August 22, 2014

DNF: Ink by Amanda Sun

Ink by Amanda Sun
Series: Paper Gods #1
Source: Gifted to me by Megs <3
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 25th, 2013
Age Genre: Young Adult
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.
I know Megs doesn't do DNF reviews, but I do, when I feel like I need (and can) explain why I didn't finish a book.
On the surface, Ink is the perfect book for me. It's in Japan, a place I love and dream to visit. It's anime-ish, and I love anime. And to top it all, it's fantasy. A fantasy, anime-ish story set in Japan? Sign me up! 

Or maybe not. Because I just couldn't finish this book. At page 97, after 97 pages of pure frustration, I decided to call it quits, which I don't normally do. But from page one, more or less, I was considering putting this book down. 

From the start, I saw I didn't like how Japan was portrayed in this book. It just... didn't feel authentic, you know? It felt like what someone like me, who loves Japan and anime but doesn't really understand it might write. It didn't feel real. It felt like it was trying too hard to grasp Japan.

The writing itself wasn't a favorite, either. I felt like there were over descriptions, like that delicate balance between too much and too little hasn't yet been mastered (but it is hard). Then there was the trying to intricate Japanese words into the story. It just wasn't well done. A Japanese person doesn't say Ketai Phone. It's like saying Cell Phone Phone. Ketai is, on itself, "cell phone". There were other examples where I felt the usage was wrong, even if slightly. 
(And I'd just like to point out I may be the one in the wrong, as my knowledge comes from watching and listening to anime, but it still ended up bothering me, the individual)

Now, I will backtrack a bit. This writing may be intentional. The main character is an outsider. She may make these mistakes, be slightly off. And if that was all that bothered me with this book, I would've overlooked it, but it wasn't.

First, there was Katie herself. Even 100 pages into the story, I couldn't pin her down. I didn't know her. And when you don't have the slightest idea about a character even 100 pages later, it means something.

Then there was the "romance". Pfft. More like "worst case of insta love eveeeer". She's thinking of Tomohiro, and how pretty he is, and "understanding" him, when she's had maybe one decent conversation with the guy, and the other encounters were mostly compiled of grunts and looks (which, by the way, I don't believe you can glean that much from a look when you don't know the person...) and him being mostly a jerk.

In fact, it was Katie thinking "The wildness of it drove fear into my heart, as if I didn't really know him at all--and maybe I didn't" that convinced me to drop this book. No shit, Sherlock? You might not know him? what DO you know about the guy? I could sum it in three sentences, and most of it ain't good. Did you think you know him? The guy you truly spoke with twice, who spends his time trying to intimidate you and--according to you--blowing up you pens?!

Give. Me. A Break.

I'm so done with insta love it ain't even funny, and I'm not suffering through yet another book with it for anything, especially one that hasn't impressed me in any other way either. Sign me out.



  1. Well,I read this book last year,and though I don't remember much,I remember enjoying it.I liked the aspect of art in the book.
    But still I can agree with some of your thoughts.The insta-love bothered me too.

  2. Well, I admit by the time I stopped there still hasn't been much art. The pictures there were were pretty and all, but not much of the actual art. Which is another point I didn't mention in the book - it takes AGES for it to go anywhere...

    Insta love is insta NOT for me...
    Thanks for reading and commenting Mish! <3

  3. Hahahaha! Is it wrong that I love it when people go off on books they don't like? Because I do. Especially this rant. I won a copy of this book and it's just been sitting on my shelf ever since collecting dust. I keep telling myself I should give it a try, but I never really felt much draw to it. Originally I thought the premise was really cool, but then once I read a few reviews (negative ones, mostly) I just wasn't very enthusiastic. Now if I do read it I'll be wondering the whole time whether the culture is being depicted correctly. (Actually, I do that a lot with books, so I probably would have been doing that anyway!) Anyway, love the rant, but sorry this one wasn't as good as you were hoping it would be, Nitzan!

  4. Yeah, the book was pretty slow.It was a bit annoying.
    I think the main reason why I enjoyed the book was because I was quite fascinated with the art, japan and mystic quality it had.

    Insta love is really stupid.It's not realistic at all.I love my books with slow burning romance with a lot of tension and anticipation.

  5. Well I definitely didn't connect with Katie either

    But I liked this book and finished it

    GREAT DNF review :P

    Your reader,


  6. I'm really glad you liked the book! It's always better to enjoy what you read, after all :)
    And thank you!