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Ink

Ink - Amanda Sun 2.5/5I received an eARC from Harlequin UK via NetGalley. Thank you!Originally published at Gypsy ReviewsInk was one of my most anticipated reads of the year but sadly it turned out to be a heavily romance-centric novel with an underwhelming plot and MCs that I found extremely hard to connect with. Despite the Japanese setting and getting to know much more about Japanese culture, Ink fails to deliver and becomes a prime example in ‘Do not judge a book by its cover’ because it is definitely not what you think it is.Katie was nothing I expected her to be, from the very start I was questioning her actions. It baffled me over how dogged her obsession with Tomohiro was, she was so adamant on trying to figure out what was going on with Tomo and for what reason? There was absolutely no reason behind it and you could say she was actually stalking him. Soon enough, it just comes down to Katie and Tomo and her friends are totally disregarded. Katie seems to settle into Japan very well and extremely fast, the transition wasn’t believable enough. I also didn’t find her getting over her mother’s death very convincing either, everything seemed all too fast to be believable and they were disregarded very quickly. It made Katie seem rather insensitive.Tomohiro is the typical bad boy who tries not to care too much and pushes Katie away, convinced that he’s bad for her but yet isn’t able to actually force her away because she keeps coming back to him. This brings me to questioning why Katie wants to be with him so much because she herself knows how much of a douchebag Tomo is but she keeps going back. Tomo didn’t annoy me as much as Katie did thankfully but their relationship did, especially over how instalovey it was.I was expecting a lot more fantasy from the plot but instead we got a very simple plot that was very much driven by the romance. I didn’t enjoy the story and was disappointed by the ending because it was predictable. I didn’t like the plot either and the antagonists, there was a lot of material that could have been used into the novel. I really detested the stereotypes in the novel, particularly how nearly every guy Katie met was cute and how she constantly ran into people she knew. I’m pretty sure that Shizuoka is quite big, it’s not THAT small of a world for Katie to keep bumping into the same people she knows.It was fascinating to read up more on Japanese culture and all the yummy foods, Ink definitely succeeded in the setting department because you can truly see that Sun has a good knowledge of Japan and puts that into good use by making everything as authentic as it can be. Reading Ink made me want to visit Japan and experience it all for myself. The reason why I gave Ink a 2.5 is because even after I finished reading the novel and wasn’t all that impressed by it, I still found myself thinking about Katie and Tomo days after I finished it. So it’s that impact that sort of wants me to check out the sequel at the library.Verdict: Borrow it if you must but you’re not exactly missing out on anything. The romance is very stereotypical. -----------------------2.5/5I really wanted to love this book, I really did but I couldn't connect to the two main characters' relationship because from the very beginning, I was uncomfortable and perplexed by Katie's 'dogged' obsession with finding out about what Tomo was up. I wanted to know why she was so curious. I am also not a big fan of 'coincidental bump-ins' where the MC bumps into people she knows everywhere she goes. I was also expecting a much different approach to the plot, I was pretty disappointed when we reached the climax. This is it? Was what I thought when I finished the book. -- Full review to come.