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Relax, I'm a Ninja

(Relax, I'm a Ninja #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  257 ratings  ·  68 reviews
A Clan of ninjas in San Francisco may sound improbable—but as the son of a ninja master, Tosh Ito knows what lurks in the shadows of his city. Or at least he thought he did.

When a killer with a poisoned blade starts cutting down teens, Tosh enlists Amy Sato—newest ninja recruit and his best friend’s crush—and sets out to uncover the killer’s identity. What they find is nin
Published June 3rd 2014 by Whipple House (first published April 29th 2014)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  257 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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Neil (or bleed)
Dec 26, 2013 rated it liked it
If you think this book has Naruto-like ninjutsus, taijutsus, genjutsus, etc., sorry it hasn't and probably will disappoint you (which was I actually quite felt). But if you are okay with typical or common ninja moves, there will be a chance that you will like it.

Actually, I liked the book even my expectations weren't met because there are elements and issues-- family issues, friendship, lies and secrets, betrayal-- that I liked which gave added spices to the story. The ninjas involved have the s
Sara Raasch
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book. THIS BOOK. It is like a fine wine -- it only gets better with age.

I first read NINJA about four-five years ago. At the time, I was working on a YA fantasy about pirates, and the ninja/pirate dichotomy was fabulously tempting. I was quite certain that my pirates could take Natalie's ninjas, but after reading NINJA, I was forced to concede defeat.

Her ninjas are too awesome for words and they can--they WILL--whoop your ass.

Now, years later, I am tickled silly that NINJA is even more awe
Tabi⁷ (ᕗツ)ᕗ
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is a fun, fast-paced story about modern-day ninjas. It's got all the kicks: martial arts, intriguing villains (I need to know more about them), some light, sweet romance, and packed full of that kung-fu movie action feel. I loved it, and while I would have wanted some more exploration of the modern-ninja concept and the plot felt the teensiest bit shallow (I still don't get the whole Amy-being-Eddie's-crush-therefore-untouchable-forever thing and why it was there beyond mere petty drama), i ...more
Dec 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is very different than what I usually read. I loved it! Kickass characters, betrayal, intrigue, romance and twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end.
Amanda Sun
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A fun and exciting melee of romance, roundhouse kicks and espionage that will keep you guessing until the end.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Opening line:
"All I wanted was sleep, but my stomach groaned until I couldn’t take it anymore."

Awesome, fun story about teen ninjas and how they kick butt and still have time to kiss and go to high school dances. I was drawn into the story right from the beginning! I never felt lost with all the karate, ninja talk or fight scenes. It was a unique story that I had to keep reading.

A Clan of ninjas in San Francisco may sound improbable, but as the son of a ninja master, Tosh Ito knows what lurks in the shadows of his city. Or at least he thought he did. When a killer with a poisoned blade starts cutting down teens, Tosh enlists Amy Sato—newest ninja recruit and his best friend's crush—and sets out to uncover the killer's identity. What they find is ninjutsu more evil than they could have ever imagined. As Amy and Tosh grow closer, they discover their connection unleashes a ...more
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
Well, when I saw the title, I was like "Whoa! Seriously, ninja". I was really excited about this books hoping that it would certainly feature the best things about ninja. Then after reading, I was disappointed that the plot had concentrated about Tosh and Amy's relationship.

The action or fighting scenes were disappointing. They weren't the fights of ninjas. Just some karate moves.

However, this book also was quite entertaining (despite being not interesting enough, except for the amazing title)
Skye (Skye's Scribblings)
Natalie is officially tied with Gail Carriger as my favorite author. If she writes it, I will love it. And this story, which incorporates her easy writing and fun storytelling with my other love, Japan, might as well have been Natalie writing a book just for me. Read my review here .

Am planning a ninja sneak attack to snag a copy as soon as possible. Who's with me?
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely amazing. It has been on my to-read list for forever and I was so excited to finally have a chance to snag a copy for myself! In need of a break from studying I decided to take up a chapter or two. To my delight I sat on my couch for five hours straight until I finished it in all of its awesome glory! I was so enraptured by the plotline and underlying themes that my clutch on the novel never lessened. Thank you Natalie Whipple!
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
- I bought this when it came out, and it took me forever to get around to it.

