Author: Amanda Sun
Series: Paper Gods #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication date: July 2013
Genre: YA | Fantasy
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.
Well this book certainly took me completely by surprise. For everybody complaining about the lack of originality in the YA genre, you only have to look to this book to satisfy your need for something unique.
What I loved most about this read was the fact that the Japanese mythology and culture aspects of the read were completely new to me. It made the read one of the more compelling ones I've read in a while. I also adored the illustrations spread throughout the book just to add to the idea of one of the character's bringing his drawings to life. Wonderful additions to a reader's experience.
I also warmed immediately to all of the characters. I sympathised with Katie - she felt alone in a new country, speaking a new language and making entirely new friends at a new school. Tomo was a different story but he was the kind of character you only really start to understand towards the end of the book.
One criticism I do have is that I found the book to be incredibly slow going at times. I really wished the characters would just blurt it all out sooner so the plot could move itself along. Even when there was a little action it seemed to be over far too soon for it to be exciting or surprising.
Overall this was definitely one of the more original YA reads I've come across and for that reason I would encourage every fan of YA to give it a go.
My rating: 7/10