We’re excited to be part of the INK AND ASHES blog tour. The more I read about Valynne’s journey to write and get INK AND ASHES published, the more I wanted to read it. I love that she reportedly wrote INK AND ASHES for her sister Ashley “so she’d have a Japanese American protagonist to read about. She wanted her sister to feel she was important enough to be represented in the books she read.”
As the mother of half-Asian children and a team member at We Need Diverse Books, I’m very interested in YA books that explore Asian (whether full or hapa) culture, so I am thrilled to recommend INK AND ASHES to anyone looking for an action-packed story with a fascinating female heroine. But don’t just take it from me, below you’ll find a review from our teen contributor Meghan, who loved the book.
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.
Teen reviewer Meghan grades the book an A: INK AND ASHES is a really interesting book. The storyline has intriguing sub plots that all connect together in the end, making it a worthwhile read. The mystery is an important part of the book, but it doesn’t take over every page. The characters all have time to develop which make them relatable. There are athletes, social butterflies, and awkward nerds which makes the book appealing to many groups of people. I don’t usually love romance novels, but the couple in this book is presented in a way that is cute and not over the top. I would recommend this to anyone who likes surprises and good writing.