- Sadly, I was really disappointed with this one. It really bummed me out because I have enjoyed other books from this author.

- The story starts out good, but the romance quickly takes over. It becomes so central to the story that when Tosh and Amy kiss, they are granted special powers. Ugh!

- I really struggled to finish this. I wanted more action and cool Ninja missions and stuff.
Dec 25, 2013 rated it liked it

It’s no secret that I try to take on each and every Japanese themed YA, a task, unfortunately, at where I fail miserably most of the time due to my already humongous TBR pile. Anyway, I managed to squeeze in this lovely piece of title genius: Relax, I’m a Ninja – I mean, how can you not read this? The title alone is hilarious!

The content, however, I had some issues with. The idea in general is nothing new: boy from a long line of ninjas trained by badass dad must, firstly, pretend to be w
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: in-love
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eric Brown
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Relax,I'm a Ninja is action packed and mystery novel about a teenager who lives in California who is secretly a ninja. But when a mysterious ninja goes around killing random people the teenage ninja has to go into action and figure out who that ninja is working for and why is he killing random people. But he can't do this alone; therefore,he will need the help of his dad and his ninja friends to figure out what's really going on. They figure out that the ninja works for a ancient ninja clan who ...more
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Relax, I'm a Ninja is both hilarious and complicated. I love that Natalie loved this book enough to self-publish it and then blog through the process of what that is really like. It was hugely insightful as a hopeful author and as a reader.

Relax is about a clan of ninjas in current day San Francisco. Tosh is the son of a clan leader, and is part of an elite force of ninjas. As people start mysteriously dying around him, Amy is brought into the clan, and everything gets more complicated. For one
Jah-Mir Watson
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Relax, I'm A Ninja by Natalie Whipple is an action/adventure book. The book is about a teenage boy named Toshiro Ito, and with his dad Ken Ito his is training to become a great ninja. His friends Todd, Marty, Stu, Eddie, Amy are there to help him and make sure he's safe even though he don't need it. He is already a good ninja. But something happens there is a dark force that comes over there city. A forbidding fighting style is being used to hurt people and they are trying to attack everyone in ...more
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have to admit, the title of this one totally got me. It was like, you had me at ninja. Because c'mon. That said, I probably had some kind of expectation going into this book, but I still have no idea what it was. I will just say I loved the experience of reading this one and was grinning a lot because of the cuteness. I read this during my breaks at work and whenever I could steal some time at home, so it definitely kept me coming back.

I liked Tosh. I liked Amy. I liked them together. Those ar
Dec 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was so much fun! I had never read about ninjas before and I thought it was so refreshing. Usually ninjas are supposed to be the bad guys when they appear in stories, and in fact Tosh, the main character, doesn't hide that they are mostly hired to do some shady jobs like blakcmail, thief and stuff like that. However, it was very easy to overlook that aspect of the story. They just have an atypical job. And if regular ninjas weren't enough we also get some paranormal stuff, romance, myst ...more
Danielle Shipley
Jun 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I’d call this one a solid read. I could have done with less training and waiting around bits and more /this-is-not-a-drill/ ninja action on top of the Golden Gate Bridge or something to really get my blood racing, but that was my only real complaint.

I like that the story didn’t go for the obvious. (Because, really, wouldn’t we want a ninja book to be sneakier than that?) Plenty of plot points and character revelations caught me by surprise, or veered in a direction I hadn’t predicted. So props t
Forrest Williams
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Relax I'm Ninja by Natalie Whipple is about a teenage ninja that's in his father's ninja clan.It's set in San Francisco.In the beginning of the story his friend almost dies from a ninja,who attacked him.So Tosh,the teenage ninja,got to play the role of a nerdy Asian.But then he thinks his crush has something to do with it.Also,he had to recruit his friend's crush.He thought that is was a bad idea.But so far its a good idea for their ninja clan.

