Notice for Review Requests

I receive review requests weekly. However, my personal schedule is hectic and I no longer review actively. (I also manage another blog called The Toronto Cafe and Food Blog). I do read every request sent but I apologize in advance that I do not reply to them all.

If I do take on a request, I will forewarn that it may take some time before I can review it. I am now looking to review adult fiction and self-help books instead of young adult fiction because I have grown out of it. If you are to request a review for either adult fiction or self-help, I will more likely to give it a shot.

In the meantime, Stop, Drop, and Read! serves as an archive book review blog. When I have the time, I may post a review. Thank you for understanding.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ink by Amanda Sun

Title: Ink
Author: Amanda Sun
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 384
My Rating: 2/5

Katie moves to Japan after the death of her mother to live with her aunt. It isn't easy to adapt to a whole new culture and picking up on a foreign language, but Katie manages to make it work. Everything changes when she interacts with Tomohiro, a classmate who at first just appears to be one big jerk. However, she can't help but try to learn more about him. When she does, she gets pulled into a world of danger and magic.

The reason that I picked up this novel to read was because it appealed to the manga lover within me. Being based in Japan and having Japanese mythical creatures made me curious how it would turn out in novel form. Having been an active manga reader and reviewer, as well as an anime watcher, I have seen my fair share of spins on kamis (ancient Japanese beings that once ruled Japan). However, having to no longer read as actively anymore, I've become a lot more picky. Ink fell short of my expectations. 

In the beginning, I found Katie to be an extremely nosy character. She really had no business to bother or follow Tomohiro. When it comes to mangas or novels, it doesn't seem as bad. Though if it was in real life, having someone following you secretly because they think you are hiding something is invading your personal privacy. Following Tomohiro and then accusing him was a bit much for me. Tomohiro wasn't much better. He had on his bipolar personalities, cold one moment to a girl and then sweet to an elderly lady the next. I understand what the author was trying to do but it had been done many times over. He really fell into that typical cliche of a male lead: a mysterious, good-looking jerk who becomes tender and protective once he meets "the girl". Both of the characters toned down once the novel progresses, but it was hard to personally keep me interested. 

The plot had potential, but I didn't like it because asides from the cliches itself, the writing did not capture my attention. I believe I started the novel sometime back in February or March, I cannot recall. It took me some time to pick it up and finished it. I know if this was in manga format, it would've been a lot more interesting. The only thing I feel that sets this novel apart is the use of Japanese kamis, since not many young adult novels reach into the Asian myths. I do like however though, is that the series incorporate some art as well as definitions for the Japanese words used.

Review copy provided by Harlequin Teen.