Ink by Amanda Sun
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Another in the "descendents of the gods" genre, this time set in Japan and the gods are Kami.
Katie has recently lost her mother (Dad doesn't seem to have been a part of their lives - but my guess is he'll play a role later in the series) and because her grandfather is receiving cancer treatment, she's moved to Japan to live with her aunt. Not only does she not really know her aunt, she doesn't know Japanese, Japanese culture or their educational system: it's a complete upheaval of her life. After two months she's starting to make a friend, Yuki, and understand the language (immersion will do that for you); then she overhears a very nasty breakup between Yuu Tomohiro and his girlfriend and sees something odd - the drawing he did is moving. Thus begins Katie's obsession with Tomo and their adventure(?) with his drawings and her affinity for the ink.
There's plenty here about Japan, but in many ways there was not enough. When Katie and Yuki go to visit Yuki's brother, a caretaker/webmaster for a shrine, there was some discussion about Kami but not enough for anyone who is coming to this from a position of complete ignorance. Ditto Japanese history. It was also a little strange to me that Katie would have a cell phone and computer, but no friends in America with whom to interact (I don't mean "Americans in Japan", I mean "people she left behind when she moved"), because she doesn't seem to be the loner/loser type.
ARC provided by publisher.