The summary stood out for me and I was really looking forward to what I thought would be a deep and gripping book from start to finish. Instead I was left with a book that maybe peaked in the first few chapters.
I loved the idea of a child who does something as horrific as Chizuru in killing her classmate and then finding her as an adult as she ends up having to face her past again. The premise sold me right away and as I started reading it I was sure that it was going to live up to my expectations. The first ¼ of the book takes you through what happens to Chizuru in the aftermath of what she did and then meets back up with her as Rio Silvestri, an adult with a steady, stable life and family.
Then suddenly her world is thrown upside down as she’s forced to face her past after her father dies and she travels back to Japan. That’s sort of where the book lost me. Chizuru was a damaged kid with a rough life as a “hafu” (half Japanese-half American) who was endlessly teased and picked on. Then she lost her mother and her world fell apart. I felt for her and was heartbroken for a little girl.
Rio on the other hand was just a little bit insufferable. She was self-centered and I couldn’t really find many redeeming qualities in her. I thought maybe as she went to Japan and sorted through everything that I would find something in her that I liked or that at least there would be a lot more drama and intrigue as the book went on. Instead I was just left with a character I didn’t really enjoy and a plot that was pretty easy to figure out.
The one thing I did enjoy about this book is the Japanese culture and the way it is written. I enjoyed the imagery and feeling like I was learning about Japanese customs and traditions.
I do feel like I’m in the minority as far as feeling like this book didn’t live up to expectations. A lot of people seemed to enjoy it and see it as a gripping psychological thriller so you may want to check it out for yourself.