Before I begin my review for Ink, I just wanted to let you know that I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I began this book. I had no idea how amazing the storyline or the characters would be! I had no clue just how big a decision Katie would have to make by the end of the story and what she finally decides to do.
Katie Green has recently lost her mother and, with it only weeks behind her, she is still dealing with the loss in every single aspect of her life. Many changes occur with the death of a parent, but with the death of Katie’s single mother, Katie’s life is completely shattered. Not only did she lose her mum, but also her closest friend. And as if things aren’t bad enough, Katie isn’t allowed to move in with her grandparents because of her grandfather’s health, and is instead shipped to live with her aunt in Japan.
Katie has never felt this uncomfortable. Japan is an entirely different world and Katie has been thrown right into the middle of it. She doesn’t speak the language, she doesn’t know how to eat with chopsticks, and she doesn’t like the food. At the beginning of the book, Katie is eating lunches of bento boxes stuffed with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Forgetting to take off her school slippers when leaving one day, Katie decides to head back into the building and change her shoes. Being warned that there is arguing and fighting going on in the hallway, Katie ignores the advice and goes in anyway, embarrassed to have left school with her indoor slippers on. On her way back in, Katie bumps into a couple arguing and tries her best to hide behind her locker, but it’s no use; Tomohiro has already seen her.
Katie can’t make out too much of what the two are arguing about, except that Tomohiro is a huge jerk who has gotten another girl pregnant. Knowing she should keep her distance from Tomohiro, Katie is intrigued by him and finds herself following him and always looking for him in the crowd.
He isn’t the usual bad boy type, but instead he’s completely strange. There’s something about him that Katie needs to figure out, but isn’t sure why. When she catches him standing in the doorway of her classroom, the drawings on her paper start to dance and the pen in her hand explodes. She knows she has to figure Tomo out, and she needs to do it now.
Tomo is somehow connected to the Kami, a group of gods who have the power of the ink, and it runs through their veins. Katie is somehow connected to the ink, but neither of the two know why or how. But is Katie willing to risk her life? Is she willing to stay in Japan, instead of moving in with her grandparents? All for this boy?
If you haven’t seen this cover in person, you need to check it out next time you’re in a book store. It’s magnificent and truly a piece of art!
One of my favorite things about Ink was that the Japanese language was incorporated into the story. I love books that do that! I have so much fun writing down and looking up what all these different words mean and how they are used. It makes the book feel authentic to me, as if I were there with Katie in Japan.
At the start of the book, I was a bit disappointed in the main character and worried that I wouldn’t like her very much. I didn’t understand what triggered her to follow Tomo’s every move, and even stalk him to see where he was going in his free time. All I could think is “This chick is crazy! She’s completely intoxicated by this guy who just cheated on his girlfriend, got another girl pregnant, and is known for getting into trouble. Why would she even bother?”
But her obsession was justified; Tomohiro wasn’t just any random “bad boy” and Katie wasn’t just any girl crushing on him. They were connected through the ink, and needed to find out why.
But once Katie overcame her lust or infatuation with Tomo, I saw a different side of her that I really liked, just as I did with Tomo too. He was known as a bad boy, but after truly getting to know him, it’s not true. He cares a lot about Katie, and is willing to push people away to keep them safe.
Not only did I begin to love Katie and Tomo, especially together, but also Katie’s two best friends, as well as her aunt. I felt that these three brought a bit of humour into the story, and that Katie’s aunt brought her down to earth and back to what’s going on in life: the death of her mother and the grief.
The only thing I thought was missing was her parent’s back story. What happened to her mum? Where is her dad? But I have high hopes that those questions will be answered in the second book.
Overall, Ink is beautifully written and filled with the Japanese language! This story made me laugh, made me cry, and made it almost impossible for me to lay the book down until I was finished…and even then it was hard!
If you get the chance to pick up Ink, I totally recommend it! The second book, Rain, is hitting the stores June 24.