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Ink Ink is in their bloodOn the heels of a family tragedy Katie Greene must 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 buildingWhen Katie meets aloof but gorgeous Tomohiro the star of the school's kendo team she is intrigued by himand a little scared His tough attitude seems meant to keep her at a distance and when they're near each other strange things happen Pens explode Ink drips from nowhere And unless Katie is seeing things drawings come to lifeSomehow Tomo is connected to the kami powerful ancient beings who once ruled Japan and as feelings develop between Katie and Tomo things begin to spiral out of control The wrong people are starting to ask uestions and if they discover the truth no one will be safe An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review This did not alter my thoughts in any wayDisclaimer This can be very rant y And maybe a little spoiler yLike a lot of people out there I love Japanese culture I've read a LOT of mangas edited and translated a few have my own scanlation group watched a lot of JDramas sang so many of their songs watched animes ONE PIECE FTW FOLKS etc etc I mean I'm far from being the ultimate otaku but there was a point in my life that I listened watched and read Japanese material exclusively So yes aside from the delicious cover Ink drew me in simply for its premise Sure it's already riddled with clichés new girl moving to town paranormal guy who doesn't want the heroine near him 'cause he's dangerous but the execution is what's important And the characters The characters have to be likeable Or else I go grumpy Like a mean catUnfortunately what this book garnered is having the most status updates from me Check out this review and scroll down and you'll see a WALL of text of ranting and just me being overly annoyed with the heroine's stupidity I tell you she's the most obnoxious little thing EVER But first let's get to the good stuff before I transform into the angry Hulk yes?THE POSITIVE ´▽`Okay first Sun's writing is pretty refreshing She really knows how to write and I applaud her for that Her prose although awkward at times was a delight to read I think there needed build up in some certain areas though but generally it's pretty good And I love how well written and researched this book is You can really feel you're in Japan and needless to say it felt like watching some animes and reading some mangas all over again She got the attitudes right the honorifics right the language right Sonna wake nai jan really got to me You hear that in every animejdrama etc It felt like it's a tribute to a particular audience y'know? For those who love Japanese culture because it felt too familiar to me so I kind of understand why other people can't really get into it The sprinkling of Japanese words did seem a little too much and weren't they already speaking Japanese? So why put Japanese words in the dialogue? My only concern was that the glossary was a bit underwhelming I definitely think a few solid explanations could've been put for some wordsTHE NEGATIVE ゜∀゜アハハ八八ノヽノヽノヽノ \ / \Whoo boy here comes the negativeOkay The only negative factor that I found here is the heroine Bella swan Katie Greene She's a blonde American who traveled across the globe to live with her aunt after her mom died and her grandparents are still not in the condition yet to care for her so here's sulky Katie Greene who wants nothing of Japan and only cares about going home to the land of the free THEN she meets elusive dangerous but cool Yuu Tomohiro and here is where the shit goes down down down down downI hate Katie Greene Or Greene Katie Whatever I HATE HERMy wall of text of status updates is dedicated to this stupid impulsive silly girl who can't make herself to stay put for 2 seconds I initially liked this gaijin who felt lost in an all new world but after meeting the love interest she started becoming so obnoxious that I couldn't help but rage every fricking chapter So why do I hate her?One she's very impulsive and obnoxious She was so curious about Tomohiro that she kept on stalking him and bothering him She made it a point to always find him in the crowd and when they do find each other and he goes all cold on her she would say That guy has it for me What a meanie He should stay away from me THE FUCK?? Isn't that what you should be telling yourself? You eavesdropped on a private conversation made a fool of yourself by climbing a fucking tree to make war and you have the gall to say that he was the one bothering you? After climbing that tree of her own will half of the school saw her skirt AND SHE EVEN BLAMED IT ON THE POOR BOY Like seriously? If I were Tomohiro I'd be running away from you too Why? Cause you're a crazy dumbass that's whyShe's so curious about him she stalks him day in and day outSo there was this scene where she followed him to this garden and another where she bought a bike because she saw him ride a bike and decided it was smart to follow him in the same manner etc etc And then when they met again she was told Stay away from me and she thought to herself That's my line#`Д´ノノ┻┻;'、・゙NO IT'S HIS LINE IT'S HIS FUCKING LINE AND IT'S FREAKING JUSTIFIEDAnd then not to mention she would be so wishy washy after I want him to leave me alone didn't I? I never wanted to see him again right? ノд 。 