An American girl falls in love with a being from Japanese mythology.
Orphaned Katie Greene’s custodial grandfather is battling cancer, so she’s sent to live with her aunt, Diane, in Japan. At school there, Katie witnesses the handsome kendo star, Yuu Tomohiro, coldly dumping his girlfriend—and more importantly, Katie glimpses a drawing he did moving by itself. Tomohiro’s a familiar romantic hero, broody and mysterious while hiding a good heart under a rough exterior, as does his best friend, who immediately dislikes Katie and who has connections to the Yakuza, or Japanese organized crime. The boys’ friendship is surprisingly well-developed, especially considering Katie’s bland relationships. Katie focuses on following Tomohiro and delving into his mysteries—the dark rumors about his past and why his drawings move. She breaks through his tough exterior and learns he’s a Kami, a Shinto god, and that he has trouble controlling his drawings, which not only come to life on the paper, but can leap off of it as well. He has even more trouble when Katie is near, causing danger for them both from multiple sources. The text is peppered with Japanese words and phrases (defined in a glossary), the effective setting echoing Katie’s immersion into Japanese culture. Interior spotlight art illustrates Tomohiro’s drawings and features a couple of small flip animations. The ending leaves many mysteries unanswered, predictably setting up a sequel.
For readers wanting a multicultural version of a familiar romantic storyline. (Paranormal romance. 12-17)