Book Review: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time by Yasutaka Tsutsui

One of Tsutsui's best known and most popular works in his native Japan, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is the story of a fifteen year old school girl Kazuko, who accidentally discovers that she can leap back and forth in time. In her quest to uncover the identity of the mysterious figure that she believes to be responsible  for her paranormal abilities, she'll have to push the boundaries of space and time, and challenge the notions of dream and reality. 
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is one of the author's best known stories in Japan and has even been made into an anime film. It is definitely a story or novella rather than a full blown book as it is only 105 pages long in total.
I am a little undecided about this one, I think that sometimes you lose the essence of a book when it is translated. It felt a little disjointed at times and stilted; I may not have felt this way if reading in the original Japanese.
As I have said, it is very short so although I liked Kazuke, I didn't really feel as though I got to know her in any way. It doesn't feel like the book is long enough to allow you to invest emotionally in the characters.
However, I must remember that this is a YA book intended for quite a young audience. I do think that the book would make a great talking point and could be used to explore the idea of time-travel and all of the imaginative possibilities that holds.
I suppose in some ways, I could have done with the book being a little longer but if the book was being used in a YA setting then it would be the perfect length to promote group discussion.
Don't let my review put you off, at 105 pages, it is short enough for you to find out for yourselves.

Many thanks to Alma Books for sending me a copy to review.


Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

This sounds really interesting! WOW! Thanks for the review.

Jules said...

It has a beautiful cover, but I really prefer reading full length novels rather than novellas.

Ynysawdre Elderly Residents Association said...

great review. I am still undecided whether to read this myself. I think it would be a good addition to the school library though on the time travel theme :D

Dot said...

Sheila- You're welcome, it was very different to what I normally read.

Jules- The cover is really eye catching.

Emma- I do think it would be great for school libraries!

Anonymous said...

The other Yasutaka Tsutsui books (Salmonella Men on Planet Porno & The Maid) I've read were slightly lacklustre, nice ideas but the execution was off

The anime of this book is v. good

Dot said...

DamnedConjuror- I have heard that the anime is very good, I think that some of the book was lost in translation which was a shame.

Anonymous said...

the book sounds interesting... i am really gonna add this book to my fav collections... Thnx for the review... :)

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