Itterasshai: go (and come back) safely


Katie Greene’s life has been turned upside down. Her mom has died, her grandfather is battling cancer…and her next closest relative isn’t very close:  she’s in Japan. So Katie has packed up what is left of her life and started fresh in Shizuoka, Japan with her aunt, Diane, making her a gaijin, an outsider.


As if learning a new language (complete with nearly 2,000 different characters, or kanji, in their alphabet) and being the only blonde-haired Amerika-jin in her high school isn’t stressful enough, she catches she attention of Yuu Tomohiro, known for his cold attitude and violent tendancies. After witnessing his painful breakup (literally, since his ex-girlfriend punched him in the face), Katie gets the feeling that Yuu is hiding something. He’s not telling the truth about everything…and there’s something weird going on with his drawings…Katie could have sworn she saw them moving…


Amanda Sun’s Ink has a fairly conventional plot:  a new girl in a new place and the dangerously mysterious boy she can’t stop thinking about…but Ink picks up this familiar story and takes it down a less travelled road, a road lined with blooming cherry blossom trees, where Shinto gods are real and dragons come alive. And it’s only the first book in Sun’s The Paper Gods series. But before you start this journey, let me say, “Itterasshai.”