I picked up this book after seeing someone put it on their favorite list for 2013. Science Fiction set in Japan with Ink gods, sounded like a good concept. After I purchased the book, I noticed the following two words: Harlequin TEEN. Unfortunately, it lived up to those words, ending up being a silly teenage romance novel. I give it 2 (of 5) stars.
Click on the book cover for a link to the Amazon site for this book.
Here’s a breakdown…
My book reviews are written as a discussion of a book, and not as an advertisement. Please be aware that there may be information that some would consider spoilers. Continue on at your own risk!
Katie Greene moves to Japan to live with her aunt in the wake of her mothers death. She falls in love with a boy who is ‘dangerous’, and he falls in love with her. He has some special power of being able to make his ink pictures come to life, and when she’s around he loses control.
Plot Score: 3/5
Katie-I couldn’t stand this character. She was alternatively a complete wimp and boldly in love. She was the type of character who freezes up when situations occur. The whole premise of her relationship starts when she watches him break up with another girl (who she knew he cared about). And she immediately starts following him around. Stalk much?
Tomohiro- Breaks up with one girl because he is too dangerous, and immediately starts seeing another girl.
Characters Score: 1/5
The setting for this book was Japan, and the author used a lot of Japanese words (all in a context where you could understand them). The description of the cherry blossoms sounded beautiful. The only other book I’ve read based in Japan (that I can remember) is Memoirs of a Geisha. That story really delves into the culture of that country in a way that this one does not.
World Building Score: 2/5
I thought there was a lot of inconsistency in the main character. If you read this book you will see lines like this:
“I saw it in your eyes, how you really felt”
“there’ll always be a hole in your heart. You don’t have to fill it”
“Tomohiro was drawn to me because I was weak”
The other issue I had with this story is how Katie doesn’t speak Japanese, and sometimes she will say that, and other times she follows and participates in complex conversations.
Skim reading? A lot of skim reading was required just to make it through
Style Score : 2/5
Life Lessons (fka Bigger Meaning)
Don’t read anything labeled Harlequin TEEN
Life Lessons Score: 0/5
– I finished this book a week ago and have forgotten it already
Total Score and Recommendation
8/25- I would recommend this for teen girls who are into this type of stuff