Would you sell your lifespan if you knew you wouldn’t do anything important with it? That's what the main character in the new light novel by Sugaru Miaki, Three Days of Happiness, does. Kusunoki is a 20 year-old broke college student that learns about a shop that buys and sells time, health and lifespans. After Kusunoki sells off the last of his possessions that bring him joy in order to afford food and housing, he decides to check out this mysterious shop. Kusunoki always believed he was meant to be someone important. With that in mind, he thinks he should get a good sum of cash if he sells 30 years of the 60 years he thinks he has left to live. To the disappointment of Kusunoki, he finds out that he really only has 30 more years to live and in those years he lives a miserable life, resulting in each year valued at 10,000 yen or about 100 American dollars. After finding out his life is worth so little, Kusunoki decides to sell the rest of his years minus three months. With only less than a year left, he is assigned a monitor only he can see to watch over him to ensure he doesn’t cause harm to others with his remaining days. His monitor will stay with him until his final three days alive where he gets to live those privitaly by himself.
Not going to lie, this book is probably one of the saddest books I’ve ever read. When I say sad, I don’t mean like when you see those abused puppy commercials, more like Kusunoki’s life is just really sad. When he was ten he made a pact with his childhood friend named Himeno that when they grow up, if they are still an outcast, like they are as children, they will get together. Himeno eventually moves later that year, but Kusunoki holds onto that pact and it basically prevents him from making any love connections. To make matters worse, when he eventually meets up with Himeno during his last three months, he finds out that she actually hates him and blames him for her troubles in life and planned to kill herself right in front of him as revenge. Kusunoki’s story basically continues like that for most of the book. He meets up with people he thought cared about him only to find out they really don’t like him at all. He basically goes on this sad journey of self-discovery and finds out his life really didn’t matter.
Kusunoki isn’t alone during his journey; he has his monitor, Miyagi, who he learns is paying off a debt left by her mother after she sold her time and died before she paid it off. Kusunoki and Miyagi grow closer and bond over their shared worthlessness of their lives. Without giving too much away, the two do eventually help each other make their lives worth a little more than before they meet. The growing relationship between these two very sad souls shows how the connection between people can benefit not just you, but other people around you.
Even though this book sounds incredibly depressing, it was actually a pretty good read. The writing was well done, the concept was intriguing and I was instantly invested in Kusunoki’s story. After every sad thing that I learned about Kusunoki, I kept hoping that at least one good thing would happen to him so that his life wouldn’t be such a disappointment. He just held onto this idea that he was going to do something amazing in the future that he forgot to do something amazing in the now instead. If he hadn’t gone to go and sell his lifespan he would never have known how miserable the rest of his life would have been. The real moral of this story is that you can’t expect something to happen if you don’t do anything to make something happen.
This book made me think about my own life and if I’ve made enough of an impact on others to be considered valuable. It was definitely a thought provoking book that will make you consider what exactly life is worth and worth living if you don’t make something good out of it. I would definitely recommend this relatively short read that will hopefully inspire you to ask yourself the following questions: What would you do with your life if you knew it was going to end relatively soon? Would you try to make the world better? Would you try to make up for past mistakes? Or would you just accept your fate?