Katie Greene is a gaijin, a tall, blonde outsider living in Japan with her expatriate aunt after her mother’s death. Everything feels wrong, and she can never seem to do the right thing, from remembering to take off her shoes when entering a building, to holding her chopsticks correctly, to packing her school lunches (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in a bentou box?). She can never remember the Japanese words for what she wants to say. And it seems she is never more awkward than when she is around Tomohiro, the aloof star of the kendo team.
But Katie isn’t imagining the strange things that occur around Tomo; when he is near, ink takes on a life of its own. Despite his efforts to keep everyone at arm’s length, Katie and Tomo become friends, and more. And the more they learn about Tomo’s powers, the more he exercises them, the more danger both of them are in.
This book will appeal to anime and manga fans, as well as Japanophiles. Katie’s gradual adaptation to Japanese culture is well-written and believable, and readers will find themselves adjusting their assumptions along with her.
Recommended for grades 8 and up: References to sexual relationships, but no “on-camera” sex.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the ARC of this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.
This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)