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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  4,281 ratings  ·  523 reviews
For two teens, falling in love is going to make a world of difference in this beautifully translated, bold, and endearing novel about love, loss, and the pain of racial discrimination.

As a Korean student in a Japanese high school, Sugihara has had to defend himself against all kinds of bullies. But nothing could have prepared him for the heartache he feels when he falls ho
Kindle Edition, 167 pages
Published March 1st 2018 by AmazonCrossing (first published January 1st 2000)
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Amie It is available in translation now. It’s actually an Amazon First Reads offering this month, so you can get the ebook for free.
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

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3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,281 ratings  ·  523 reviews

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Lark Benobi
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, japan
This novel has the rhythm of a Japanese TV drama--fast pacing, ridiculously deep and emotional and/or violent reactions to conflict, a high school setting, and great attention paid to hierarchical obligation. Add a little yakuza, a little pachinko, a little social commentary, and a great sense of place (especially if you're familiar with Tokyo) and there you have it.

I loved the matter-of-fact story-telling. I even loved the lack of nuance. Having lived in Japan and also having studied kick-boxi
3.75 stars
"But you should live a random life. I mean, your life has already veered off the rails. I wish you'd keep on veering and see where it takes you. You're someone who could pull that off. But you know, that's just me."

Go by Kazuki Kaneshiro isn't what I expected it to be. It is a love story but not the kind of love that the blurb promised. It's not a just high school love story between Sugihara and Sakurai, no. It's more than that. Go tackles ethnicity, discrimination, and racism in J
Shawn Mooney (Shawn The Book Maniac)
Bailed 2/3rds of the way in. It’s a wonderful translation, the audio narration was fantastic, and I especially enjoyed the well drawn young Korean-Japanese man’s character and social context. But this novel devolved into pukeworthy YA romance, and I simply could not bring myself to finish.
Lucy Chen
I'm not sure what I was expecting from this book, as I received it through an Amazon First selection. I'm still not sure how I feel about it..

GO is a somewhat coming-of-age story that follows Sugihara, a Korean-Japanese national and explores the struggles and prejudice of growing up between these two cultures. The prose can be truly beautiful at times, though there are times in which it feels stilted. The same can be said for the storyline, which is initially quite compelling and quite effective
Ad Rocks Socks (semi hiatus)
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who is willing to try out a witty YA book which has a sombre setting.
Me, at the beginning: Racism in Japan? Did you say that correctly? Are you sure?
Me, at the end: Wow, there’s a lot to be learnt about the world, and who knew YA books could be such eye-openers—maybe I’ve been reading the wrong type of YA all my life.

Anyway, now that my earlier ignorance has been covered, here’s how I’d rate it: I’d give the first 50% five stars, the next 20% three stars, and the final 30% four stars.

Overall, the book was immensely enjoyable — the protagonist was witty and had t
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book jumped around a lot and I wish it was much longer, but I really enjoyed it. Favorite passage:

“I saw this show the other day about a retirement home for guide dogs in Hokkaido. It’s this place where old dogs that can’t do their job anymore can go to live out their last days. The fact that a place like that even existed moved me so much that I couldn’t take my eyes off the TV. And then they showed a woman saying goodbye to her guide dog. It was a blind woman and a male golden retriever
went into this expecting one thing, got a completely different story.
And I didn’t like the mc.
This was a disappointing read for me and I guess it might be my fault because I didn't know it was categorized as young adult until later.

