Saturday, December 2, 2017

Ink and Ashes

25569013Goodreads Synopsis:    Claire Takata has never known much about her father, who passed away when she was a little girl. But on the anniversary of his death, not long before her seventeenth birthday, she finds a mysterious letter from her deceased father, addressed to her stepfather. Claire never even knew that they had met.

Claire knows she should let it go, but she can’t shake the feeling that something’s been kept from her. In search of answers, Claire combs through anything that will give her information about her father . . . until she discovers he was a member of the yakuza, the Japanese mafia. The discovery opens a door that should have been left closed.

So begins the race to outrun his legacy as the secrets of her father’s past threaten Claire’s friends and family, newfound love, and ultimately her life. Ink and Ashes, winner of Tu Books’ New Visions Award, is a heart-stopping debut mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page.

My Thoughts:

-    I have to say, there is a big difference between an author who is Japanese and a Japanese enthusiast author. This book felt more real, and I appreciated the small things, like Claire enjoying seeing other Asians at school. I would have really liked that as a kid.

-    For a mystery, I felt like there wasn't enough suspense and tension. The story moved a little slow, and it spent a lot of time on every day things. I felt like some of the "clues" didn't lead anywhere. I really wanted the letter from Claire's dad to have a bigger part. 

-    There are a lot of kids in Claire's group, and I thought there were too many for a while, but towards the end of the book, I liked each character. 

-    I got tired of Claire blaming Chase for everything. He was a jerk! I get it! Move on!

-    I felt that Claire's letters to her dad weren't needed. I got enough of her personality and feelings from the story.

-    I really liked the relationship between Claire's group of friends. I like that her brothers were involved, and they all watched out for each other.

-    I liked who Claire hooks up with, but there was a too much focus on the romance for a little while, and way too much kissing. Good grief!

-    Overall, it was a good story, and I appreciated all the Japanese American culture. 


  1. I still need to read this one.

  2. I agree with you. There is a big different because an author who is that ethnicity vs. an author who is just way into that culture. You can still have both. But, it does feel more real and authentic. I know I couldn't have done the same kind of job Valynne did even though I <3 the Japanese culture.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the book even if you felt it had some issues. :) I loved the Japanese American culture. It was fun to read.

  3. This one has been on my TBR mountain chain for a long time. I need to get around to it sooner rather than later. Glad you enjoyed it!