Monday, September 28, 2015

Ink and Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani

Buy here*
Publication date: 2015
Publisher: Tu Books
Pages: 380
My rating: 3.5 stars
Ages: 14+

Claire has a trouble free life: parents who love her, two brothers, a life-long best friend, and a place on the soccer team. But everything changes when she finds a letter from her biological father to her stepdad. The letter hints at a much darker secret, and then someone starts targeting Claire using Japanese superstitions. Has her father's past come back to haunt her? And what connection did her fathers have to each other?

In her debut novel, Maetani uses her own childhood and history to create a mystery different from many others marketed to teens. She entwines Japanese traditions, culture, and superstitions with modern American teens.

Not knowing very much about Japanese/Japanese-American culture, I found the book pretty fascinating. Understand about the Japanese mafia and Japanese superstitions (like not passing food from your chopsticks to someone else's) was easy and never took away from the real story, which was the mystery of Claire's father's past and what it has to do with what is happening to her in the present. I also enjoyed that it was set in my home state, making certain things relatable and easy to envision. The mystery, I don't think, was simple to figure out-in fact, I had this dread that it was going to be one of the characters I liked.

Little to no language and no sexual situations.

*I do not receive compensation from Amazon.

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