“Kawakami is unblinking in her graphic depictions of what the children suffer—the punishments made more abhorrent with the understanding that the perpetrators, too, are children. The absence of adult oversight is also profoundly jarring. Even more remarkable is Kawakami's ability to move from such abject terror to the private, separate heaven to which the bullied pair occasionally escape. Despite the suffocatingly looming violence, the duo's intense, forced-to-be-mature inner lives will keep readers mesmerized to the final page.”
Read the full review in Shelf Awareness.