Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ink (Paper Gods, #1) by Amanda Sun

Ink (Paper Gods, #1)
Good Reads Summary
Ink by Amanda Sun

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 Thoughts
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

First, major plus points for the brilliantly creative world of Japanese kami, nightmares that haunt and then what could be done with ink on paper... and this is me, properly impressed. Who here has a deep seated fear of claymation? Is anyone else creeped out by those? Anyone… anyone OK, I know can’t be the only one who’s both equally terrified (to the point of nightmares) and then fascinated by what these things. I mean Chicken Run, people! Clay chickens that talk…seriously, those don’t frighten you? Or even Big headed Coraline and the rest of them with their button eyes? Creepy. Except it’s along those lines that I was impressed by the creative parallel world that Tomo and Katie live in. Yes, a bazillion points for drawings that come alive, but better a billion points more for the malevolent feel they had going for them… fascinating yet obviously frightening.

Yet it is sad I am to say a lot of the good stuff (great even) is merely extra to the meat of the story that I feel I've read before. mean it is set in the Japan, right? Yay! And there are hot Japanese boys, yes? Yay again! But strip all that down, and this could have been set anywhere and cast with anyone!

Both Tomo and Katie lacked something. He’s haunted by what he can do; she’s haunted by what’s she’s lost. She’s the fish out of with her being gaijin; he’s hot bad boy whose misunderstood but with artistic tendencies (wait, that actually really is a positive. Heh.)  Honestly, though  they both could have been so much more… Or perhaps not? Especially as I consider that a lot of INK runs parallel to plenty other YA’s I’ve read before (and not the good YA’s either.)  It’s to this end that I’m struggling not to name reads-like titles here, but when you have all of the following:

(a) Stalky behavior coupled with, (b) Douche bag behavior, (c) Then an odd, inexplicable attraction that evolves into more from afar, (d) The denial of the same by one for the other, (e) An eventual turn around and a declaration of being helplessly drawn and even (f) A link between the two that’s blood deep?

Well, doesn’t it all just sound familiar?  Then why don’t we throw in friends that warn certain key persons others off (or try to at least); then dumber besties of the other, that goad her on?!  Or wait, why not absent parental figures? Or wait, why not the very fact that she is virtually new kid on the block?! My God… I could go on and on and on! I mean sure there is a teeny role reversal on who does the stalking, but come one: does admission of skeevy behavior suffice to let said skeevy behavior pass? Ergh, I think not!

Yet for all those negatives, I kept on mainly because there was a seed of different here particularly in what he could and what she could do. It was interesting, the images Sun’s words conjured, her descriptions of moving ink and pictures that come alive. As said, both fascinating and frightening. If only it had stayed there… much later in the book, we reveals are made and key people outed. Yet, strangely enough, I wasn’t feeling the danger surrounding them perhaps because it felt almost like “token bad guy” .  Then later tack on the reveals of who knew what and why… Well, you could pretty much call who that was early on; this guy’s growing role in things though not unpredictable felt over the top,  going from being barely a blip to crazy dude where you come from/ what you on? Things are not helped by the love triangle in the making feel he had me fearing.

Summing up:  The start was pretty kick ass.  The what he could do and what she could pretty awesome as well. But really, were we take away Japan, and the different paranormal thing going on… Well, I’ve read this before...

Thank you, Netgalley!

View all my reviews

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