Book Reviews · Books

Earthlings

earthlings Earthlings
by Sayaka Murata

GOODREADSAMAZON
Released: 29th September 2020 (UK)
Keywords: Adult, Contemporary, Japan, Sexual assault, Incest

Synopsis
As a child, Natsuki doesn’t fit into her family. Her parents favor her sister, and her best friend is a plush toy hedgehog named Piyyut who has explained to her that he has come from the planet Popinpobopia on a special quest to help her save the Earth. Each summer, Natsuki counts down the days until her family drives into the mountains of Nagano to visit her grandparents in their wooden house in the forest, a place that couldn’t be more different from her grey commuter town. One summer, her cousin Yuu confides to Natsuki that he is an extraterrestrial and that every night he searches the sky for the spaceship that might take him back to his home planet. Natsuki wonders if she might be an alien too. Back in her city home, Natsuki is scolded or ignored and even preyed upon by a young teacher at her cram school. As she grows up in a hostile, violent world, she consoles herself with memories of her time with Yuu and discovers a surprisingly potent inner power. Natsuki seems forced to fit into a society she deems a “baby factory” but even as a married woman she wonders if there is more to this world than the mundane reality everyone else seems to accept. The answers are out there, and Natsuki has the power to find them.
Dreamlike, sometimes shocking, and always strange and wonderful,Earthlings asks what it means to be happy in a stifling world, and cements Sayaka Murata’s status as a master chronicler of the outsider experience and our own uncanny universe.

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Book Reviews · Books

The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida

theperfectworldofmiwakosumida The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida
by Clarissa Goenawan

GOODREADSAMAZON
Released: 8th October 2020 (UK)
Keywords: Adult, Contemporary, Japan, Suicide, Mystery, LGBTQ+, Sexual assault, Paranormal

Synopsis
Miwako Sumida is dead.
Now those closest to her try to piece together the fragments of her life. Ryusei, who has always loved her, follows Miwako’s trail to a remote Japanese village. Chie, Miwako’s best friend, was the only person to know her true identity — but is now the time to reveal it? Meanwhile, Fumi, Ryusei’s sister, is harbouring her own haunting secret.
Together, they realise that the young woman they thought they knew had more going on behind her seemingly perfect façade than they could ever have dreamed.

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Book Reviews · Books

The Midnight Library

themidnightlibrary The Midnight Library
by Matt Haig

GOODREADSAMAZON
Released: 13th August 2020
Keywords: Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy, Death, Alternate realities, Suicide, Family

Synopsis
Between life and death there is a library.
When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change.
The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she can now undo every one of her regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things aren’t always what she imagined they’d be, and soon her choices place the library and herself in extreme danger.
Before time runs out, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?

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Book Reviews · Books

Breasts and Eggs

breastsandeggs Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami
GOODREADSAMAZON
Released: 20th August 2020
Keywords: Adult, Japan, Contemporary, Family, Fertility, Relationships

Synopsis
Breasts and Eggs explores the inner conflicts of an adolescent girl who refuses to communicate with her mother except through writing. Through the story of these women, Kawakami paints a portrait of womanhood in contemporary Japan, probing questions of gender and beauty norms and how time works on the female body.

Breast and Eggs is a thrilling English language debut from Japan’s brightest young talent, Mieko Kawakami.

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Book Reviews · Books

Warbreaker

warbreaker Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
GOODREADSAMAZON
Released: 29th December 2011
Keywords: Adult, Fantasy, Gods, War, Mystery

Synopsis
Warbreaker is the story of two sisters, who happen to be princesses, the God King one of them has to marry, a lesser god, and an immortal trying to undo the mistakes he made hundreds of years ago.
Theirs is a world in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren’s capital city. A world transformed by BioChromatic magic, a power based on an essence known as breath. Using magic is arduous: breath can only be collected one unit at a time from individual people.
But the rewards are great: by using breath and drawing upon the color in everyday objects, all manner of miracles and mischief can be performed.

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