Review: Ink by Amanda Sun

Author: Amanda Sun
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Age Group: Teen
Source: Netgalley
Good Reads  |  Amazon
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

On the heels of a family tragedy, Katie Greene must 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.

When Katie meets aloof but gorgeous Tomohiro, the star of the school’s kendo team, she is intrigued by him…and a little scared. His tough attitude seems meant to keep her at a distance, and when they’re near each other, strange things happen. Pens explode. Ink drips from nowhere. And unless Katie is seeing things, drawings come to life.

Somehow Tomo is connected to the Kami, powerful ancient beings who once ruled Japan-and as feelings develop between Katie and Tomo, things begin to spiral out of control. The wrong people are starting to ask questions, and if they discover the truth, no one will be safe.


2 out of 5

My Thoughts

You know when you hear about a book, and it sounds really fresh and awesome and you just know you’re gonna love that book?  Well, I felt that way about Ink when I first read the synopsis, but you guys, I’m sorry to say that I was totally let down by this book.  I actually considered DNFing this book.  I’ve never had a problem not finishing a book if I wasn’t into it, but I had read so much of it (more than 50%), so I felt like I need to finish it.  And I did, but I was less than satisified.  Ink is not fresh, it’s not really well-written, and the character development is sorely lacking.

Okay, so let’s talk characters first.  Our main character is Katie Greene, who’s moved from the U.S. to live with her aunt in Japan after her mother’s death.  Somehow, after only five or so months, she is able to pick up the Japanese language, which seems crazy to me.  But anyway, she accidently walks in (and kind of eavesdrops) on this senior boy, Tomohiro, breaking up with his then-girlfriend.  The whole break-up scene was kind of crazy, but whatever.  Tomo catches Katie, and some weird thing happens.  Katie is kind of afraid of Tomo, and Tomo is a total jerk, so . . . of course Katie develops a crush on him.  You know, because that’s the normal thing to do – develop crushes on scary boys that are jerks.

Of course, Katie is wondering about that weird stuff that she saw when she was eavesdropping, so she totally stalks Tomo.  I mean, it’s like crazy lady stalking.  Anyway, they talk, and then all of a sudden they are sort of together.  I just couldn’t understand why Katie liked Tomo.  The only thing they really seemed to have in common was that both their mothers had passed away.  And of course I can understand why they would want to be friends because that is not an experience that everyone can really relate to.  My problem is that Sun didn’t give us any other reason on why these two characters were attracted to each other.  There was lots of telling us that they loved each other, but not showing us.  Blah!

Oh my gosh, and the writing was not good.  There were so many Japanese words, that is would take me out of the story everytime I stumbled over the pronunciation.  I don’t mind when there are a few words in another language in a story.  It can often help create a certain kind of atmosphere.  But the words, in my opinion, should be carefully selected. This was just a flood, and I found it really frustrating.  It’s great that the author did all this research, but not everything needs to be included in your story.

And speaking of the writing – Amanda Sun must be obsessed with bangs, because both Tomo and Jun (another boy character) were always pushing their bangs behind their ears.  And of course, their hair would fall and cover their eyes again. Ugh!!  And can’t she come up with another word for bangs, if she’s going to use it so much – fringe, hair, whatever.  Not always bangs, bangs, bangs.

As for the plot.  Well, that was the best part, but it still wasn’t very good.  I loved the whole idea of Kami, but the execution of this story was poorly done.  It actually reminded me so much of Twilight, except instead of vampires, it was Kami.  And Twilight is a lot better.  I’m not a Twilight hater.  Not at all.  It’s not a favorite book, but I remember how I felt when I read that first book.  It grabbed you immediately, and sucked you in completely.  Well, it did for me, anyway.  Ink did not have that pull.  Not even close.  I will not be reading the second one.  If you decide to read Ink, I seriously recommend getting it from the library.  I would not fork over money for this one.

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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12 Responses to Review: Ink by Amanda Sun

  1. Aww I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy this one!

  2. Great review! I’m sorry you did not like the book. I’ve read many mixed reviews of this book, not sure anymore whether I should read it..

  3. Book Blather says:

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as you’d hoped. Hmmm I thought the word bangs went out in the 80s and instalove isn’t supposed to happen in YA aimed at an older audience. How disappointing.

  4. Great review! I got this off NetGalley so at least I didn’t pay money! I haven’t read it yet, but now I won’t be disapointed if I don’t like it 😛

    Charlie xx

  5. Oh no 😦
    I was really looking forward to this novel.

  6. Oh dear… I hate that you didn’t enjoy this one! I haven’t heard wonderful things about it, but I’ve got to read it this weekend. Fingers crossed maybe I’ll like it?

  7. Oh man! Major bummer! I think the synopsis makes it sound awesome and it’s super disappointing that it’s executed so poorly. After reading your review it sounds more like Amanda Sun attempted to write an anime in novel form, and it just didn’t really work (like with all of the “bangs” which would have worked visually).

  8. I’ve read more negative reviews. So disappointing! I won a copy of this book so I will be reading it, but I don’t expect much from it now. Lacking writing-style, stalking and strange romance.. not my thing, but we’ll see. Thanks for the honest review!


  9. Eeeep, I’m sorry you had to go through that whole experience but you’re definitely NOT the only one who’s been really let down by this one. I’ve seen so many bad reviews and I’m supposed to be reading this one soon myself…getting kind of scared now o.O Thanks for the honest & fair review though!!

  10. Lady G. says:

    On page 46 right now…I think I’ll finish it just to say I did. But if I had a dollar for every time I read that Tomohirio has BANGS and Copper hair, I’d rival Trump. Like every other young Japanese guy doesn’t have bangs? This is like a Manga with a white lead girl. Great premise, and idea. I enjoy the international aspect of it, fish-out-of-water, cross-culture, but so far I’m not that impressed. Not even when I’m supposed to be in awe because drawings are suddenly coming to life. There’s simply no thrills or chills (like when the snail grows sharp teeth.) Somehow I think this should have been written in third person.

Go ahead, make my day! No really, comments make my day! Let me know what you think.

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