Warning: This review contains spoilers for the “Book Girl and the Famished Spirit.” If you have not read the book, do not read this post due to spoilers. However, if you have already read the book or you don’t mind spoilers, feel free to read this!
Another book review is here, and it’s none other than “Book Girl and the Famished Spirit” by Mizuki Nomura, which is a sequel to “Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime,” which I previously reviewed. Here’s a summary of the book to get the gist of what it is about:
“Life in the literary club has settled into a predictable – if unusual – routine. Junior member Konoha Inoue dutifully writes short stories for his club president, Tohko Amano, who subsequently shreds them and devours each morsel like the book-eating goblin she is. When the club begins receiving cryptic messages, though, routine goes out the window as Tohko sets out to find the culprit with Konoha in tow! When their investigation suggests that a tormented spirit might be stalking the school halls, matters quickly take an ominous turn. Is it possible that ghosts really exist, or is there something even more disturbing at play? But if there is room in the world for a literature-consuming goblin, then, really, how unlikely is a famished spirit?”
Sadly for this book, the character Chia Takeda did not return this time around, and she was not mentioned in the book even once. It would have been nice to at least get a mention of what happened to her after the events of “Suicidal Mime” to reiterate what happened last book to have a better sense of continuity, but the book was also fine on its own without it.
Going to the actual plot of the story, I found it to be more confusing than the last book overall, but also very gripping and strangely easy to get sucked into reading. One thing I have to warn is that there are explicit descriptions of child abuse, eating disorders and other unhealthy obsessions. These three things are continuous trend throughout this book for one of the characters in particular. I won’t say which character because that will completely spoil the plot, but this book is one I found incredibly darker than the last one. If you are not into incredibly graphic depictions of dark themes, this might not be a book you want to read.
The book expanded a bit more on Tohko and Konoha’s characters, which I really enjoyed, and also showed a bit more background on Tohko in particular which I find interesting. She happens to have a friend who has a horrible penchant for two-or-three-timing dates, but once we get to know this particular friend of hers, it’s easy to see that there is more to him beneath the surface, which I really liked.
For Konoha’s character in the book, I found that he didn’t develop much for this book, which I found rather disappointing. I was hoping for some further growth of Konoha, especially once he got deep into investigating the whole case. I hope that, for the next few books, that we do see more development from Konoha.
As for Tohko herself, I found her to be a bit annoying at times, especially at the beginning of the novel. Instead of taking the time to try to understand Konoha during a particular situation, she instead listens to someone who was obviously misunderstood Konoha’s interactions with another character and then gossiped to Tohko that he was becoming a two-timer just like her other friend. The worst part of it was that Tohko actually believed the liar, and then she took the next two-to-three chapters completely shutting out Konoha. I believe it would have been more sensible for Tohko’s character to at least try to listen to Konoha’s point of view before judging him so harshly to the point of ignorance, and her jumping to conclusions irked me overall for this book.
Overall, I’m going to score this book 3 out of 5 stars, taking one off for the situation explained above, as well as the confusing plot and lack of character development. As I also pointed out earlier. there are also explicit descriptions of child abuse, eating disorders and other unhealthy obsessions, and so if you are uncomfortable with any of these themes it might be best to avoid reading it.