Last year I picked up a book from Kinokuniya called 「君の膵臓を食べたい」(Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai). I didn’t realize at the time was a great book it was. To the point where I would become so enthralled that I forgot I was practicing my Japanese.
This is the kind of story that you want to find when you’re learning Japanese. One that you lose yourself in to the point where you’re not studying, you’re using Japanese.
“I Want to Eat Your Pancreas” 「君の膵臓を食べたい」Novel
- Live Action Movie
- Anime Movie (coming 2018)
A young boy (the protagonist of the story) finds the 「共病文庫」(きょうぼうぶんこ) or the “Disease Coexistence Journal” of his fellow student Sakura. She has a pancreatic disease that will kill her, but she wants to live the rest of her life like a normal girl.
This means no one but her family knows. But this proves to be a challenge as she’s the most popular girl in school and he’s the least popular.
The protagonist is forced to keep it a secret while also becoming her friend and help her enjoy life before the end.
It’s a fantastic story about what it means to live and the people we meet along the way. It’s a simple plot that takes you interesting places.
As the novel’s a drama the story is based in real life. This presents some great natural conversations among young people. The conversations, although can get heavy a parts, are also easy to understand.
The book also uses furigana now and then on difficult words, but not on every word. This makes it great for JLPT N3-N2 level learners.
One thing I didn’t notice until the end was there character’s names are almost never mentioned. This is great if you struggle keeping track of the readings for people’s names.
(NOTE: If you are I suggest making a note of names and using that as a book mark.)
As with anything written by native people for native people, there will be difficult kanji and vocabulary you won’t know. That’s one of the great things about reading! You’re always learning something new!
This means that although the subject matter will be understandable for N3 levels, it may take them longer to get through the novel.
Luckily I already went through the trouble of entering about 225 useful vocabulary into Memrise. [125/225 uploaded]
君の膵臓を食べたい Vocabulary on Memrise
I strongly recommend this book if you’re looking for a new novel to read.
It’s a huge hit in Japan for a reason. And once you’re done you can go read the manga, watch the live action and then the anime movie that comes out later this year! All sorts of ways to expose yourself to the same vocabulary and phrases again and again.