Review: Ink (Paper Gods #1) by Amanda Sun

 Publishers: Harlequin Teen
Published Date:  June 25th 2013
My rating:
4.5 out of 5


I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.

Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.

A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.

And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.

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


It always feels new and exciting when you read a new twist on the paranormal phenomenon that hasn't been used before. 
While Ink is a school based story, the entire setting of Japan with its traditions, ceremonies and even the language was such a refreshing change and, being a lover of all worldwide historical lore, this was a perfect read. 
Katie is our blond haired American at a Japanese school. Her mother passed away recently and she's now living with her (very cool) Aunt Diane. Things start getting weird almost the minute you start reading Ink. Through Katie, we enter a break up scene between a guy and a girl. But Katie can tell somethings off about it. The guy is trying to make his girlfriend jealous but it doesn't come across as quite so real. When a sheet of paper falls at her feet, Katie is compelled to pick it up and view the drawing. But what she see's she can scarcely believe, the drawing of a pregnant girl moves. The girl actually moves her head and looks back at Katie. 
From here on in, Katie is determined to find out what Yuu Tomohiro's secret is. He comes across as cold, rude and clearly hates Gaijin (foreigners) but a chance meeting makes Katie believe its all an act.  
Katie starts falling into Tomo's world and slowly learns his secrets and pretty soon she's in so deep she can't get out. And that goes for her heart too. The dangers of Yakuza (Japanese mobsters) crop up and threaten Tomo's life and who is Takahashi, the Kendo champion? How does Katie think she knows him? 
This is one thrill of a ride book which has us journeying around Shizouka, old and new, and discovering what the actual life of teenage kids in Japan is all about (minus the Kami and all the weird stuff!). I found myself on Wikipedia (again) typing in place names, eager for pictures so I could place the various scenes. Katie and Tomo have a great relationship once they get all the early awkwardness out the way. Their banter is really great and Tomo is most definitely a new heartthrob of mine. The side characters of Yuki and Tanaka were also unique and different, but very likeable and good for Katie, keeping her grounded.

A definite favourite read of the year. And its all about the Ink. The only reasons I marked it down were a few too many pages about the pink blossom, and I still wasn't sure about Katie's link to the Kami in all of this, but other than that I loved it. Can't wait for the next one!

You can reach 
Amanda Sun here:


  1. I have an arc of this one and every time I read a review of it I get even more excited to read it. Great review, I can't wait to read this one especially since you feel its a new twist on paranormal. Great review!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

  2. Oh Kristin, read it! I loved it, its definitely different. And the whole Japanese way of life is really refreshing. Sometimes I get bored of reading about the usual school stories. :)


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