“I made it halfway across the courtyard before I realised I was still wearing my school slippers. No lie. I had to turn around and slink all the back to the genkan, the stifled laughs from my classmates trailing me as I mustered what slippered dignity I could.
God, way to scream foreigner. You’d think after a couple of weeks I’d have the routine down, but no.”
Katie has been thrust into japanese culture head first, until a few weeks ago she didn’t know anything about the culture, didn’t know any of the language, hadn’t set foot on Japanese soil. But since her mothers death she has been in the custody of her Aunt Diane, an English teacher in Japan. Then Katie meets Tomohiro, a gorgeous, aloof artist who has a bad attitude and seems hell bent on scaring Katie away. But Katie doesn’t get the picture, following him around to try and understand exactly what it is about him that intrigues her so much and why exactly his drawings come alive whenever she is near.
I love Japanese culture, I even learned to speak the language a little whilst I was in college, there is no quicker way to make me want to read a book than to set it in Japan. Obviously, because of this, Ink was on my must read list long before it was close to release and it hit all the right spots when it came to the Japanese culture but unfortunately other bits fell a bit flat for me.
The story was incredible, I loved the idea of Katie’s displacement and how much that transition would be a shock to the system, I loved the mythology behind the Kami and Tomohiro’s drawings and I loved reading about the Japanese way of life. However I didn;t like the romance, it was very much insta-love and it bugged me a lot, I didn’t get the fact that Katie felt instantly attracted to Tomohiro, or why she would want to follow him. That aspect of the story was what felt off to me and I think thats what stopped me from loving this book.
Tomohiro really did come across as a scary, strange guy when we first meet him and because of this I couldn’t get on board with him the whole way through. The rumours about him and his choice of friends – as Ishikawa is an utter jerk – put me off him completely and I didn’t like the presumed love triangle between Tomohiro, Katie and Jun. Katie was an ok character but I didn’t really connect with her in the way I had hoped, this was the same with most of the characters to be honest and I thought there was more focus put onto the events of the story than the character building.
The writing was good and I really liked how it dipped flawlessly between english and japanese, I understood why this was done and was really happy thatthere was a glossary included in the book. I liked the way things flowed and thought that the dialogue was really well done in most of the book. The writing concerning the pictures coming to life was brilliant and helped me really picture what was happening.
Ink was a really good book. I’ll carry on the series but only because I want to know what is going to happen relating to the mythology and I need things answering. I didn’t connect to the characters and the insta-love thing bugged me but I am hoping that now that is over I will get to know them better and find that I do like them.
Ink will be published on July 6th by MiraInk. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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