Monday, September 8, 2014

Review: Relax, I'm a Ninja (Natalie Whipple)

Relax, I'm a Ninja
Title: Relax, I'm a Ninja
Series: I'm a Ninja trilogy, Book 1
Author: Natalie Whipple (site)
Publisher: Whipple House (self-published)
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Supernatural Action
Told: First Person Singular (Tosh), Past Tense
Content Rating: Teen (sensuality, violence, fighting, a few words of language)
Format Read: Paperback (purchased)
Find On: Goodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository

A Clan of ninjas in San Francisco may sound improbable-but as the son of a ninja Master, Tosh Ito knows what lurks in the shadows of his city. Or at least he thought he did. When a killer with a poisoned blade starts cutting down teens, Tosh enlists Amy Sato-newest ninja recruit, and his best friend's crush-and sets out to uncover the killer's identity. What they find is ninjutsu more evil than they could have ever imagined. As Amy and Tosh grow closer, they discover their connection unleashes a legendary power that could stop the murders. Problem is, that power may be exactly what the killer is looking for, and wielding it could cost them their souls.

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Why I Read It: It's by Natalie. And about ninjas. Why would I not read it??

Three Words: Action. Romance. Ninjas.

Series: This is the first in the I'm A Ninja trilogy. While it concludes on a "this fight is definitely not over" note, it has a complete story arc and a tidy ending.

Writing: Natalie's signature easy writing and therefore easy reading style, which worked even better with the laid back male voice of Tosh. Well choreographed action, engaging description, smooth dialogue.

Setting: San Fran! I personally know nothing of the city other than it's ridiculously hilly, but it read very realistic and there was just enough of the setting weaved in to give a good atmosphere but not bog the story down in description.

Story: Fun and light despite all the fighting and stabbing and killing. It had a very manga flavor to it, which as a mangaholic I personally loved. There was a little bit of everything - action, romance, humor, school drama, friend drama, secret societies, high stakes, mad ninja skillz. It read like a breeze, even for a slow reader like me. The plot unfolded nicely and the mystery of the spy kept me guessing.

Characters: Tosh was the perfect balance of strength and insecurity - and a nerd to boot! He was a gentleman and a sweetie, and while he could be a bit of a clueless jerk at times it wasn't intentional and he always regretted it and tried to make amends. Nobody's perfect and he certainly wasn't and that made him realistic. Amy was a similar balance of strength and insecurity, but feminine. She was seriously strong and skilled, which made her damsel in distress moments feel a little odd - I would've preferred her to be more the curious than squeamish type. Still, she was certainly not squeamish when it counted, and made for a relatable character.  

Romantic Relationship: I really enjoyed that Tosh and Amy had problems even though they were soul mates. They were insecure about each other's feelings, they fought, but when they were together it was sweet and magical.

Conclusion: With its easy writing, adorable romance, and Japanese elements, Natalie might as well have written this book just for me. Highly recommend this and all of Natalie's books, and cannot wait for the sequel, Trust Me, I'm a Ninja!

For Fans Of: Manga/Anime, and Ninjas (of course)

Scribble Rating
5 of 5 Scribbles


  1. I have this waiting for me on my Nook! I've not read anything about ninjas before, so I'm looking forward to it.

  2. I've been wanting to read this one so I'm glad that you liked it so much!