Ink and Ashes / Edition 1 available in Hardcover
Claire Takata has never known much about her father, who passed away ten years ago. But on the anniversary of his death, she finds a letter from her deceased father to her stepfather. Before now, Claire never had a reason to believe they even knew each other. Struggling to understand why her parents kept this surprising history hidden, Claire combs through anything that might give her information about her father . . . until she discovers that he was a member of the yakuza, a Japanese organized crime syndicate. The discovery opens a door that should have been left closed. The race to outrun her father’s legacy reveals secrets of his past that cast ominous shadows, threatening Claire, her friends and family, her newfound love, and ultimately her life. Winner of Tu Books’ New Visions Award, Ink and Ashes is a fascinating debut novel packed with romance, intrigue, and heart-stopping action.
About the Author
Valynne Maetanigrew up in Utah and obtained a Bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. In a former life, she was a project manager and developed educational software for children with learning disabilities. Her debut novel,Ink and Ashes, is the winner of the 2013 New Visions Award and a Junior Library Guild 2015 selection. Maetani is a member of the We Need Diverse Books team and is dedicated to promoting diversity in children's literature because all children should grow up believing their stories deserve to be told.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My Experience: I started reading Ink and Ashes on 6/28/17 and finished it on 7/7/17. This book is an excellent read! I love the Nancy Drew vibe where the main character goes snooping around, breaking into locks to seek for info, and always asking questions. I love the mystery and suspense. I love learning Japanese culture and Asian superstitions in this book. The characters and plot win my attention and keep me turning the pages. In this book, readers will follow the point of view of Claire Takata, an only girl who is never satisfied with the answers she received about her father and intended to dig as much info as she can including picking locks from her family’s drawers. She’s the middle sibling between an older brother Parker and a younger brother Avery. Their best friends are Forrest, Nicholas, and Fed who are neighbors next door and down the block. Nick and Parker are seniors, Forrest and Claire are juniors, and Fed and Avery are sophomores. Claire along with her brothers and guy friends are very close. They carpool together to school, have sleepovers, jujitsu training, and even have a group name for when they need to have a get together to discuss. Their teamwork mostly due to Claire’s theory that something is going on and she needs them to help either to distract her parents or someone so that she can sneak around to complete her tasks. This book started out with celebrating Claire’s father’s death almost a decade ago. The ceremony is very traditional with incense and prayers. Then Claire discovered a letter from her father written to her step Dad before his death. This occurrence started a chain of events where Claire does her detective work to uncover what’s going on. There are a lot involved in the plot, the most exciting is the Yakuza aka Japanese mafia. This book is very well written. I love following Claire’s train of thoughts. She’s careful, curious, and determine. I love the friendship. I love the humor. The romance is cute. I love how protective her step dad is and how protective her brothers and friends are to her. I like Claire’s family and how the guys often stayed over for dinner and how her dad helped to review Nicholas’ college applications. I like the self defense trainings. I couldn’t guess the outcome and I’m glad to read a mystery that is less dark and wicked than other books I have read. Overall, this book is a fantastic read and I highly recommend everyone to read it! Pro: family dynamic, friendship, Nancy Drew vibe, adrenaline rush, fast paced, page turner, Japanese culture, cover, humor, Con: none I rate it 5 stars! ***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Lee & Low Books for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest. xoxo, Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for a detailed review
This book has a great flow. It is quick-paced, suspenseful, a bit of romance and has a very unique storyline. It is so great t see the Japanese-American culture represented in a modern-day setting. It is a definite page turner and you will not be disappointed!!!