The manga version of the coming-of-age tearjerker that inspired two films!
Also known as Let Me Eat Your Pancreas, this deeply moving first-person story is about a high school boy who finds the diary of his classmate—and discovers that she’s dying. Yamauchi Sakura has been silently suffering from a pancreatic disease in school, and now exactly one person outside her family knows. He swears to her that he won’t tell anyone what he learned, and the shared secret brings them closer together. The two have very little in common, but they find themselves drawn to each other in Sakura’s final months to live.
Warnings: death of loved one, terminal illness, violent crime
I know one wouldn’t expect a book with THAT title to be a tear-jerker, but it is, even if you keep aside the fact that one of the main characters has a terminal illness. The main character, who narrates the story, is unnamed for most of the book, so I will do so in my review too. He is an introvert and doesn’t have any friends, or even classmates that he regularly talks to. Sakura, meanwhile, is friendly and popular, but he happens upon her secret illness when he accidentally picks up her diary at a hospital. Now, since he is the only one aside from her family and some school authorities who knows about her condition, she feels more comfortable around him, as she can speak freely or even make morbid statements. He, meanwhile, mostly goes along with her flow, but soon comes to find how important she is to him. While the story is taking place as she spends her last days, hanging out with him, going on a trip, etc, it has underlying character arcs of what connections mean, what it means to have meaning in life, how you define you existence, and of course, the beauty of finding someone who understands. It hints at romance, but their relationship is not defined by it, and I liked that about it. The artwork is decent, and since it is from the same artist as I Had That Same Dream Again: The Complete Manga Collection, it feels familiar even in its storyboard and rendering. I would say, finally, that keep tissues handy.
Other books by the author