Saturday 12 July 2014

Rain by Amanda Sun Review!

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Title: Rain
Series: Paper Gods #2
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: June 24th
Source: ARC received from publisher in exchange for honest review

American Katie Green has decided to stay in Japan. She's started to build a life in the city of Shizuoka, and she can't imagine leaving behind her friends, her aunt and especially Tomohiro, the guy she's fallen in love with. But her return is not as simple as she thought. She's flunking out of Japanese school and committing cultural faux pas wherever she goes. Tomohiro is also struggling—as a Kami, his connection to the ancient gods of Japan and his power to bring drawings to life have begun to spiral out of control.

When Tomo decides to stop drawing, the ink finds other ways to seep into his life—blackouts, threatening messages and the appearance of unexplained sketches. Unsure how to help Tomo, Katie turns to an unexpected source for help—Jun, her former friend and a Kami with an agenda of his own. But is Jun really the ally he claims to be? In order to save themselves, Katie and Tomohiro must unravel the truth about Tomo's dark ancestry, as well as Katie's, and confront one of the darkest gods in Japanese legend.

Julies Thoughts : 

Let me just begin by saying I LOVED Amanda Sun’s Ink, and so I could. Not. Wait. To dive into Rain. To begin, I was smiling and happy when we get sucked straight back into Katie’s life, and more so when she meets back up with Tomohiro and he’s concernedly happy that she didn’t leave for her grandparents after all. I also loved how easy it was to slip back into seeing all of the Japanese language. One of the great things about my Rain ARC was that EVERY SINGLE JAPANESE WORD is lInked to a description of it, so whenever I came across a word I didn’t understand, I just had to ‘click’ hop over, read the English translation, and ‘click’ hop back.

In Ink, one of my most favourite parts of the book was the educational and enlightening side of learning about a different culture. Next to that was learning about the Japanese mythology side of the tale, because it made such a change from all of the Greek mythology currently about. Whilst the cultural side of the series wasn’t so much in the forefront this time, although it was certainly adhered to and still present enough to keep me happy, the mythology seemed to take a step up. We learn a lot more in Rain about how Katie ties into it all, about why she affects the Ink, and it also ties in with Jun’s interest in her.

Because, yup, Jun is all over Katie in Rain. And this has both its upsides and its downsides. Upsides, because it fits, because there is background there to highlight his behaviour toward Katie. Downsides because, as with all good love triangles, Katie is too dumb to see his ulterior motives and manipulations for what they are. Katie being Katie only wants to believe the best of Jun, and so gives him the benefit of the doubt. However, when she begins questioning her own ‘attraction’ toward Jun, and even allows Jun to take advantage of that, then I’m going to start questioning the solidity of her feelings toward Tomohiro—which is who I want this to be all about, no matter how rocky the road may be for them. In Ink, the connection between Tomo and Katie, and the way Tomo fought his attraction to protect Katie, watching them overcome that—it’s often the romance in a book that keeps me reading, and I was no different when reading Ink. However, in Rain, the romance aspect between Tomo and Katie seemed overshadowed by her antics and discretions and disloyalty where Jun stepped into the mix. That being said, it’s an irk I had to deal with, because, as already mentioned, it kind of tied into the bigger scheme of things.

However, another aspect that was thrown in here was Tomo’s pregnant friend with a crush on him. Whist I didn’t mind her outright feelings toward him—especially as in the opening of the book, she believed Katie was out of the picture and that she had Tomo all to herself again—and I didn’t mind her behaviour toward Katie because, let’s face it, girls are bitchy when there’s a guy they want at stake, and whilst I was even willing to ignore how irritating the irritants presence in the story is … I just can’t ignore the almost unnecessary meddling she did toward the end of the book. I won’t state what it is—if folk read, they’ll know when they get there—but I will state that it felt a) a little forced, and b) totally unneeded for the plot to continue going where it needed to go. In short, this could have been lost, I’d have been less irritated, and the outcome would still have been the same without a glitch to the story’s stride.

Now, before anyone jumps to the conclusion that I didn’t enjoy this very much, hold your horses. Because, although I’ll admit this didn’t floor me with its beauty and wowness like Ink did, there’s no denying that Rain is a great addition to this series all the same. It’s just that there were issues I felt could have been smoothed over better (or lost completely), and that would have put this one on the same level as the first book. And I also feel it would be unjust of me if I didn’t mention how much I love the Amanda Sun’s writing. Her descriptions are just the right amount of ooooh and just the right amount of aaaaah, and I adore how vivid a picture of Japan and the way of life there she paints in my mind. I love the journey she takes me on. I flipping love that I leave my living room for a while and become transplanted in a strange and foreign land yet feel totally at home. And I can’t wait to revisit when the next instalment arrives.

If you haven’t already tried this great series, you totally should.


  1. I think I'll have to add Ink to my TBR list. You made it sounds so good! I know a bit about Japan already, so it will be nice to expand my knowledge. Sounds like a good and unique book. Thanks for the nice review. :)

    1. It does sound like an awesome series! I've never read any books about Japan.