Book Review: Ink by Amanda Sun

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Forced to move to Japan to live with her aunt, there is only so much prep American sixteen-year-old Katie Greene can do.

Learning Japanese, adapting to a new school system culturally and making friends is the least of Katie’s worries. Getting over her mother’s sudden death and wondering about why her father left her only adds to turning her world upside down.

Then there’s Tomohiro. With a bad boy reputation over publicly breaking up with his latest girlfriend, Katie is drawn to this tortured soul. His art is his soul and soon he is Katie’s. Alone no longer the two connect across pages of Ink.

But there lurks a danger in the dark pigments. What Tomohiro can draw is hungry for Katie. As the pair tries to hide Tomo’s talents from exploitation, she wonders if their love can conquer his curse.

I loved the premise of Katie’s adventures in Japan. Can you imagine leaving the country of your birth because the only family you had was abroad? Not only that, but having to learn a completely new language and progress in such a short timeframe made the read fantastic. I love how Sun integrated Japanese words with English ones (she also includes a glossary). Even without the romance the book would have been a hit with me.

Now, the romance bit. It’s a bit clichéd for my liking. Too sudden and not entirely believable. The supernatural elements were enjoyable and have left me questions of wanting to know more about some of the other characters. I just wish the romance parts weren’t so expected.

Other than that, Ink is a refreshingly different YA book. For a debut in a series it has a lot going on and will keep readers wondering what exactly is going on.  Plus the illustrations that are littered through the pages bring so much character to the piece. It’s beautiful to own as much as it is to read without being overdone. 

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