Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: Ink (Amanda Sun)

Ink (Paper Gods, #1)
Title: Ink
Series: Paper Gods, Book 1
Author: Amanda Sun
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy
Told: First Person Singular (Katie), Past Tense
Content Rating: Older Teen (some strong language, violence, scary situations)
Format Read: ARC (trade)
Find On: Goodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository

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.

*          *          *
Three Words: Twilight in Japan.

Writing: An easy breeze of a read (thank goodness). The "translated" dialogue was well done, and typical Japanese things were well described without Americanizing them, leaving them familiar but still foreign. Loved the glossary in the back - while I recognized most of the Japanese words and phrases, it was nice to be able to double-check, and I learned a few things.

Setting: Japan, my favorite place on Earth. It felt authentic, and the descriptions were lush but not overbearing.

Story: A brilliant and original idea trapped in one of the worst obsessive romances I've ever read. Katie is a normal American girl forced to live in a foreign country after the sudden death of her mother. She has a hard time fitting in until she meets an immediately falls for Tomo, handsome kendo star and all-around jerk with a dark secret. She becomes instantly obsessed and stalks him until he reveals his secret power - and how she seems to bring out the worst in it. But this doesn't stop them from fighting against all odds to be together, even if her presence constantly puts them both in danger, not only from his power but from those who would wish to control them.

Overall, this felt like a badly done copy of Twilight. Girl falls for a boy who is drawn to her in dark ways but gives up all to be with him, even if it means her death. But where I think I felt there was a pretty good reason for Bella to be with Edward (although for the life of me I can't remember what it was right now), I did not feel that way with Katie and Tomo. At all. Her obsession with him felt completely unjustified and utterly idiotic - he was known for getting into fights, being associated with the wrong crowd, and he treated her horribly. I don't care if his sketch glared at her - this should've been another red flag, not permission to stalk him! I felt she deserved everything she got.

As for the plot, where this could've been about Katie's search for her connection to Tomo's power and her discovery of her own strength, it was simply about the romance. They did nothing to look for answers to their problems. Instead they stumbled about like bumbling idiots, pushing each other away as they held onto each other all the tighter, and then despairing that nothing could be done. As if answers were no longer available at libraries and shrines if only they actually tried to find them. Simply put, there really wasn't a plot - only the romance.

Characters: Katie might've had a personality, but I never saw it because she met romantic interest Tomo in the very first scene and from there became absolutely obsessed with him. After that, her whole life and mind couldn't fathom much of anything else but him. Every decision she made revolved around him, and even as he hurt her, body and soul, she only obsessed about him more. I don't care how many times she said she was doing something for herself - it was easy to see it was a complete and utter lie. Tomo was a jerk - a confused, tormented, and grief-stricken jerk, but a jerk nonetheless. He looked for easy answers to his problems (when he looked for answers at all), and folded under the slightest pressure. I found him to be a coward and an idiot, and if I'd cared for Katie at all I would've despaired.

Romantic Relationship: Sickening. Katie "meets" Tomo when he's breaking up with his girlfriend in the nastiest way, and instead of being repulsed, she falls for him. Seriously?? He proceeds to be mean to her, but she stalks him until he comes around. When it turns out that she's bad for him, and he'll probably end up killing her, this only draws them closer, and despite every instinct in her screaming to run away, she refuses to and buries the two of them deeper into the destructive soup. Not even Twilight was this bad.

Conclusion: If it hadn't been set in Japan (my obsession), I would've stopped around Page 90 and not lost a wink of sleep over the DNF. The setting was its only saving grace for me, as the story itself was sad and sickening. This original idea could've shone, but instead it was buried under an obsessive teen romance. While I love the setting, I see a New Moon scenario coming for Book 2, and absolutely refuse to subject myself to such torture.

For Fans Of: The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer (and only the hard-core ones)

Scribble Rating
2 of 5 Scribbles

No comments:

Post a Comment