Hotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa | Rating: 4.5/5
A seemingly normal story that turns into something more intimate and disturbing. We follow 17 year old Mari through her routine of working at Hotel Iris with her controlling mother and prying, troublesome housekeeper and immediately meet the catalyst of this story. Hotel Iris is a definite page turner, but the pace is slow and steady until a major turning point between Mari and the catalyst. The book was extremely enjoyable and felt like the perfect movie, which pushed my ambitions personally to acheive my dreams.
The Devil's Whisper by Miyuki Miyabe | Rating: 3.5/5
Despite the chapters being a bit discouraging personally, it was worth the build up and frustration. It is also a bit slow paced and uninteresting in places, but if you're a committed reader, you will not be disappointed. This a bit of a murder/suicide mystery that'll keep you asking questions. These questions will probably fuel your curiousity and determination to keep reading. Aside from the chapter length, I did get a few of the characters mixed up, but I liked that they were listed in the front in play format. I was also a little unhappy with the ending, but I can't think of any other at the moment.
Villian by Shuichi Yoshida | Rating: 4/5
Another murder mystery that isn't that simple. It made my exploration for Japanese literature more enjoyable (and a little more appreciation for my job). Shuichi Yoshida makes reader/character relationship a high priority as you form definite opinions about each and every charcter, no matter how big their part is. This book allows you to get in touch with your emotions as the mystery progresses. Who is the real "villian" in all this? Especially in the end when everything is revealed. Once again, I had to adjust to to the lengthy-ness of the chapters, but a lot of my predictions for this story were wrong and that factor made it more enjoyable and encouraging to continue.