I am reviewing this book as part of the Japanese YA Novel Week I am co_hosting with Nina at Death Books and Tea.
If you would like more information about the week, head over here.
Summary from Amazon:
One of Tsutsui's best-known and most popular works in his native Japan, The Girl Who Leapt through Time is the story of fifteen-year-old schoolgirl 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 constantly have to push the boundaries of space and time, and challenge the notions of dream and reality.
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a collection of two short story by Yasutaka Tsutsui, who s one of the most famous science fiction writer in Japan. These two stories are some of those light novels I was mentioning in the intro post of this week: they are very short and, in the case of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, have an animated film based on it.
The first short story, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, tells the story of fifteen year old Yazuko who discovers by accident that she can leap through space and time.
After an accident in the biology lab, Yazuko inhales a product and faints. She doesn't think much about it but feels different ever since. Then when she is about to be crushed by a truck, and wakes up in her bed, she realises that she can leap through time. with the help of her friends Kazuo and Goro, she will try to understand her power.
I truly liked the story, especially after reading the end and how she came to have her power but I would have preferred reading an entire book rather than a novella! There's only so much you can fit in 50 pages so I thought there wasn't enough.
I felt that the dialogues were a bit off (which I didn't think in the second story) so I don't know whether it's the writing or the translation.
It is a sweet story and opens new perspective when you read the end.
As for the second story, The Stuff That Nightmares Are Made Of, it follows Masako, a high school student who has an irrational fear of heights and Prajna masks and who wants to get to the bottom of it with the help of her friend Bunishi. Masako also wants to help her little brother Yoshio with his night terrors.
I like this story better and I found really interesting how Masako would try to face her fears and help Yoshio face his. It is also interesting how both of them came to have those fears. It is quite fascinating how the mind works and through Masako and Yoshio we have two examples of why some things or ideas come into our mind and mold our behaviours.
I didn't notice the writing as much as in the first story, and I thought the writer could really build the tension through the various events in the book.
Those two stories are short and sweet and present interesting concepts: time-travel and the psychology of fear. Judging by the language and the action, I think these books are for younger readers. I am told the film of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is better to watch than reading the book because it goes deeper in the character description etc.