OMG Make up your own damn mind Just admit your eyes went Ka Ching Insta Love and leave us out of your torturous monologues And then she went on to say that it was Tomohiro who wanted to mess with her head She was so fucking certain he's out there to get her when she was the one who's been trying her damn hardest to get his fucking attention See the inconsistency? Nah you're just a dumbass Katie A big big moron It was like this for the first 20% and needless to say while I was reading that much I was soooo tempted to just drop it then and there I can't stand the heroine I just can'tSo cue in another hot guy who gasp told her she was beautiful and she felt like she betrayed Tomohiro somehow by liking that LOLOLOLOLOL Say what? You felt that when just a few moments ago you were chastising him? WHAT You guys weren't even a couple yet and she felt like she betrayed him Uh huhSecond she's so forceful and selfish Obviously our dear love interest had his own secrets up his sleeves precious secrets he wasn't not ready to tell anyone yet But Katie? Wait? She ain't got time fo' that So what did she do you ask? Why she went on forcing him to spill his beans And every time she did this little stunt of hers I get so upset because she didn't seem to care about what those secrets could mean to him She just wanted to satiate her own curiosity Like girl The dude has secrets we get that Let him say them to you in his own time okay? Give it a rest He'll eventually tell you CHILLAX THE WORLD AIN'T GONNA END YO ≖ゝ≖ Third she overreacts A LOT She overanalyzes the simplest of things like everything fucking revolves around her One scene that made me see red was this Kendo match Tomohiro and Ishikawa were sparring each other and she saw how focused Tomohiro was and then she went Perhaps Yuki and Tanaka were right maybe I shouldn't get near him Maybe he really is dangerous LIKE LOOOOOOOL DUDE DUUUUUUUUDE LOOK AROUND WHAT DO YOU SEE? THAT'S RIGHT A KENDO MATCH Of fucking course he'd be focused as hell and be all HAAAAH Do you want him to do jump ropes or something or do ballet? HECK NO It's a fucking contact sport Good godAnd when they did finally get together ugh there would be moments where she'd drop lines like she can't live without him that the guy want her like he never wanted anything Like whoa OK And when she suspected he was avoiding her she felt like the balance of the world was tipping LOLOLOL Gosh girlObnoxious much? You need to slow the fuck down SeriouslyAnd here's what sealed the deal of why she's my most hated heroine everSo when everything was going apeshit Tomohiro brought her to a love hotel and tried to rape her She was all hurt and ran away THEN eventually she got to the realization that it was all an act I was a moron An absolute total moronIt wasn’t like Tomohiro to take me to a love hotel to say the things he’d said He was messing with me to get me to hate himTo save me ´;Д;`Girl girrrrl Are you listening to yourself right now? That IS not romantic at all and that is not the right way to think Whether or not he pretended to rape you to protect you it's still downright wrong and I can't believe you're thinking you were the stupid one Hurting others to protect them is not cool okay??HUFF PUFF HUFF PUFFOkay This has gone a wee bit too farOverall the heroine ruined everything for me As in I couldn't help but seethe every time she does something that annoys me and it totally ruined the reading experience And as others have said it's a clusterfuck of clichés too so that also influenced this rating I'm unsure whether or not I'll read the next books but I'll definitely read other books from Amanda Sun that's not in this series If I have to endure one page of Katie yapping I'll go insane SeriouslyFinal verdict 2 stars This book broke my heart Not in the way you might think thoughI've become very familiar with a certain concept that much of YA has been using lately The same concept that I discussed in my review of Reboot by Amy Tintera It's when a book takes a gimmick—a brilliant concept an intriguing setting etc—and still follows the basic YA formula riddled with cliches like Outcast ordinary heroine who might actually not be ordinary at all and have something to do with the supernatural aspect thus making her special Badboy hero with a mysterious secret and a tortured past who constantly pushes heroine away because he's dangerous Best friends that may as well be cardboard cutouts and who the heroine always ditches to spend time with the hero An Other Guy character that is just as hot and mysterious as the hero but nicer Insta love If boy and girl be together it will cause a lot of problems and bring danger and shit—aka forbidden loveAll of the above sadly applies to InkI don't think I've ever been so disappointed in a book before at least not this bad I'm not exaggerating I'm literally crushed right now My hopes for this book were just that high I mean come on a modern YA book set in Japan that is based around Japanese mythology How awesome does that sound?But upon reading it I was utterly baffled BAFFLED I SAYOkay lemme just put it this way Take the Karate Kid movies for example the original and the remake The original only had the kid move to a new town while the remake has him move all the way to another continent What I'm trying to say is that this book is just taking the age old cliche of girl moves to a new town thing a step further but it's still a goddamn clicheY'know what I'll just say it up front I think this book is very similar to Twilight ducks and covers Wait wait hear me out YOU read this