• Romance Book Review

    Strange Weather in Tokyo

    My Review: Strange Weather in Tokyo is a poignant love story that feels like the changing of the seasons. There is really something to admire about Kawakami’s writing, the way she can convey loneliness cleanly in concise, sparse prose. A romance between two quirky people seems so unlikely, but in the quiet moments sat side by side eating at a local bar, they fit together so comfortably. The romance between Tsukiko and sensei doesn’t feel like a breathtaking lusty romance, but instead a warm companionship that eventually leads to a mutual need for the other person’s company. This story has some strange and surreal turns that are disorienting, and sensei…

  • Horror Book Review

    Black Fairy Tale

    My Review: Black Fairy Tale is a bizarre story, full stop, it is the thought that kept circling my mind as I read the novel and especially when I finished. What made this story so enjoyable was precisely for that reason. It is an offbeat paranormal story about a girl that undergoes an eye transplant and finds that she can see the memories from her donor’s life. While it is a horror thriller, surprisingly this isn’t the horrific part of the story as would be predicted, and I liked that the novel toyed with my expectations. The only ghosts in this story are the memories of those that have been…

  • Book Review

    Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse

    Warnings: Death, Descriptions of a decaying corpse My Thoughts Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse is perhaps one of the more experimental stories I’ve ever read. It is told from the point of view of Satsuki, a young girl who dies early on in the story, and the clumsy attempts of her childhood friends to hide her corpse. The writing style was good, the descriptions of the town paint a vivid picture of rural Japanese life. The sense of a hot, humid summer can be keenly felt as the characters struggle to get away with their crime. The story itself was pretty decent and honestly had me flying through pages wondering…

  • Horror Book Review

    Zoo

    My Review: I enjoy Otsuichi’s stories because he is unafraid to take risks, his stories are always a breath of fresh air. This collection was a delight because of the many genres included, and it showed Otsuichi’s range as a writer. From grimdark fairy tales to science fiction, black comedy to spine-chilling horror. I didn’t find the leaps in genres to be disorienting at all and enjoyed having something new and unexpected with each story. While not every story was an instant hit for me, there was definitely more good stories in this collection than bad, and the ones that were good were really good. My favorite story was also…

  • Horror Book Review,  Light Novel Review

    Goth

    My Thoughts Goth is a strange book to talk about, it is the type of book that I absolutely loved while also recognizing the absurdity of the story. The synopsis for the novel is poorly written, it leads prospective readers to think that Morino, a young gothic girl, is the main character and that she and a friend hunt serial killers to “understand them.” This summary is only partially true, the main character is the mysterious boy whose hobby is observing tragedy and his strange friendship with Morino, a beautiful but seemingly unlucky girl that ends up caught up in encounters with serial killers. The boy was engaging not because…

  • Literary Book Review

    Hardboiled & Hard Luck

    My Review: Hardboiled & Hard Luck is a collection of two novellas that share a theme of grief and loss. Both stories read like a gentle goodbye as each narrator explores their feelings through memory. The stories together elicit a warm, comforting feeling despite the heavy subject matter in its sparse prose. It was an easy read to calm my anxieties and unplug while wrapped up in a blanket.She was still there inside me now, just as she always was: a life put on hold, a memory I didn’t know how to handle. Hardboiled follows the journey of a narrator as she walks along a country road to visit a…