This is a story about a high school student -Sugihara- from Korea born in Japan and is living and studying there. It follows his story of being bullied, fighting back, trying to figure out who he is and what makes a person Korean or Japanese or American...etc, of trying to understand nationalism and the extent of it and of falling in love and what that could
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-first, 3-star
Not really a coming of age story and not what I would call YA; the character voice of the narrator, Sugihara, is older than that. The story explores themes of blood and family from the perspective of a Korean born and raised in Japan. I found it interesting, but did not care much for the vehicle the author uses to make his points (Sugihara is intelligent, but little more than a thug) or for the flippant, half-humorous narrative style. The love interest is a Japanese girl with supposed street sma ...more
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, book-club, tob
With the Tournament of Books play in round being "National identity" I am surprised that this title from the longlist was not chosen. Kaneshiro's protagonist in Go is a teenaged Korean boy attending a Japanese high school. Despite being born and raised in Japan according to the powers that be he is an "alien resident". Socially he is an outcast among his Japanese peers each day peppered with discrimination and physical combat. Coming of age in a country where there are only two choices - assimil ...more
Kavitha Sivakumar
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ir-armchair-2018
The author wanted to narrate serious issues of racism and ethnicity discrimination. However, he started with such a hilarious style, I thought this is going to be one fun entertainment story told from a teenager point of view. The story weaves around with so many unexpected turns that a reader is left confused. And the hilarious style of writing also gone after couple of chapters.
Jun 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks, read-in-2018

This was good. I enjoyed the discussion about nationality, who you are, what it means to be Japanese/korean/American/anything. But the story wasn’t horribly gripping and I didn’t LOVE any of the characters.
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having lived in Japan around the time this book takes place, it stirred all kinds of nostalgia. The story is heartwarming, poignant, and hilarious, all the while touching on minority issues in a homogeneous society. The narrator's compelling voice draws you in and introduces you to a colorful cast of characters.
Angela Sangalang
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was an Amazon First selection, and I chose it because I was looking for a book in translation (part of my reading challenge this year). It was advertised (in the synopsis) as a coming-of-age, young star-crossed lovers, overcoming cultural prejudices story. It was sort-of that and not quite.

The story was really about the main character and a snapshot of a small part of his life. It didn't quite feel like a "coming of age" story because the main character already had a strong sense of self. W
Goth Gone Grey
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Interesting glimpse into a different world

The moment you see where the title of a book comes from is somewhat magical to me, but it's a fine line. It can't be over done or it's just silly. Here, it's purely magic. Go can be the main character's wish for the future to sit and play the game Go with his wife, or his friends telling him to go, do something, succeed.

The main character is intelligent, physically strong, and feels like a caged lion caught up in the labels and categories that the world
Mark Hiser
The voices of minority people had no way of reaching the top, so they had to find some way of making their voices louder.

Relations between Japan and the two Koreas is poor, nor is it much better between the Japanese and the 800,000 Koreans living in Japan (Zainichi) including those whose families have lived in Japan for generations. It is not unusual to see signs at storefronts announcing that foreigners are welcome, implying that they are unwelcome in many other establishments.

In the early 80
D.J. Adamson
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While the teenager in this well-told novel does try to understand, I came away with a sense of the racial and cultural tensions in Japan.
Korean student, Sugihara, is assaulted while attending a Japanese high school. A Japanese girl he falls in love with takes him to a point of having to decide who he really wants to be. This book wonderfully offers a coming-of-age story on a subject all teenagers can identify; adults, too, no matter the culture or country.
Wonderfully told. Not to be forgotten.
Bob Lopez
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite my initial sneering at a plot device (the sudden appearance of a manic pixie dream girl that no one knows and only has eyes for our protagonist), this turned out to be a short blast of a book. Fun high school melodramas (exams, schoolyard fights, friendships, other friendships w/ gay undertones, romance, familial strain) mixed with more "serious" literary topics (history of war, displacement, identity, dual identity, triple identity).

The heart of the book, for me, was the romance--no mat
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This story was not what I was expecting, but it was good nonetheless. It is about a high school romance of sorts, but the story was mainly cultural and about the main character trying to find his way when he's facing discrimination. The romance was really sweet and added to the story and the point but is not the main focus.

