book review
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Book review: 『6月31日の同窓会』by Yukiko MARI

Presentation

Title: 『6月31日の同窓会』
Author: Yukiko MARI (真梨幸子)
Published by 実業之日本社

Yukiko MARI is a prolific author of mystery novels, but this one is the first I read.

Setting

The main topic of the book is that former students of the same school receive an invitation for the “6月31日の同窓会” and die soon after.

Review: Liked it, but expected more…

First of all, the setting was very appealing to me: when it comes to genre fiction, I like mysteries and murders, but most of all, I like mysterious murders. This book seemed to be exactly that: June, 31st?? People receive an invitation and die mysteriously soon after that??

On one hand, I was happy with this book, I read it relatively quickly, it has a good mystery, and I also liked how many things are connected with the past, and how complex the relationship between students of the same class can be. The part “secrets of the past/complex human relationship” was good and this is what I really enjoyed in the book.

On the other hand, I was a little disappointed by the lack of investigation and suspense. With such a setting, I was expecting something more gripping. I would say that there is no real suspense, and that I sometimes felt frustrated with the characters’ attitude and passivity.

There are a lot of characters in this novel and a lot of different times. I highly recommend that you take notes while reading, to put everything in chronological order and see how events are linked with each other.

Overall, it was not difficult to read, a little more difficult than Keigo HIGASHINO but still okay to me, but it was hard to tell and recall who is who and who did what and when. Maybe there were too many main characters for the size of the novel, with the consequence that I didn’t feel that I know well each of them. When a character was mentioned after a while, I had to check my notes because I didn’t remember exactly their role in the story. So if you read this book, you should take notes!

To conclude, the novel was good, but I cannot help but feel a little disappointed. I certainly had too high expectations!

4 Comments

  1. choronghi.WORDPRESS.COM says

    I tend to avoid gimmicky stuff so I can’t relate lol. I’ve also been burned in the past by reading a book that won an award that’s not prestigious. By that it was obvious that the publisher came up with that award just to give it to that book to sell it since the book sucked and it was the second year of the award lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that Japanese publishers are very good at promoting their books. The covers are always great and the wrapping band always has catchy phrases like 中毒性100%ミステリー!! haha!

      Liked by 1 person

      • choronghi.WORDPRESS.COM says

        omg that reminds me of obi. i especially hate it when they have celebrities/tv talent/etc write on the OBI (that banner wrapping around the book) that they loved it and I just don’t know how to feel when I know the book is shit and know that they probably only wrote positive things on the OBI for the money or we just have completely different taste in books. however, the positive side to getting burned by a book is that i can read the negative reviews on amazon.co.jp and get some catharsis and learn some useful Japanese.

        Liked by 1 person

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