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In Go by Kazuki Kaneshiro, the first question beckoned is “who are we,” and he weaves this question in through the problematic young adult journey of love. A third-year high schooler, Sugihara must defend himself and define himself in the tumultuous Japanese society. Sugihara faces prejudices and reckonings as he attempts to find a place for himself within the context of culture. He is a fighter, and much of his life is situated around pummeling his opponents and keeping his 23-0 record. As he begins his journey, he finds love in Sakurai, a young Japanese girl with spunk and mystique. In the novel, we follow his family life, friends, and love story. Brace yourself for an honest, heart wrenching, and inspiring story.

Kaneshiro succeeded most in the non-love related plots. The story of Sugihara and his father, the story of Sugihara and his best friends, and the story of Sugihara dealing with grief led the story and were the moments I craved the most. Not giving away spoilers, my favorite scene in the entire book is Sugihara and the police officer toward the end and the relationship between Sugihara and the police overall. The romance plotline felt cliched to me. Meeting by chance at a party. Whisked away in love. A moment of questioning. Then, finding each other again. However, pushing past the romance, the book is a great read. Seeing Japanese culture through this lens is essential. Moreover, dealing with the vital question of who we are in the landscape of society is something a person continues to ask even as they grow older. It is those parts that make the book worth reading, and therefore, I recommend it.

Reviewed By:

Author Kazuki Kaneshiro • Takami Nieda, Translator
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 172 pages
Publisher AmazonCrossing
Publish Date 2018-Mar-01
ISBN 9781503937376
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue August 2018
Category Modern Literature


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