I loved this. It was beautiful. The beginning worried me, why are you doing this Katie, he’s trouble, Katie! But I quickly understood.
I loved the mix of ancient Japanese gods, the harmonizing and clashing of cultures, and real urban adventure in this book.
At times, it read like a painting, full of fluid color. At other times, I almost felt like I was reading a text version of a manga, so punchy and full of drama. Everything was lovely.
However, that all being said, it was very generic in it’s basic plot. Ordinary girl is maybe not so ordinary, she falls for the bad boy who is definitely not ordinary, her friends are annoying etc etc.
I know on goodreads the readers think this is somehow a disservice for what the story could have been. What I think this generic plot did was serve to bring YA readers a bit outside their comfort zone.
Unloading Japanese mythology and Yakuza and a completely different culture on teens through literature is a wonderful way to do it, but how do you get them to take the bait? You tie in elements of what they already love through tried and true methods and give them something more, teach them about culture. The story is extraordinary when you think about how seamlessly stitched the two worlds were.
I think this book was engaging, beautifully written, and well designed.
Please pick up this book!