Gregory Wostrel Wostrel itibaren Balabanivka, Vinnyts'ka oblast, Ukrayna
This book was bizarre, but not as bizarre as one would expect from Murakami. The love story was simple enough through most of the book, and when the plot begins to twist, it's too late for it to make a full rotation. While I'm used to his cliffhangers that leave you questioning the truths you hold dear, this ending simply felt hollow. I give it four stars, however, because I think that was the point.
Payton has been "strongly encouraged" by her parents to see the school guidance counselor. Basically, after learning that her dad has MS, she's stopped talking to them. This may make her seem like a complete brat, but when I say "learning," I mean "accidentally finding out" because they don't tell her. So anyway, the guidance counselor tells her that she should find a focus object and write about it. She's not sure what to pick but ends up picking Sean Griswold's head because he sits in front of her in class. This book is so good, you guys. It's about love and friendship and family (so all the important relationships). It's a coming of age story and is just so sweet and so funny and so great. This is one of those books I want everyone to read, because it's just amazing. Payton is such a likable heroine, even when she's being a complete brat. In some ways (a lot of ways, really), it's hard to read about the way she treats her dad, but I completely get it, too. First, it sucks that she was lied to (because she really was, you know?) and second, it's hard to deal with at that age. So yes, a bit of an overidentification there. And the relationship between Payton and Sean, as it grows, is great. I wish everyone had a "first love" story that's as perfect and sweet as theirs. But I also loved the relationship she had with her best friend, Jac. They're so perfect together and they complement each other in the best possible way. So yes, please read this book. I can't recommend it highly enough.