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.
*I received a free ARC of Rain from Harlequin Teen via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
Rain continues Katie’s adventures in Japan, even if she was supposed to go back to the US.
My Rain review:
Katie hasn’t really changed very much from the beginning of Ink, the first book in the Paper Gods series. And that is probably the main reason why I wasn’t completely immersed in the story, and in Japan. She is still drawn to both Jun and Tomo, and the problems with the ink going crazy continue as well. For the two weeks she’s been back in Japan, she hasn’t been able to get a hold of Tomo, but meets him by chance at a festival with fireworks, and then, they also run into Jun.
Rain doesn’t really bring much new information about the ink, and the gods that are trying to use those who can manipulate the ink. I did learn a lot more about why there seems to be some ink reactions inside of Katie, though, and I really enjoyed figuring that out with her and Jun. I would have liked it even more if I had felt the connection between Jun and Katie or Tomo and Katie more than I did, though. Especially because even after two books, I don’t really know these characters very well.
The descriptions of Japan make me want to travel, though, as do the different kinds of food Katie shares with various characters throughout Rain. Written in first person point of view from Katie’s side, everything that happens is colored by her experience, which is good – I’m just as much of an outsider in Japan and that mythology as Katie is.
Some of my favorite Rain quotes:
I grinned. “Is that display of manliness necessary?” “Very,” he said, stooping to lock the wheel to the rack. “Life is boring if you only do necessary things.”
There are friendships you know will last for the rest of your life. It was like Yuki and Tanaka and my life in Japan had always been waiting for me, like I was always meant to come here.
My hand slipped from his arm and I stared at him for a minute, watching him watch Tomo. Then he snapped out of it, giving me a lopsided grin, and a light smack on the shoulder as he walked away.