The main character, Sugihara, and his family were given well defined backgrounds but I'm not sure that I liked how the author kept going backwards to add to events that were
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a love story. The description would have you believe that it's a love story between a young man and the girl he meets, but it is so much more than that. It is a story of a young man learning to love himself, in a time and place where the only way he thinks he can be accepted is to hide his true identity. Even that doesn't work.

Set in Japan, the Korean protagonist is living a double life. Forced to hide his heritage, he soon learns a fake name does nothing to hide who he truly is. Taking
May 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Teenager Sugihara has the misfortune of falling for a hot Japanese girl, who's prejudiced against "zainichi chosenjin" (ethnically-Korean Japanese people). How should he break the news to her that he's a Japanese-born Korean himself? Should he at all?

While he ponders upon this question, he struggles to deal with bullying at a Japanese school where almost everyone thinks he should return to a Korean school; his former boxer North-switched-to-South Korean father who's having an identity crisis an
Katya Kazbek
I don't think I've ever read such a great portrait of male adolescence: tenderness beneath a puffed out chest, something you rarely get, because the balance is usually skewed towards the one or the other, and the characters are either machos or nerds. Sugihara, however, is both smart, cultured, tortured, and violent, complicated and full of contradictions. I really connected with him as a protagonist. And this is only one of the reasons why I really like this book.
Another is the very enlighteni
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. The ending was a tad abrupt but that's literally my only complaint.
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
The themes of ethnicity and nationality were interesting and new to me, and I did enjoy some of the characters, especially the father and Jeong-il. However, the way this treats violence as an appropriate way to handle conflict, inner turmoil/rage, and injustice was worrisome, and the female characters were highly stereotyped and entirely underdeveloped. Finally, the way Sakurai describes Sugihara’s glare and violence as arousing, and uses that as justification for her affection is not just awkwa ...more
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an extraordinary read and I'm so glad it was a Kindle First pick because I would have never found it otherwise. Sugihara is a North Korean national living in Japan and the scenes set in his North Korean high school and the depictions of the racism and marginalization he experiences will stay with me for a while. (I don't know if I would classify this book as a YA though. While the characters are teenagers the content was much more adult in terms of overarching political themes than most ...more
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So much more than the love story. I think I would have liked it better had I not read "Pachinko" first.
Carrie Kellenberger
Go by Kazuki Kaneshiro is a coming of age story about a young Korean student at a Japanese high school named Sugihara. Sugihara has spent his entire life defending himself against bullies who hate him for being Korean. When he meets a Japanese girl named Sakarai, he falls hopelessly in love with her, but he is ashamed to tell him who he really is. When Sugihara tells Sakurai that he isn't Japanese, he believes their relationship will come to an end.

The author is able to explore a lot of topics
Dora Okeyo
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You know what, I'd say I'm a bit 'on the fence' with this review. On, one hand, I absolutely love Sugihara's internal monologues and his quest to understand who he is and where he fits in. However, on the other hand, I was frustrated by the pace and how I kept losing the connection with him as a character. So, I'd say 3.5 stars for this.
Thank you NetGalley for the eARC.
Got this for free with Amazon First Reads.
I love Japanese novels and have read a lot of them - this book definitely has many of the hallmarks of modern Japanese fiction. I also liked that this books explores aspects of what race means in Japan.

The entire book is punctuated by these random fistfights, which I thought was annoying. Sometimes the political commentary on race in Japan got a little heavyhanded.

Overall, not bad.
Daniel Sevitt
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translated
Written in 2000, but only recently translated into English, this was a unexpectedly accessible for a Japanese novel. It reads a little bit like melodramatic YA, but it’s also kinda serious about racism and passing and young love. I really liked it.
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Prize Readers: 2019 TOB Longlist: Go 3 17 Dec 12, 2018 08:02PM  
Play Book Tag: Go: A Coming of Age Novel (3 Stars) 5 16 May 29, 2018 01:47PM  
Play Book Tag: GO by Kazuki Kaneshiro - 4 Stars 1 12 Feb 28, 2018 10:02AM  

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