Go

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Member Reviews

Go has some very obvious parallels to Romeo and Juliet. There is an unlikely romance between two teenagers, that could only end in tragedy. Their romance is cute and exploratory like a young first love. I would consider it to be relatively lite in the romance department. Only two out of seven chapters really have much of the romance factor in it. It’s sweet, but it wasn’t the most heart tugging romance I’ve read. For me the romance really takes backstage to the racism commentary.

This isn’t the stereotypical racism commentary that American audiences normally see, but it is equally important. Most American readers may not even familiar with the minority groups in Japan, much less the persecution that they go through. The only reason that I was already familiar with the Zainichi is because I read Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. Pachinko covers more of how Koreans came to originally be in Japan, but Go really takes a look at what it means to be of Korean descent in modern day Japan. Another aspect I really enjoyed was the writing style.

Like most Japanese novels, the writing style is sparse. There isn’t a lot of excess description or flowery writing. I really enjoyed the slightly sarcastic, yet straight forward point of view of Sugihara. He doesn’t sound like the typical teenager. His tone is older, probably because of how he’s been treated in life since he’s a Zainichi. Therefore, I wouldn’t call this a coming-of-age story, he sounds like he’s already of age. However, some readers will find him to be a bit abrasive and rude. I think it’s just a matter of remembering his truth of life is different from someone else’s.

I would recommend this for lovers of Japanese novels, young romance, and main characters that are a bit abrasive. I think it is important to learn about the lives of people around the world. Hence, my Read Around the World Project. Learning about not only daily life, but also hot button issues, helps to expand your world view. For me this is a world view expanding book. However, if I hadn’t already known about the issues of racism in Japan, it would have been even more expanding.
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Title provided via Netgalley.

I really thought this book would have been engaging. The overall concept is what drew me to this story because of the unique conflict - it was one I had never read about fictionally or in real life so I was automatically intrigued. Kaneshiro, did not execute this very well. I expected more of an intense, Romeo and Juliet type feel, and the tone of the story and how rushed it was made it fall horribly flat. 
I appreciate the insights to the various cultural conflicts between Koreans and Japanese, but because that was such a strong foundation of the story, that wasn't portrayed through the author's writing of the story, I just couldn't bring myself to like this more than a low 2.75/3 stars.
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Typical struggles of being a teenager in a different country and struggling to find their identity have been well portrayed in this book. The characters are written well and the plot was fast-paced as well. What struck with me in this book is the struggle to find an identity. There are too many emotions to feel and I was an emotional mess at the end of the book. Overall, I liked the book though I felt that the story was not that impactful as I expected. I recommend this to all YA fans
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Sugihara is a teenager who lives and was born in Japan, however is of Korean background so is not recognised as a Japanese person. He falls in love with a Japanese girl named Sakurai, but does not disclose to her that he is Korean.

The book explores identity and belonging and I found the parts of the book that covered discrimination quite interesting. I also enjoyed reading about the different locations, train stations and train lines in Tokyo as I've been there and they were all familiar to me.

However the character of Sugihara was basically an 'intellectual' thug (a concept that never felt quite right to me), who seemed to deal with every annoyance in life through violence. The romance between Sugihara and Sakurai felt awkward and stilted and Sugihara's friendships felt forced and unrealistic.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that a good writer will make the unrealistic feel real and believable, but I don't feel the author pulled that off in this book. I, personally, was not convinced! So while there are interesting themes throughout this book, I felt a bit let down by the characters and their lack of authenticity.
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This was a really interesting book, more like a high-school coming of age novel with plenty of school drama and what you would expect from this sort of thing.  It also features nice discussions on nationality and identity and on a larger scale, what it means to be considered a nationality or race.  Including those topics in a book like this is smart since this time period is really when a lot of people start to develop their ideas of self and start to understand and identify with those types of characteristics.  Overall, this was well done and I enjoyed the read!
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As a Korean student in a Japanese high school, Sugihara has had to defend himself against all kinds of bullies. But nothing could have prepared him for the heartache he feels when he falls hopelessly in love with a Japanese girl named Sakurai. Immersed in their shared love for classical music and foreign movies, the two gradually grow closer and closer.


I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. this turned out to be a short blast of a book. Fun high school melodramas (exams, schoolyard fights, friendships, other friendships w/ gay undertones, romance, familial strain) mixed with more "serious" literary topics (history of war, displacement, identity, dual identity, triple identity).
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This was good; I enjoyed the discussion about nationality, identity, what it means to be Japanese/korean/American/anything, but the story wasn’t that gripping and I didn’t particularly like any of the characters.
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This book didn't do it for me.  I had a really hard time getting into the dialogues as they seemed awkwardly written and not at all realistic.  It's too bad, really.  The topic of the Zainichi, particularly the Zianichi Chosen, is an interesting topic.  A lot of Americans aren't well educated on this group and their history in Japan.  I terribly wanted to like this book and I kept going thinking it would improve for me.
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Go is a refreshing YA novel. It's culturally immersive, sheds light on topics such as discrimination, and has lead characters that are bold and passionate, creating a very enjoyable read.
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Go by Kazuki Kaneshiro isn't what I expected. This book came across as fun and entertaining with talk of important serious issues of racism and ethnicity discrimination. The narrator's compelling voice draws you in and introduces you to a colorful cast of characters. I didn’t go into this read to overly analyze it. I need a change of pace in my reads and this book worked out perfectly. Thank you NetGalley & Amazon Crossing for gifting me this eBook in exchange for an honest review. 4 out of 5
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I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  			
			
From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.			

For two teens, falling in love is going to make a world of difference in this beautifully translated, bold, and endearing novel about love, loss, and the pain of racial discrimination.

As a Korean student in a Japanese high school, Sugihara has had to defend himself against all kinds of bullies. But nothing could have prepared him for the heartache he feels when he falls hopelessly in love with a Japanese girl named Sakurai. Immersed in their shared love for classical music and foreign movies, the two gradually grow closer and closer.

One night, after being hit by personal tragedy, Sugihara reveals to Sakurai that he is not Japanese—as his name might indicate.

Torn between a chance at self-discovery that he’s ready to seize and the prejudices of others that he can’t control, Sugihara must decide who he wants to be and where he wants to go next. Will Sakurai be able to confront her own bias and accompany him on his journey?

I first read and fell in love with this book as a result of Amazon having a few weeks back in April of 2019 where ten international books were available for free and "Go" was one of them! I had no idea that racism was so prevalent in Japan so I check in with family living there and they basically said: "you can be white and an oddity to take home to the parents who will probably make fun of you after you leave as they plot a way to get their child to the US or Canada without visa problems OR YOU CAN BE 1000% JAPANESE " (wow...really???) So, being a Korean is a major problem for our protagonist, even today.

The book was wonderfully crafted and translated (My nephew is reading it as we speak in Japanese) and the story is thoughtful and thought-provoking. We just need to turn on the news to see racism at the heart of so many current political battles (and wall-building arguments) 

This book is a love song .. there is no other way to put it. It is lyrical and lovely and why haven't you read it already?????? 	As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "Social Influencer Millennials" on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it 	🍣🍜🍱🍚🗾
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I enjoyed learning more about the Japanese and Korean cultures and about the discrimination and about the clashing of the two cultures. I recommend this book for people interested in Japanese and Korean cultures and the plight of people discriminated on the basis of their nationality and ethnicity. My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for an advance copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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In general I enjoy books about other cultures and recently read Pachinko. This book might have been better without the love interest and angsty teenage trope thrown into the mix. Maybe this is necessary for certain YA books, but it is not to my liking. I think it detracts from the main story line.
Otherwise, that aside, I did appreciate learning a bit more about the Japanese and Korean cultures and how they mixed and clashed.
Parts of this book were certainly better than others, but that may just be my taste.

#Go #NetGalley
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I really love reading translated books, so I was glad to have the opportunity to read Go. This book will likely find a home with fans of YA, given the narrative viewpoint of the novel
 It's interesting to learn more about the prejudice against Korean minorities in Japan. Some may be turned off by the violence in the book.
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I couldn’t really review this book before I had reviewed Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. For better or for worse, both novels are really linked in my mind. When Pachinko told of the lives of Korean people who came to live in Japan at the beginning of the 20th century and stopped in the 1980s with the fourth generation, Go picks up a bit later (it was published in 2000) and tells of a teenaged Zainichi growing up in contemporary Japan. Needless to say, the difficulties and racism he faces has a lot in common with what the characters in Pachinko experienced.

The tone of the two novels couldn’t be more different. Where Pachinko was quiet, dignified and polite, Go has the tumult of emotions of a teenager. Go’s hero and narrator Sugihara is not afraid to fight. He faces bullies head (and fists) first and chooses for himself a non-Korean high-school where he will face more racism but get better opportunities. He’s a thug sometimes, but a nerd at other times. He looks at his parents with ironic distance and there are really funny moments at the beginning. And then he falls in love with a girl who has been raised to despise Korean people…

If I hadn’t read Pachinko, I would have had difficulty to appreciate Go so much. I guess it’s a flaw of the novel, but the social context was what interested me most in the book, instead of the doomed love story that felt a bit “meh”. The interesting point that I have learnt is that Zainichi are treated differently if they are North-Koreans or South-Koreans, and that Zainichi can go to Korean schools, which is a double bind because the education there is not top-notch, and prepares kids for menial jobs and more discrimination, while seemingly protecting their cultural identity and protecting them from bullying.

I don’t think this book will appeal to a wide audience but it was charming to me. I could see the same resilience I had admired in Pachinko, but this time played out with a lighter tone.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.
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An interesting take on the genre of teenage love. There's little that is sappy about this love story from the beginning, it is very much a love grounded in reality and nonconformity. Told from the viewpoint of the discriminated Japanese-of-Korean-origins Sugihara adds an element of tension that is never contrived feeling. However, there are certain elements that let the story down a little-the characters end up a bit vague feeling, the prose at times falters, and the pace drags in bits. However, none of these are dealbreakers-this was an enjoyable read.
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I really wanted to read “Go” by Kazuki Kaneshiro. I read that this novel won the Naoki Prize in 2000 and was adapted into film in Japan. I haven’t read many books about Japan, so I was looking forward to learning more about Japanese culture and how teenagers’ lives looked like in Japan. 

This novel turned out to be full of surprises, it wasn’t at all what I expected it to be. It concentrated on nationalism, ethnicity and discrimination in Japan. It was full of fist fighting, teenage angst and anger. 

A narrator of “Go” has a Korean citizenship and it makes him a person that Japanese call “Zainichi”. The book reveals that Japanese don’t see Korean citizens born in Japan as proper human beings and discriminate against them. At least part of the Japanese society rejects them. In general the Korean citizens won’t get as good jobs as Japanese, they won’t be able to work in professions like lawyers or doctors, they are encouraged to attend different schools and universities, Japanese women won’t date them. It was a total surprise for me, I have never read anything about it before. 

There are things that I liked about this book and things I didn’t like so much. This book offers an insight into the Japanese way of thinking and culture. It was especially interesting to read about the role of Japanese women in relationships and family life. I had no idea about discrimination in Japan before, so this book was very interesting from this point of view. I liked the author’s writing style. The book isn’t long, so it was a fast read. 

I didn’t like the constant fighting and putting so much stress on using fists and physical strength to solve one’s problems. There is a lot of fighting in this book, boys feel angry and restless and look for trouble. The narrator is not a good boy, not by a long shot. He had problems with law before, he often knocks down bullies at school, who challenge him to fight, and sometimes even fight with his own father, who was a professional fighter in his younger days. He is seen by his friends as “tough-as-nails”, he is a truly careless risk-taker. The narrator’s love interest Sakurai seemed a little artificial to me, a typical example of a “Manic Pixie Dream Girl”. She didn’t feel very realistic.

Overall, I recommend this book for people interested in Japanese culture and situation of people discriminated on the basis of their nationality and ethnicity. 

I received "Go" from the publisher via NetGalley. I would like to thank the author and the publisher for providing me with the advance reader copy of the book.
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You know what, I'd say I'm a bit 'on the fence' with this review. On, one hand, I absolutely loved Sugihara's internal monologues and his quest to understand who he is and where he fits in. However, on the other hand, I was frustrated by the pace and how I kept losing the connection with him as a character. So, I'd say 3.5 stars for this.
Thank you NetGalley for the eARC.
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Personally, I’d give the first 50% five stars, the next 20% three stars, and the final 30% four stars. Overall, the book was immensely enjoyable — the protagonist was witty and had this style of narration that really captivated me. He’s kinda how I’d have liked my inner monologue to sound when I was his age — the right amount of wit, two tablespoons of sarcasm and healthy disdain, and a pinch of those pesky teenage hormones. And the thing is, despite all this “coolness”, it’s still obvious that he’s young, and that he’s not in control of everything, the way we tend to believe at that age.

This book should really have been marketed as a young adult book, because while  for the first 50% it’s really not noticeable, that’s exactly the genre this book should be classified under. The thing is, I went in prepared; multiple reviews online had warned me that while this book had dry humour that catered to an adult, it’s central theme is really more YA-NA. And boy was I glad that I went in prepared, because otherwise I might have been pissed off the way quite a few other reviewers were.

Full of movie and literature references (that I only half caught), Go tells the story of a young adult of Korean descent, living in Japan, and his trials and tribulations with first love. Sounds like a cheesy anime? Let’s throw in the fact that racism abounds in Japan towards these Korean desecendants of war prisoners from decades ago (aka the Zainichi), and it’s not your quintessential drama filled, romantic anime, is it?

I haven’t read the Japanese version, but I think this translated one was fantastic. Everything about this book was fantastic, and it was especially fantastic in the way in which it dealt with serious themes like racism and violence — so wonderful that I wish it really hadn’t had that teen romance thrown in. I’d have been ecstatic with Sugihara’s acerbic observations on life, really.

I went insane with the highlighter on this one, that’s the real thing to take back, here.

I recommend it for anyone who loves House, M.D., who doesn’t mind a bit of YA thrown at them.
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I found this book a bit confusing to follow. It tells the story of a teenage boy in high school. It was a short quick read.
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