Illustrator: Miyako Hasumi
Publication Year: 2001
I loved this book! I think Otsuichi has become one of my favorite authors after reading this, despite the fact that most of his works are horror, his short stories for young adults are well written. There's something almost magical about the way his clear prose flows.
This book is a collection of short stories by Otsuichi which were originally published in The Sneaker light novel magazine. It contains three stories:
The titular story is about a girl who really wants a cell phone, but has no friends to call. One day she finds she suddenly has a cell phone that only she can see, and it starts ringing...
傷 -KIZ/KIDS-:This story is about an 11-year old boy who is places in a special class for misbehaving children.
Once there, he befriends a shy child who has an interesting ability to heal others' wounds, but does it come at a price?
A patient finds himself in a hospital after a train accident, comes upon a flower with the face of a girl, whose singing brightens the lives of his and the other hospital patients.
Plot & Characters: All the stories are told in first person, which makes it easy to "get inside a character's head", and fairly easy to read. I didn't think I would get into this book, but by the end of the first and second stories I was in tears, and I don't cry easily. The third story, particularly the ending, seemed a bit rushed, and I ultimately didn't enjoy it as much as the others. It was still good, but not great like the others. Still, the first two stories were such page-turners near the end it more than made up for the third story.
Prose & Readability: The prose flowed well and was easy to read. The author has a way of really making one connect with the characters. All the stories were in first person, which any person who has read a few manga volumes should be able to follow without much trouble. I wouldn't recommend this as a first book, but maybe a second or third.
Who would I recommend this to: People starting out reading Japanese books, people who want an easy read that leaves a lasting effect.
The first paragraph provided for readers to help judge for themselves whether a book is a good fit for their current level, and is presented with all furigana shown in the actual book.