I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is not a title about shocking the reader, it’s a title about love: love found, love lost, and that no man is an island. It’s a phrase repeated throughout the book, and it only gains more meaning and emotional weight as the story goes on. It’s a good story, and it works for people who have had similar experiences. I just wish it was written better.
The story is about a loner kid [Who Shall not Be Named-kun] (his name is kept a secret and replaced with a phrase in brackets) finding out that his popular classmate, Sakura, has a terminal illness of the pancreas. [MC-kun] is swept into Sakura's life as they go on adventures, both physically and emotionally, before she dies. Sakura isn't your normal dying character: she is full of life. It’s refreshing for a character to see their terminal illness not as keeping her captive, but setting her free.
You may have heard about this because of the anime adaptation, which came out in Japan and is set to come out in America in a few months. I’m excited because it’ll work better as a movie than a novel.
[MC-kun] is a very sullen and robotic character. That comes through the first-person narration which, while true to the character, isn't something that’s interesting to read. The book also “tells more than shows” which many light novels suffer from (don’t tell me “she’s popular” show me through action that she is), though it does it better than most. Instead, the author focuses on the things that make this story good: the dialogue and emotional payoff.
Sakura and [MC-kun] have real chemistry and the way they bounce off each other is great. Their relationship is what drives the story forward, which softens my criticisms. The ending is very good and really packs a punch. The characters are laid bare and [MC-kun] lets emotion creep into his narration. If you’ve lost a loved one to terminal illness, expect to go through those emotions again.
It’s why I liked it as much as I did. While the writing was okay (and might have gotten lost in translation) the characters and relatability make it a better read. If you’re on the fence, I’d recommend picking this up.
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.Add to CartLearn More