Review: Your Name. by Makoto Shinkai

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Mitsuha, a high school girl living in a rural town deep in the mountains, has a dream that she is a boy living an unfamiliar life in Tokyo. Taki, a high school boy living in Tokyo, dreams that he is a girl living in the mountains. As they realize they are changing places, their encounter sets the cogs of fate into motion. The light novel is written by director Makoto Shinkai of the animated film Your Name.

Your Name has held a special place in my heart ever since my lovely friend Hannah introduced it to me. In fact, before I start, I’d like to point out her review of the film. It really is something special.

I’m always searching for something, for someone.

Your Name is not only one of the most beautiful movies I have ever seen, but also one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. Makoto Shinkai is both the author of this light novel and the director of the film, and for that reason they compliment each other perfectly. Having the first person viewpoint of both characters is a delight to read, even if it can be a little confusing at times!

In fact, the only gripe I have about this novel is so small, it actually isn’t about the writing. Because the storyline is so complex, it can sometimes be hard to follow when the characters are experiencing the same thing (and who’s talking). It would have really helped to have had one of the characters viewpoints italicized or in a different font!

This feeling has possessed me I think, from that day…

Even though I already knew this story basically word-for-word, this book still made me cry. It still left me pondering love and life. It still left me feeling overjoyed and like I’d just experienced some kind of beautiful adventure.

There is so much I love about this novel, I don’t even know where to start describing everything. For a start, I got through this book in under a day. For me, that’s incredible, and something that hasn’t happened for a while! This book flew past in a beautiful mixture of words and experiences.

That day when the stars came falling.

As with the movie, the mixture of sci-fi and romance really works for this novel. I found (in the book more than the movie), that it left a beautiful metaphor more than anything. It felt like something so real.

Overall, I am still in utter admiration of Makoto Shinkai for creating such a deep, complex and incredible romance. It is one I have recommended and will recommend to many people, readers and movie-lovers. The story is just so precious – I feel like I’m reviewing a true treasure.

One tip before I go – if you’re interested in this one I’d recommend reading the book and watching the movie within a few days of each other if you can! The story can be pretty complex on it’s own, but the two together do make it clearer.

This book, like Taki and Mitsuha, will always hold a special place in my heart.

★★★★★

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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9 thoughts on “Review: Your Name. by Makoto Shinkai

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