Chain Mail by Hiroshi Ishizaki
Goodreads rating: 3.83
My rating: 4/5
Subject: would you like to create a fictional world?
Four young girls are brought together when a chain email gets sent around asking them to participate in a collaborative story. Sawako, Yukari, Mai, and Mayumi are all tired of the lives they’re living. So when the opportunity to get creative and share a secret hobby together arises, they all join in. The story has four parts and each girl can choose a perspective to write from: the female protagonist, her boyfriend, her stalker, and the detective. What begins as a fun and thrilling hobby, becomes more sinister as real life and fiction bleed together.
I did not expect to love this story as much as I did. The characters are given a lot of depth and they undergo significant change despite the book being just over 200 pages. The aesthetic of a group of teen girls typing out story chapters on their flip phones against the colorful backdrop of Tokyo was just (*chef’s kiss*) so enjoyable. It all brought me back to the time when I was their age and trying desperately to fit in despite drama with my friends and troubles at home. I think there’s something for everyone to relate to in this book. Hell, even the school bully gets a redemption arc.
If you want a story that reads like a wholesome slice of life anime with some effectively creepy undertones then I’d highly recommend Chain Mail, though you’ll probably have to buy second hand to get a hold of it.
It’s been quite a while since I last posted so I appreciate you stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.