4 star



Paper Gods #1

Amanda Sun

ISBN# 9780373210718

Author’s Website:

Brought to by guest reviewer Lynda 

inkKatie Greene does not want to be in Japan. Her mother is dead, isn’t that enough to completely shatter her world? Did she have to move to a place where she doesn’t speak the language and barely manages to avoid social faux pas as well? Instead of moving to Canada with her grandparents she’s stuck with her aunt Diane, an English teacher is Shizuoka Japan. Struggling with the language and the customs Katie forgets to switch her school slippers for her regular shoes after class one day, and thus her life is changed again. Because that’s when her path crosses with the mysterious (and gorgeous) Tomohiro, who is in the process of a pretty nasty break up. One that Katie is desperately trying not to be caught witnessing. Really all she wanted was her shoes. Instead she gets a sketch of Tomo’s, wrenched from his notebook by his now ex-girlfriend, that happens to move. A moving sketch tends to get one’s attention. The more Tomo tries to push her away the more determined she is to get to the bottom of things. But she’s not the only one who’s got their eye on Tomo and his abilities, if she’s not careful Katie will get both of them tangled up in worlds of trouble.

Are you intrigued? You should be. This was a great book. Amanda Sun draws on her own experience as an exchange student in Japan and the story is infused with a love of place that is palpable. I dare you to not want to visit Japan after reading this book. I double dare you.

Katie and Tomo really are the centerpiece of this novel and their easy give and take banter makes my heart smile. I’m a sucker for a good romance and in my mind the best romances involve characters that actually talk to each other. You can’t help but root for these two. And Sun brings so much more to these character’s than their relationship with each other. Obviously Katie, as the POV character is the most fleshed out. We’re right there in her head and her heart, and as she begins to fall in love with Japan, and develop a real sense of home, so do we. It’s really pretty cool when you start to recognize and understand some of the Japanese that’s spattered throughout the book (there is a dictionary in the back of the book, hyperlinked in the ebook) And even though Tomo is filtered through Katie’s observations we really get a good sense of him and his motivations. I am always impressed by this in an author. When we can get a great sense of a character other than the narrator in first person POV it is a thing of beauty.

Also there is magic. Well executed magic that is different and cool. Also, Tomo is dreamy. Don’t miss out on this really great read.