There was a lot of things i liked about the book.O
Laura Maisano
Nov 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Relax, I'm a Ninja follows the story of Tosh Ito, your regular run-of-the-mill nerdy high schooler, who happens to be a ninja. Oh, and his father is the clan master ta boot. He works hard to maintain his cover as a D&D playing geek so no one will ever know he actually kicks major booty. Ninja also has a really engaging love story that's very believable. Tosh tries hard not to have a crush on his best friend's crush, but love wants what it wants, and the inevitable happens. The D&D play-by-play o ...more
Apr 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
It was entertaining to say the least. My favorite thing about this book is all the ninja talk and the terms and stuff. I do martial arts too so that was cool to see another type of martial art. However, the writing wasn't one of the best. There were some things that happened too fast or weren't explained and the plot felt undeveloped. Everyone turned out to be a ninja in disguise or somehow connected to them. I felt like I was seeing a Disney or Nickelodeon tv show.

Sometimes the characters just
May 31, 2015 rated it liked it
A Good Teen Read, All In All

Natalie Whipple has written an engaging story full of intrigue, adventure and excitement,all presented in a surprisingly good semblance of a teenaged boy's voice. From the bad decisions that induce cringing hindsight to the boundary pushing that usually comes with approaching adulthood, her Toshiro rang true in so many ways, I found myself smiling at moments where another kid might have made me clench my teeth.

There were times when I got frustrated with the descriptio
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
It was such a fun and quick read and so different from what I have ever read. First, it is in first person narrative from the perspective of a teenage boy which you don't get to see that often. The plot is very well structured with a beginning and an end, so much so that it could easily be a standalone. A movie adaptation would be great for all the fighting scenes though. It made me want to actually exercise to become as fit and swift as a ninja but I don't feel like it will happen anytime soon. ...more
Tracy Banghart
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From the awesome title to the very last page, this book kept me hooked. I haven't read a book with a male protagonist in a while and thought Natalie totally nailed Tosh's voice. I loved the slow build of the paranormal element and how Tosh's parents were integral to the story. I loved how the real-world issues - liking your best friend's crush, navigating high school cliques - were addressed realistically and yet also woven into the more fantastical plot points. Amy was a great character too - i ...more
I liked this book and I had tons of fun with it, but at the same time it was a bit too teenagery to the point of being just silly. Especially romance wise.

I kinda found the drama to be a bit too silly and awkward sometimes. Even though I understand teen romances and know how overwhelming they can be, I still felt like there was just way too much silly drama going on. I thought that the relationship between Tosh and Amy started of very cute and sweet but half way through the novel it kinda lost m
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cortney Pearson
May 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was just plain fun. An intro into a world I really knew nothing about--that of ninjas and martial arts. I was hooked from the second I read the title--in fact, the title made me laugh, making me instantly want to read it! Tosh is so down to earth, very likeable. And his attraction to Amy grows so well--I love the feeling of "first love," of wondering whether a person likes you or not and the excitement at finding out they do, and the author captured that feeling perfectly! Lots of grea ...more
Lisa P
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
The title alone pulled me in. This was a great story- yes, it's about ninjas but not in the intense know- everything- detailed training kind of way. It's more like an undercover ninja story with added bonus of anime and Dungeons &Dragons references, evil demon spirits, some high school drama - clique clashes, not the theater / acting type, suspicions, betrayals, action, family, friends, and a little love story just for fun. I will definitely be reading more of this author's work- really like her ...more
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
I picked up this book for a fun quick read; with that name how could it not be? Well, it was and more! If it weren't for having to go to work I would have read this in a single setting. Starting off fun and moving into the more serious and the more questioning this book forces its characters to find the way they want to live in the world. It was interesting, exciting, and I'm very glad I picked it up!
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Natalie Whipple, sadly, does not have any cool mutations like her characters. Unless you count the ability to watch anime and Korean dramas for hours on end. Or her uncanny knack for sushi consumption.

She grew up in the Bay Area and relocated to Utah for high school, which was quite the culture shock for her anime-loving teen self. But the Rocky Mountains eventually won her over, and she stuck ar

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Relax, I'm a Ninja (3 books)
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