Series: Paper Gods Book One
Author: Amanda Sun
Publication Date: June 25, 2013
I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.
Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.
A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.
And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.
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.
A copy was provided through NetGalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review
When I first read the blurb for this book I thought 'Awesome!' It's a premise that hasn't really been explored and I was all eager to get started. Then I started seeing quite a few reviews on the negative side and started getting a bit disheartened, but I decided to just read for myself and find out. I'm glad to say that I actually did enjoy this book :)
At first I wasn't very keen about Katie. The way she responded to Diana, made me want to slap her sometimes. She would come across as such a sullen teenager towards her all the time that it was grating on my nerves. My problem wasn't just that, though, it was that she acted like that only with her as if to ascertain that she was indeed a teenager therefore has to be a b**tch towards the only parental figure she has. The rest of the time she acted perfectly alright. Good thing there was some character growth and she stopped being so rude to Diana and treated her with the respect that she deserved. Another thing was I never really understood why she had to keep her relationship with Tomohiro a secret from Diana. I get why to her friends, which found out pretty quickly anyway, but why Diana? It's not like she would have known his reputation unless she explicitly told her, and Diana already thought she was going out with someone...so I didn't get it.
There was also an issue with the pacing. At the start it dragged some but once it hit that halfway mark it really got going. The first half of the book was all really about the romance. The budding relationship between Tomohiro and Katie, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy reading about it. It was just so sweet and goofy that I had a silly grin pasted on my face half the time. Katie did come off as a bit of a stalker but honestly I kinda would have done the same. There was weird crap going on and it was all linked to him so I found it understandable. She was proactive. I liked that about her.
The second half was when the action part really started making an appearance and it came just at the right time, cause as much as I liked seeing their relationship develop it was getting a bit boring by then. We start seeing more of Tomo's powers, some answers about the Kami and a bit about their history as well as a hint about Katie's roll in this whole thing, and we are also introduced to the major sides in the conflict. On one side we have the Yakuza who are obviously the villains, and on the other we have the Kami who technically speaking should be the good guys, but as Katie pointed out, they are just like the Yakuza only with a different reasoning but same means. I really liked that for once there truly isn't a clear cut good guy or bad guy. They both want to use Tomo and by association Katie and they are both willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. I can't wait to find out how the couple is going to handle both of these threats, not to mention Katie's involvement and Tomo's out of control powers.
So, sure we don't get nearly enough answers to really satisfy me, but it's a series so I'll let that one go. I loved the sprinkle of Japanese words thrown throughout the conversation (and they were translated right after like it should be) and the details that came with the Japanese culture. All in all this was a solid start to the series and I'm looking forward to the next one.