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Ink (The Paper Gods) Paperback

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Product Details

  • Series: The Paper Gods
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Teen; Original edition (June 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037321071X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373210718
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Still distraught over her mother's sudden death, Katie is unwillingly transplanted from New York to live with her aunt and attend high school in Shizuoka, Japan. Her already off-kilter life turns truly surreal when she has a run-in with the school's handsome yet troubled kendo star, Tomohiro, who draws sketches that seem to come to life. Determined to uncover the truth behind his supernatural artistry, Katie becomes entangled in a web of secrets involving the ancient gods of Japan. Readers will relate to the spunky heroine, even as she makes some questionable decisions. Her presence exacerbates Tomohiro's powers, causing his drawings to turn dangerous, yet she finds herself unable to stay away from him. The plot and Katie and Tomohiro's deepening relationship build gradually, leading to a suspenseful third act involving the Japanese mafia and an ending that will leave teens eager for more. Due to the author's experience of living in Japan, the book's setting is authentic, and the depiction of an outsider learning to belong in a new culture rings true. Manga and anime fans will likely understand most of the Japanese vocabulary used, but those unfamiliar with it may feel overwhelmed. While this story may not break new ground in the realm of paranormal romance, it puts an imaginative spin on Japanese mythology.-Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

As if being uprooted and sent to live in Japan was not a difficult enough transition, American high-schooler Katie Green finds herself at the heart of a paranormal mystery. She develops a dangerous attraction to aloof Yuu Tomohiro, a senior who is able to bring ink to life through the act of writing or drawing. For reasons unknown, Katie’s presence galvanizes this gift, and Tomohiro’s drawings become increasingly difficult to control, which eventually attracts the attention of the Yakuza (the Japanese mafia) and the Kami (Japanese gods believed to be mythical but who are very much alive). Initially antagonistic, Katie and Tomo’s relationship comes together over the shared grief of having lost their mothers. But the ink indicates that they should stay away from each other—a warning they successfully ignore with dramatic consequences. Katie’s tendency to jump to conclusions, cry, and act before she thinks is frustrating, but it leaves plenty of room for growth. The descriptions of life in Japan—particularly teen life—­create a strong sense of place, and set a vivid backdrop for this intriguing series opener by a debut author. Grades 9-12. --Kara Dean

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Customer Reviews

My thoughts: I don't like Katie.
Jennifer Miller
The Writing: Sun made very clever use of Japanese language throughout the story - it enhanced the Japanese atmosphere and I felt like I was really in Japan.
Amy @ The Reading Realm
I felt that the story began to focus too much on the romance instead of the actual plot, and that was where Ink went downhill.
Meggy Meg Megan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Hazel Godwin on June 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
3.5 Bright, Blossoming Stars!

The Review:
I've been a lover of anime and manga for years and I could easily imagine Tomohiro and Katie being one of the fascinating characters I've watched in one of my favorite animated shows. But you don't have to be an anime enthusiast or an expert in Japanese culture to enjoy this book. Amanda Sun pens a beautifully inspired story steeped in embellished scenery and Japanese culture, captivating the reader and pulling them into this magical journey. From things such as the annual fall of the sakura tree or cherry blossom petals with the towns people sitting in the park and drinking in the sights, to the foods, tea and names and places of things, the reader is lettered in language, culture and traditions. And though most of the time when Katie phrases something specific, there was an accompanying English translation immediately following, but for the rare instance when there's wasn't, there is a dictionary at the end of the book which I loved going through.

I also enjoyed the creative world and mythology building as the author takes us on a unique journey through traditions, mythos, friendships and romance.

I am conflicted with Katie's character. I both liked and disliked her. When we first meet her, she's mourning the loss of her mother and a familiar life she's had to leave behind. I felt sympathy for her as she struggled with her new surroundings and the possibility she would never return to the states. However, her focus quickly changes as she witnesses Tomohiro's breakup and subsequent moving pictures. She then becomes a girl obsessed. She literally stalks Tomohiro from one place to another, watching him, almost taunting him all the while blaming him for taunting her.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Christina (A Reader of Fictions) TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
I really did not expect to like Ink. Obviously, I did when I requested the book (Japan! Fantasy! That cover!), but reviews started pouring in and almost all were negative and listed the sorts of reasons I generally agree with, like relationship dynamics and instalove. Here I am, though, having really liked Ink, almost loved it, in spite of all of that. While I can see why a lot of my trusted friends haven't enjoyed it, I had a ton of fun reading it and, minus some hiccups on the romance side of things, thought it was a strong novel besides.

To explain this disparity between my opinion and those of others, I have to explain just how much of a nerd I am. In 2008, while interning at a public library, I picked up a love for manga, which has since bloomed into a love for anime and kdrama. Even before that, Asian culture fascinated me, but now it's verging (if we lessen my crazy) on obsession. There are a lot of upsetting elements in the average kdrama/manhwa/anime/manga/jdrama. Men tend to be dominant; women weak and easy to tears. Boyfriends tend to be overly physical, verging on abusive, with their girlfriends. I see this, but, for some reason, it's not as much of an obstacle to my enjoyment as it is in American pop culture. Now, I'm not saying that the romance is necessarily like this in Ink, but I'm trying to explain that my standards are subtly different for the stories set in this other culture.

For those of you who are big fans of manga (which will be my shorthand for all those permutations listed above), Ink is delightful. Amanda Sun peppers the text with those classic scenes to be found in almost any shoujo manga: the wrist grab, the boy carrying the girl on his bike, the close stares that don't end in kisses but leave the heroine a blushing mess, the yakuza, the sakura.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kaitlyn (The Bookworm) on June 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
2.5 stars.

With such a unique premise and awesome setting, I knew Ink was a debut I'd definitely have to check out. Unfortunately, I was rather disappointed. Aside from the mythology and the setting, Ink is much like any other paranormal book.

My main problem is with the main character. For the first half or so, I could not stand Katie. She makes some terrible decisions. She abandons her friends constantly to spend time with her crush, Tomohiro. Not only that, but she continually stalks him even though he's not interested in her. She actually follows him around a bunch in the first third of the book, trying to find out more about him. In my opinion, that's just plain creepy - not romantic.

Speaking of which, the romance is a little unhealthy. A third into the book, Katie states, "It still frightened me, what Tomohiro might be capable of." She's scared of him, yet she will not stop hanging out with him. Just a little bit later, she thinks, "Attacking a friend with a blade? That wasn't my Tomohiro." Now, of course Tomohiro is not truly as dangerous as he seems at first. He does end up turning into an interesting, complex character. But, I was troubled by the fact that Katie still tries to pursue a romance with him when she's afraid of what he could do.

Still, Ink is not a completely bad read. I really loved the mythology and the way magic is portrayed in this book. This is definitely the most original aspect of the book. The mythology is unlike anything I've ever read about. Very cool stuff. And the fact that it's set in Japan is really interesting, too. The author does a great job mixing in Japanese customs and words.
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