Rain by Amanda Sun

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Rain by Amanda Sun

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 24, 2014
Pages: 304
Source: Purchased
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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. --Goodreads
In Ink, the first of the Paper Gods series, Katie chose to stay in Japan.  She felt a connection there that she would not feel anywhere else.  However, her decision to stay may have not been the wisest one.  Ink no longer stays on the page, seeming to have a mind of its own when it starts raining, bleeding, and biting ink.  Katie and Tomohiro need to figure out how to stop the ink from destroying them and their relationship.

Rain is the sequel to the fantastic book, Ink.  With sequels, most readers shy away from reading them right away because expectations fly high.  Most sequels are known to be letdowns—not as good as the first.  However, Rain is definitely not one of those sequels.  It does not suffer from sequel syndrome. 

Amanda Sun is able to bring the intricacies of what comes with a traveler in a foreign country.  She tackles issues like understanding another culture’s language, as well as its traditions.  As foreign as Japan’s culture may be to some readers, she makes the characters quite relatable in discussing issues like bullying, jealousy, and more. 

Unfortunately, not all of the characters win your heart.  Even in the first book, I felt it was difficult to warm up to the male lead, Tomohiro.  I constantly questioned the romance between Katie and him because something didn’t add up.  Why does Katie like him so much?  As much as their romance isn’t explained, except for the experiences they have shared, the two characters continue to be madly in love.  To be fair, Ink deserves a reread before any more judgment upon their relationship.  I just never found myself routing for Tomohiro.  Ever since the instance in Ink involving the love hotel occurred, Jun seemed like a much better candidate for Katie’s love interest.  In Rain, the certain love hotel scene [from Ink] is mentioned several times, brought up by Tomohiro, usually making some joke about “that one time” but I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it now.  I still haven’t gotten quite over it yet.  Despite my character preferences, I enjoyed reading Rain.

Amanda Sun certainly has a gorgeous series here that I wish was given more attention.  Not only is the premise captivating and beautiful, but Sun pairs the story with water paint sketches that take your breath away.  Also, it is set in Japan.  Think a culture seeping with beauty.  Think history that goes deeper than most realize.  Think awesome.

It is the perfect continuation to the series.  Rain is an extremely fast read, so fast that if you blink, you may miss the whole book.  Sadly, the book was over to0 quickly but I look forward to reading the next in the coming weeks. 

Ink (6/25/2013): 5 stars
Rain (6/24/2014): 4 stars
Storm (6/30/2015): TBA

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