Full review at Fire and Ice http://fireandicephoto.blogspot.com/2013/07/ya-content-review-ink-by-amanda-sun.html
I first spotted this book on Netgalley and LOVED the cover as my grandmother is a Japanese watercolor painter, plus I spent a summer in Japan. But I figured I would hold off until BEA to get a paper version and see if there were other illustrations inside. (There are a few illustrations inside, but they were not at all like the cover and very elementary)
I finished out my only day there and didn't see a copy. Then Katie from Katie's Book Blog reached into her bad as we were waiting for the shuttle and pulled out a copy "Would you be interested in a copy INK?" Can you say serendipity? Thanks Katie!
What drew me to Ink? The multi sensory writing that immerses you in the art, culture and nature of Japan. Since I lived in a Shinto shrine I found the premise fascinating, but I wish it would have been expanded on much, much more.
The mythology of a Kami, a Japanese God that can make drawings come to life and the girl who makes the ink more powerful by her presence.
The Japanese language used throughout the entire book which drew me back there and was authentic., However, at times it was heavy haded and would be a huge turnoff for a reader not at all familiar with Japan. Use the glossary in the back of the book! I had no idea it was there until I was all done reading.
The characters are very multi faceted and well written. There are some magical scenes when you can just see it all coming to life. I think fans of Manga/ Japanese illustrated novels will like Ink.
What I struggled with? The main character Tomohiro, kendo star and bad boy with a reputation. He keeps doing things that are down right jerky. I keep thinking the relationship he has with Katie will tip his behavior to the plus side and he will become more caring. Doesn't happen! Even at the end of the book and character arc, I want her to stay FAR FAR away from him. Why, oh why do you see and hear him doing scary things and you keep following him?!
Katie, main heroine is drawn to Tomohiro and ditches her good friends to be with him even though there are so many red flags. She starts breaking rules and lying to her aunt and guardian, then comes back to him repeatedly when he himself warns her to stay away.
Content wise there is a lot of swearing, pretty serious violence including sword and guns, teenage pregnancy, a couple sleepover without parents, mention of a love hotel and a dark overall feel.
Would I buy it? No, this is a check it out from the library or borrow it kind of book because as you read the reviews they are very polarized... you will either love it or hate it.