This book. This freaking book! I should've rated and reviewed it months ago.
Let's start with that gorgeous cover. Yes, I said gorgeous. I loved it the moment I set eyes on it at the store, it's got this velvety feel to it, and it's shiny and it's just so freaking pretty, the cover alone contributes to this book's five stars. Not that it needs any help because it's got a fantastic plot which was well executed.
I first found out about Battle Royale waaaay back in the day when I was obsessed with asian horror/gore movies and happened to come across the movie. I have to say, I thought the movie was fantastic, but once I've watched a movie based on a book I'll very likely never bother with the book because I'm lazy like that. So I didn't bother with BR... that is until the day I saw the book in a store and was schocked to see how big it was. The movie wasn't even that long and it was so full of great scenes and brutality that I just had to wonder how much worse it could get in 600+ pages of it.
Oh it was worse... so much worse. Once again, as is the generally the case, the book beat the movie by a long, long shot.
See, the book isn't nearly 650 pages long just for show. It actually delves into the background of each character that makes an appearance, you learn about their sad/disturbing/boring/normal pasts and are forced to care about what happens to them. They're not just there to be killed off for shock value or just as a convenient asset to the main characters. With the movie, I remember barely learning the MCs names and I didn't much care about the rest of the characters and whether they died or not because I felt no connection to them, but with the book I kept finding myself hoping for a better outcome for a lot of them, knowing what would inevitably happen.
This is one brutal read and I enjoyed every excruciatingly detailed moment of it. I haven't read the old translation of the book, and I don't think I will, because the translator, Nathan Collins, did a near perfect job.
I know some people were put off by the "romance" in the book but I thought it didn't take anything away from the story. It mostly took a backseat to everything that was going on and I thought it was handled pretty decently. I think it had just the right amount of emotional/romantic moments and to be honest, I was glad they were there.
I remember liking several quotes in the book but as I don't have my copy with me right now I'll just leave that popular one that most everyone else who read the book loved as well.
"Loving someone always requires you to not love others."