book and tell me you don't notice the similarities Or rather just look at the cliches I listed above and tell me that doesn't sound like Twilight This book basically takes the Twilight plot changes up the supernatural aspect and makes the setting in Japan There I said it And I'm not taking it backI'll give the book credit that I did enjoy the beginning parts though mostly because it was such a nice change to read a YA book that takes place in Japan of all places I loved seeing the culture and things of that nature But since I'm not that knowledgeable on Japanese related things I'm not sure if the author got down everything perfectly or butchered it so I'll let the experts critiue that I enjoyed it though It's why I gave the book an extra starBut ultimately all of that was overshadowed by the sheer unoriginality of the plot And the clusterfuck of cliches Initially I liked Katie the protagonist but it didn't take long for her to become a Mary Sue and even becoming a borderline stalker of the Lucinda Price kind Like really she did not know when to leave Tomohiro alone I mean yeah I get that you're curious about him but let the guy have his secrets for cry eyeTomohiro's your typical get away from me I'm dangerous hero Except for the fact that he's Asian there's literally nothing that makes him stand out among the hoards of YA badboys And the romance between him and Katie ugh Apparently Katie also has something to do with the supernatural aspect and if she keeps being around Tomo his powers might spiral out of controlEven the supernatural element wasn't that interesting It was just there I thought there would be like some kind of other world inside the drawings y'know? I just thought it would be a lot epic than it is But nope It was just like whatever and the book's main focus was on whether or not Katie and Tomo will be together or not because just read these There was this nagging unsettling feeling like the balance of the world was tipping— Katie talking about the fact that Tomohiro might be avoiding her We lay there clinging to each other knowing the world would tilt if we let go that without each other everything would fall out of balanceARE YOU KIDDING ME? You really think that the whole world would fall out of balance if you two aren't together? WHAT KIND OF—The book ended in the most predictable way possible and I'm not sure I'll be reading any books from this series Or maybe I will just to see if there will be any improvements at all because God the potential This had all the potential to be a fantastic book but the smorgasbord of cliches and the recycled plot just ruined it allAlthough I will give the book this I think it would work well as an Anime or Manga due to all the tropes Animes and Mangas are always covered in cliches and cheese so I feel like if this book were an Anime or Manga instead I would have somewhat excused it maybe even enjoyed it But no I'm just at a point where I'm tired of seeing YA books that don't break the mold in any way All this book did as far as innovation in YA goes was be set in Japan That's literally itA book has never broken my heart in this way and guuurl does it hurt I did get one lesson learned out of reading this book though It's to never have such high hopes for a book ever again because it could lead to devastating results I guess all I can do is hope for the best and expect the worst with YA at this pointThank you to NetGalley and Harleuin for sending me this galley And right on my birthday—April 2nd—too At the time I thought it was the perfect birthday present but now uh thanks anyways Completely LOVED this book If you've ever watched a Japanese drama you know exactly what to expect Cute bad boys a gutsy girl silly friends and DRAMA Throw in a paranormal twist and you've got a blockbuster It was so authentic too this author obviously lived and breathed in Japan and it shows Everything was meticulously researched down to the food kendo the customs the language how real Japanese teens talk everything It made me miss my Japanese classes so much to read about how these things looked through a gaijin's eyes just like I had for so long And I've been to Tokyo and it's one of the most welcoming bizarre lovely crazy busy and wonderful places I've ever been I'm sure Shizuoka is just as beautifulThe absolute worst thing about this whole book though? Giving me one chapter of the next book at the endARGHForgot to add the arc was given to me by NetGalley ありがとうございました。Reading the negative reviews I understand now why they're so up and down Japanese and Korean dramas are definitely an acuired taste They're formulaic They're basically soap operas but I ate them up for years while I was studying Japanese and fell in unabashed loveAnd this book pulled up those memories and made me long to visit Japan all over again Here's a link to Toro Iseki so you can see where Tomo and Katie spent so much time together And jeez view spoilerno wonder people saw the dragon hide spoiler A little while ago forsaking my credit card bill and the fact that I work 25 hours a week at minimum waaaahhhhhhhggUgh I should just stop In the last six months or so I began throwing handfuls of copper coins at things like potato scones and cigarettes and £40 Ryanair flights to mystery destinations The absolute best thing about Ryanair is that it is SO janky and SO cheap and you never know uite where you're going you just know you're getting on whatever flight is cheapest landing near whatever