Title: Ink (Paper Gods, #1)
Author: Amanda Sun
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication date: June 25, 2013
Genre(s): Young Adult (Fantasy/Mythology)
Being a major fan of the Japanese culture and art, I was very excited to start Ink. Katie Greene had to move to live in Japan with her aunt after her mother died. For Katie, it was all new to her. She felt homesick, and she couldn't wait to get out of Shizouka. The book started off with Katie at school, witnessing a break up between Tomohiro (senior) and his girlfriend Myu. Myu saw a sketch of a pregnant girl in his notebook, and that made her question his faithfulness towards her. What Katie couldn't believe was that she saw the sketch of the pregnant girl actually move! When she immediately asks Tomohiro why it moved, he just told her to leave. The story then unfolds, and we learn so many things about Tomohiro's powers, and how it is all connected to Katie. Tomohiro being the bad guy with his copper red hair, Tanaka and Yuki (Katie's friends), told her to stay away from him because he is mixed in a lot of trouble. Katie was still determined to figure out why these sketches move.
What I most loved about this book was the incorporation of the Japanese culture in so many ways. There was also some Japanese text that was included, but I wasn't really bothered by it since I understood most words written. Being a huge fan of Japan, it was great to see how Amanda Sun was able to really show the typical Japanese lifestyle in her book. The little tiny thing that the Japanese do, it all added up and was really great. The book also had a couple of sketches in between. It is always cool when there are extra things added in a book, because it always makes the experience just much more realistic. I loved the addition of Yuki and Tanaka. They were such great friends to Katie, and they always had her back. Tomohiro was a typical Japanese bad boy (I know because I've watched my share of Japanese dramas). I loved him to bits because there was just so much to learn about him. Ink started off really great, but then it kind of slowed towards the middle, but I'm glad it was able to pick it's pace back in the end.
Overall, Ink was a great read to start off my summer. I seriously loved all the Japanese culture that was included, and the art was just beautiful. Ink wasn't just about romance and high school drama, but it was about family, culture, and friends. The ending was amazing, and I don't think I would have wanted to change anything. I'm really glad that this book did not disappoint me at all, and I cannot wait to read the next book in the Paper Gods series. A big clap for Amanda Sun's debut novel. Recommended to those who love Japanese culture, and those who are into mythology! You will totally fall in love with this story and these characters!