Real World by: Natsuo Kirino is a book about the lives of four young girls when they meet a boy their age who killed his mother. It all starts one morning when Toshi (the boy's next door neighbor) is getting ready for cram school and hears a sound coming from the next house. Worrying there was a break-in, she asks the boy, Worm, if everything is all right. He assures her everything is fine, and they go their seperate ways. After cram school, Toshi finds her bike has been stolen, along with her belongings that were with it. And then she learns that woman next door to her was murdered. The suspect? Their son; Worm.
She calls her cell phone, only to find it was Worm who'd stolen her bike. Before Toshi knows it, her three friends are involved. Yuzan ends up helping Worm by buying him a new cell phone and letting him borrow her bike so Toshi can have hers back. Her friend Kirarin ends up meeting up with Worm and leaving with him once he vows to help her plot revenge on a boy who broke her heart. The only one least affected by Worm is Terauchi. The book ends with devastating results.
I really enjoyed reading Real World. While some people may find the book slow or to have no point, I think it was rich in emotion and voice. Each point of view was strong and gave the reader a clear view on who the character was. (The point of views include: Toshi, Worm, Kirarin, Yuzan, and Terauchi.) As I've begun reading more Japanese fiction, I've seen that the authors tend to focus more on the characters than on the plot. They really breathe life into them, and make them into people the readers might meet on the street. And I love that. It's a very interesting take on a novel, because usually people are focused on the plot and the character tends to fall wayside.
Natsuo Kirino is a strong author with a clear voice. I can't wait to read more by her.
Overall, I'd give this book 8/10.