The Japanese cover for “Book Girl”, featuring Tohko Amano on the cover.
Remember a while back I wrote a post about a Japanese book series called Kieli? If not, I’ll leave a link at the bottom so you can check out the exact post, but I want to talk about another Japanese light novel series: Book Girl by Mizuki Nomura. It’s very different fromKieli, but it’s still one heck of a series. The books follow Konoha Inoue, a teenager who wrote a highly successful romance novel in junior high under a girl’s name. However, the success of the book came at a steep price, and Konoha does not want to ever write another novel, or anything again for that matter.
Then one day in high school, he meets Tohko Amano, an upperclassman (or upperclasswoman, though I don’t think that’s a word) who eats books. No, she really does eat books! And when Konoha discovers the secret, he become’s the second member of the literature club, forced to write short stories as snacks for Tohko. Even worse, Tohko keeps getting him wrapped up in strange mysteries that always seem to resemble different famous novels (sometimes Japanese, sometimes not). What’s a guy trying to move on from trauma and shame supposed to do?
Te novels are very interesting, as I’m kept guessing at every turn, especially when it’s a Japanese novel I’ve never heard of that’s being used for the plot. Even when it’s a novel I’ve heard of, seen an adaptation of, or read though, I can never guess how the mystery will be resolved or how the story will end. It’s perfect for mystery fans with a knowledge of literature, and the characters feel very real to you, especially Konoha, who every moment struggles with his past. Interspersed throughout each book, we can find pieces of the literature used in the novel or the dark musings of characters as they struggle internally, adding a bit of spice to an–as Tohko might say–an already delicious piece of storytelling.
I give this book series–and it’s story-writing and story-eating main characters–a 5 out of 5 for excellent writing and excellent characters.
Oh, and before I forget, here’s that link for the review of Kieli: