First let me talk about the things the book did right.
I loved our main character. He is grieving for his mother, who died 2 months ago after a long struggle to fight cancer. I thought it was pretty convincing. Especially considering how hard his mom fought against the cancer, how (at least our main character) thought they would get through this, they would win this battle. That is the evil thing about cancer, it can go away, and then come back even nastier than before.
Our main character is left alone the world. His mother died to cancer, his father to an accident years ago, his sister left home years ago. His girlfriend (urgh I hated her) dumped him for no reason and as you can see his life isn’t the best thing. So what do you do when your life sucks? You try to find out answers and go to the one place your mom went to often for treatments. Your apartment in Japan. I really loved how he tried to find out answers, talking to people about things, finding out about his mom, about the cancer. And some of the answers were painful, they hurt our main character and they broke him. But also thanks to these answers he can now start a new life. Either in Japan or L.A (rich kid, seriously).
Now more about the main character. Like I said, he was wonderful. Unlike many male POV books I was convinced the one talking to me in this book was a guy. Normally I am either not sure or the book is written in a way that makes it seem like it is more a girl talking to me. So yay for that!
I loved Japan, I am a big anime/manga lover and interested in Japan/Japanese culture. The fact there would be a Japan setting in this book made me want to read it, and I am not disappointed. There is lots of details, and while at times I was rolling my eyes at our main character, it still wasn’t that bad with how he acted. A bit awkward was that our author described the fashion scene so detailed, at times I was a bit doubting our masculine main character.
But I loved that he took his time to also learn the language. If you are going to live there it is a good thing he is trying his best to learn.
I loved that we slowly get our answers to all the questions of the main character. It is not instantly BAM, but slowly we get answers (and also more questions).
Now for the things I didn’t like.
All the rich boy stuff. So he has a house (paid and everything)? An apartment in Japan? His stuff and dog come with a private jet? And various other things. It was just not believable and it annoyed me.
Then we have the biggest thing that I hated and I wished was just erased from the book. Holland. Dear Lord, I hated that girl so much. Her attitude, her stupidity regarding stuff. For sake of spoilers I will continue to rant in spoiler tags, so no one will be spoiled.
I also didn’t think he should have gotten back together with her. What will she hide from you next? Her next pregnancy? Her mystery lover? Her sickness? Sorry, I wouldn’t trust her again, and I would say nope to anything that says let’s get together. I would forgive her, and look at said photographs of the baby, but that is all.
I didn’t like that this was added in a book about grieving, about cancer. I think the book would have been a wonderful 5 stars if this annoying sub-plot hadn’t been added.
But if we ignore Holland it is a pretty good book. Sadly, Holland is in here, so I won’t recommend the book. Even with the pretty and shiny 4 stars, I don’t want people to go through this book with the same Oh God It Is Holland Again feelings.