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 loved the beautiful covers; the one on the left is the US cover and on the right is the UK cover. The blurb was intriguing and I haven’t noticed many other YA Japanese folklore stories on the shelves, and being studio Ghibli fan means I had high hopes.
The execution wasn’t quite what I had expected. Many of the scenes that felt less important seemed to carry the same amount of weight as the more relevant bits.
The plot took a while to unfold, and the dialogue didn’t pull me in. The first half of the book is mostly Katie pondering why she’s stalking Tomohiro, him asking why she’s stalking him. The next half of the books is her suggesting he’s stalking her, her telling him yes she did follow him, him smirking yes he knew she followed him, and them discussing her stalking.
The characters are well described – their physical attributes and the way they move, and everything else visual – but the problem their emotions and conversations left me wanting more.
Amanda Sun’s got an amazing talent for creating a setting. When the surroundings, drawings and Kendo sessions are described, it’s almost as though I were watching a slowed-down scene in an anime. It’s beautiful and certainly redeeming as far as my interest in Ink and the Paper Gods series goes.