Book number 9 this year – The Gods Lie by Kaori Ozaki. It’s a stand-alone Manga/Graphic Novel about Natsuro Nanao, a boy who loves football and who girls in his school avoid talking to. One day, a girl called Suzumura speaks to him and soon the two become friends.

It’s an interesting book that finishes too soon and has some weird little comic scenes that only the Japanese could insert in a kids Manga. Ozaki explores themes like toxic parenting, abandonment issues and it’s hard to believe that the protagonists are just a pair of pre-teen kids. Natsuro & Suzura’s feelings for each other escalates very quickly.

The author uses the classic trope of ‘opposites attract’, Natsuro is ambitious & wants to become an international football player, while all Suzumura wants is to be happily married when she grows up. However it is perhaps a common factor that strengthens their kinship – the fact that both of them are raised by single parents.

‘The Gods Lie’ is an uncanny mixture of childhood innocence and dark themes – a story about how children sometimes grow up quicker than their parents, pushed by circumstances and not choice. The ending is slightly tragic, but ends on a hopeful note. It’s an enjoyable read, but could have done with more pages and story.

Made a quick little sketch off the book after I was done reading.