spying on Tomo breaking up with his girlfriend. She thinks he's a jerk because he's horrible to his girlfriend while he's breaking up with her but I'll get to that later. Katie happened to see one of Tomo's drawings move that day and after that she became obsessed with him. She turned into a stalker. Of course she didn't listen to her friends about staying away from Tomo. No that would be seeing reason and Katie is not reasonable at all. Somehow Katie goes from stalking Tomo to being his friend and then all of a sudden she's in love with him. Classic case of insta love.
The romance in this book was my least favorite part. Katie and Tomo fall in love way too quickly so I still have no idea how Katie went from stalking Tomo and thinking he is a jerk to being in love with him. The first time Katie sees Tomo he's telling his girlfriend that he got another girl pregnant. You would think that Katie would get the message that Tomo is bad news but of course she doesn't. Once Katie and Tomo become friends and are kind of dating Tomo continues to try to push Katie away because he's dangerous and she could get killed. Later in the book Tomo pretends to try to rape Katie and after she runs away from him, she thinks that she was a moron because she believes that Tomo was just trying to make her angry at him so that she would stay away from him. In her mind that meant that Tomo was trying to save her. I'm sorry but even though he was trying to save her, that doesn't excuse his behavior. Katie barely knows Tomo she says that she can't live without him. Maybe this would not have been so bad if there was time for their relationship to actually grow and develop.
Without the art in the book I would have probably given this book 2.5 stars but the art was just so beautiful that it deserved at least half of a star. The concept of the Kami being tied to ink and how Tomo's drawings can come to life was very interesting and even though this book has flaws, it wasn't terrible.