hostel is cheapest so that you can spent five days waffling around drinking local beer and talking to Australians or Americans who have their lives togetherAmericans and Australians who travel almost always have their lives together They weren't the ones who threw the contents of their swear jar at an unplanned trip to an unplanned destination and only got the time off by calling in sick to work from Malta I have swine flu I can't come in ignore the sounds of softly cawing gulls and Maltese people laughing at the sun drenched bus stop behind me Americans and Australians who travel are brave souls who have saved up for extortionate flights and they've spent on planning and guidebooks and making sure that they make the most of travelling to the other side of the world I salute them so hard They are so organised and I am a human disasterI live in the UK so my privileged ass only needs to be verbally abused by elderly people to whom I serve coffee and fried food for a while get a shite pay check chip away very slightly at a growing stack of bills then buy a ticket for £999 on a flying tin can and within four hours I'm staggering someplace newThis was how I ended up in Berlin inappropriately dressed with five days worth of living supplies stuffed into a backpack I bought on Etsy That backpack has been there for me It was there when I cried in Halifax airport and when I nearly got the cops called on me on the Berlin subway and when I had to use very very alternate methods of wipage in the bathrooms at the cyber park in Marrakech I DO NOT HAVE 10 DIRHAM FOR TOILET PAPER I AM NOT THAT PREPAREDSo when I was in Berlin at a bad time of year to be there when it snowed every day and the hostel scene was sparse because who the fuck goes to Berlin in winter I met this older woman and it was her sixty fifth birthday so she gave me some birthday cake and a huge shot of cognac She told me about how she had been moving from hostel to hostel for the past few weeks because her upstairs neighbours in her apartment block were cooking meth She was from Berlin an absolutely lovely woman and she said something that captures the city so perfectly So sweetly I could not have said it better myselfBerlin I love it and I hate itThis bookI love it and I hate itIt's this sort of Frankenstinian thing this lumbering creature that you can't grab a hold of so when it wanders off the straight and narrow and down a plot line that makes absolutely no sense all you can really do is shrug and say Oh okayOn one hand it so beautifully captures how bloody exhausting it is not only to enter a country whose culture is different to yours but to live there I remember feeling the way Katie does staggering home after attending foreign high school where I am the foreigner and feeling so emotionally and physically drained and anxious that I'd collapse into bed and sleep the rest of the afternoon away like an elderly woman Or like a hamsterKatie is spunky she's sharp She does dumb shit because said dumb shit moves the plot along but her core characterisation is so enjoyable She's not afraid to climb trees and confront the guys who look up her skirt when she does She's so dry but sensitive and she really cares about shit like she cares about people's feelingsBut the problem lies with Tomohiro and how great his characterisation was at the beginning before it got creepy and problematic then irritatingly saccharine I get that he's loyal and I also get that he's afraid of himself so he feels like he has to push people away to protect them but couldn't he just have told Katie that she breeds with the mouth of a goat? Did he have to make her think he was a rapist? What the ever loving fuck is that all about? How weird How problematic How Did I already say weird? And not in a good way In a let's back away slowly because this is getting wildly out of hand kind of wayThe mythology was this book's saving grace honest to god it's the only thing saving it from being a total shit show If this had been about vampires I'd have flushed it down the toilet But Kami are new to me and this particular magical element was something I'd never come across before It was fresh and exciting to me and beautifully rendered in action The way Tomohiro draws almost shamefully with an air of fear about him was painful and beautiful But did the bloody Yakuza really need to come into this? Did they really? Are you serious with this? Why?But this is my tussle with this book it's so lovable and yet so fucking hateable too The artwork is gorgeous but the villains are ridiculous to the point of being comical I really liked Katie but Tomohiro was such a clusterfuck The setting was gorgeously written with so much heart but then there were car chases and mobsters and other such silly gimmicky crap I loved Katie's relationship with her aunt but she treated Yuki like shitAnd that girl was only ever nice to herAt the end of the day this is your average YA formula with a few really cool interesting embellishments It's a big tangle of wasted potential which is such a shame It's like going somewhere new and exciting but knowing that in order to get you there Ryanair will starve you and freeze you half to death before slamming you down with such force on the runway at the other end that your ass actually leaves the seatOuthie I bih my thung

  • ebook
  • 384 pages
  • Ink
  • Amanda Sun
  • English
  • 08 October 2014
  • 9781460315231

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