Rain, the sequel to Ink, picks up approximately 2 weeks after "gaijin" Katie Greene decided against traveling to Canada where her grandparents live, to remain in Japan with her Aunt Diane, and to be with Yuu Tomohiro, a Kami descendant who is able to make ink come alive on paper, and who Katie has a major crush on.
Katie has a whole lot on her plate this time out. She's not exactly wowing her teachers at her school because she can't get the kanji correct, she continues to use the wrong pronunciations, and the possibility of Katie transferring to an International school is definitely on the horizon. Katie also finds herself the target of blackmail, and jealously, as well as hatred because of who she is with. Thankfully, she does have two really good friends in Yuki & Tanaka who seem intent on teaching the ignorant gaijin about their ways before she falls flat on her face.
There are also secrets about Katie's past (mother & father) that finally come into the light of day explaining why she and Tomo seem to be connected. I am happy that Amanda Sun gave readers the answer to the major question this time out, instead of waiting until the final book. It truly does explain why Katie seems to be so affected by the Ink, and why she's connected with Tomo. It will be interesting to see where Amanda takes Katie with her finale.
Meanwhile, Tomohiro is having is own issues. He's having nightmares, and losing control of the ink which puts Katie at risk from being hurt, or worse. Tomohiro is also a piece of the puzzle for Takahashi Jun who wants to use Tomo as a weapon against the Yakuza whom he blames for his own fathers death. I'm thankful that the author also digs deeper into the Kami history, and enlightens readers to the different elements and factors that play important roles in all of the characters actions.
I will try to remain calm and not go all snarkfest with my review. Rain is an interesting story. I won't complain about the setting, or the fact that Amanda uses a whole lot of Japanese terminology to tell her story. Luckily, you are able to turn to the back of the book, and get your answers to your questions on what exactly the characters are trying to say to each other. If you can't find a world that Amanda uses, try using a Japanese to English free translator like I did.
Yet, it has a bunch of other nonsense as well, including Katie being the villain to several girls who lust after Tomo and Jun, and blame her for almost everything that vindictive teenagers with severe angst do. Can you say soap opera for young adults? We continue to see the annoying 3 way love triangles in young adult novels even though I am not totally sure that was Amanda's intent. Since I loathe them as much as eating liver, in the end it does affect my overall rating, as well as the silliness of blackmailing someone you want to get rid of because you are perhaps a bit on the churlish side.
The final novel in the Paper Gods trilogy releases during the summer of 2015. Since I have read this far into the trilogy, there is no way I won't read the finale. I really want to see how Amanda handles Katie's connection to the ink. Although Katie is the protagonist of this trilogy, she is often times more of an observer than an actual participant. I really wish that would change. I wish she would finally take charge of her own actions, and stop allowing others to drag her behind them while she wags her tail.
Author - Amanda Sun
Title - Rain (Paper Gods # 2)
Published by Harlequin Teen
Released: June 24, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: Ebook 304 pages