Liz* ~ Procrastinator Extraordinaire

Ink - Amanda Sun 2.5 Stars Highly anticipated but in the end it didn't work for me.--------As the first book of the Paper Gods series, Ink is the story of Katie, a young girl who's sent to Japan after her mother's death to live with her Aunt. She barely knows the country, customs, and language but soon enough she founds herself in the middle of an exciting mystery. Who is Tomohiro and what is he hiding? Why does his drawings move? Amanda Sun narrates a story about love, power and destiny introducing us in the Japanese culture and mythology.One of the things about this book is that there were times when I was loving it, and there were times when I just wanted to stop reading. I loved the writing and setting, Japan and its culture was one of the most interesting things about this book. It's obvious that Sun knows exactly what she's doing when it comes to it, she gave us a lot of manga/anime ingredients and some adorable moments like this:Then I chose a blue paper, dark enough that students would have to strain to read my words. I wrote in English to try to keep the wish to myself. I hope mom has found peace.[...]I stooped down and found mine quickly enough, the English writing standing out amid the blocky kanji. "Here it is," I said, reaching my hand out for the twirling paper. But there was a new scribble on it, not in my handwriting. I pulled the tag forward, squinting to read the faint reply to my wish. Mine, too. Katie's mom had died just a few months ago, so she was expected to be lost and sensitive. I tried to have this in mind while I was reading because there were moments when she behaved kinda stalkerish and obssesive. Katie was trying to fill the void left by her mother, instead she found a boy. Well, not the brightest decision. It seemed to me all Katie needed was stability and emotional support. However, her Aunt left her for a whole weak. And I felt that I wasn't alone, that Tomohiro and I were suddenly connected.That's what I call instalove, and I must say it was pretty annoying because even if after a few chapters they managed to have a real conversation and you could see an honest answer from Tomohiro, it was all based in a relationship that had started with a stalker and a "jerk". So, it was hard to feel connected with them from then on. The scenes were divided in Katie and Tomo, Katie thinking about Tomo and Katie talking about Tomo. Even on vacation she was just thinking about him.And now is when I say it: There were a lot of Twilight's elements. I know all YA have the same formula, but in this case I think there were some stuff I couldn't just ignore:* Self-pitying Hero: "I'm a monster, you shouldn't love me"* I Hurt You So I Won't Hurt You: Our hero being a jerk, pushing her off, in order to protect her.* Foolhardy Heroine: She knows being together is dangerous. She follows her heart, even if it means putting them both and their families in danger. (Their love is too precious)* Irrelevance of the second characters: Friends and family are in a second place always. They're just means to an end. After the introduction of Tomohiro, she instantaneity forgot them just to find them again at the end of the story.* It's all about you: He is all she thinks about. She is all he talks about.But not all is bad news, one of the most beautiful scenes was the Sakura festivities. I think I felt in love of Japan because of this book. I mean, look at this:is this real? OMG. I even told my mom to answer my keitai. I discovered kendo and a lot of impressive stuff about their customs. The art work is impressive. The cover is gorgeous. The mythology is intriguing. The writing is funny and light. Sun captivated some tender moments. So, all in all, it's not a bad story, but they've made really bad choices and I had to put up with some cliche stuff. Again, I had really high expectations about it. The first ten pages were awesome. The ending predictable and the villains not so scary.I'm definitely going to read the second installment of Paper Gods, and I'm looking forward to discover more of Amanda Sun's work.*An electronic ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. Thanks Harlequin Teen and Amanda Sun.*