Author: Amanda Sun
Release Date: 24th June 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Find on: Goodreads, Amazon
Quick Review: American Katie Green has decided to stay in Japan. She's started to build a life in the city of Shizuoka, and she can't imagine leaving behind her friends, her aunt and especially Tomohiro, the guy she's fallen in love with. But her return is not as simple as she thought. She's flunking out of Japanese school and committing cultural faux pas wherever she goes. Tomohiro is also struggling—as a Kami, his connection to the ancient gods of Japan and his power to bring drawings to life have begun to spiral out of control.
When Tomo decides to stop drawing, the ink finds other ways to seep into his life—blackouts, threatening messages and the appearance of unexplained sketches. Unsure how to help Tomo, Katie turns to an unexpected source for help—Jun, her former friend and a Kami with an agenda of his own. But is Jun really the ally he claims to be? In order to save themselves, Katie and Tomohiro must unravel the truth about Tomo's dark ancestry, as well as Katie's, and confront one of the darkest gods in Japanese legend.
Detailed Review: I have that urge to re-read this book again. And I just finished reading it a few hours ago.
Have you ever had a book that made a huge impact on you and you can's stop thinking about it? Rain was one of these books.
The characters themselves, the culture, the story, the setting. Everything begs to be re-lived again. And it was so hard to move on from Rain.
Maybe it was the characters, the romance between Tomo and Katie. I couldn't help but shiver most of the time when Tomo and Katie were together. And there was just that one time when I felt my heart break into two when they were almost torn from each other.
Katie is one of the best heroines out there, living out of her comfort zone, and not backing down even when she's scared. She has a fighting spirit. And that's what kept her alive throughout the book. Not only does she have Tomo and his powers to worry about, she has to worry about being sent to international school as her vocabulary didn't meet expectations. But still, she worked hard and did everything she could to solve the problems.
Rain had the best character development, especially for Jun and Shiori. In this book, you see Jun's true colours when he loses control of his powers and reveals who he truly is. Shiori showed a huge change of character. We get to know her more in Rain as she starts making more appearances in the book. There's more to her soft and delicate appearance than she lets on. To be honest, I disliked her in this book (she was so MEAN to Katie I felt like killing her, and there was just one part where I got a feeling of satisfaction because she honestly deserved it).
Maybe it was the rich culture that pulled me in. I love Japan. I've been there twice and I loved it there. Japan is everything from fun to amazing to heaven. Reading Ink right before jumping into Rain only immersed me deeper into Japan's rich tradition and mythology. This book may even be one of the factors that make me love Japan even more. Besides, you get to learn Japanese while reading Rain. Kendo also makes my heart pound and blood heat because even when it doesn't seem like it, it plays a huge part in this book.
Maybe it was the story itself. It was made of so many layers. The top layer covered many more layers underneath, mostly secrets. Secrets about Jun's past and his true identity. Secrets about Tomo's loss of control over his powers. Secrets about Katie's ink. And you wouldn't want to miss a single thing about them.
But overall, I loved Rain as much as I loved Ink. It's definitely a great read if you want to read books in a different setting and culture. We read diverse books, right?
Brief Review: Amanda Sun, you are an amazing writer and storyteller. You have left a huge impact on me with your words and I can't begin to express my love for you for writing Rain. I can't tell you how often I think of Japan now after reading your book. Well-developed characters, complex storyline, a beautiful country with a rich culture is what makes this book as good as it was. I couldn't have asked for a better sequel to such an awesome book.