Trigger warning for… everything? This book is pretty dark. There’s murder, sadistic/psychopathic behavior, abuse, school violence, and probably other stuff I forgot. Just beware if any of that sounds troublesome to you! On the bright side, I could not put this book down. After the first chapter I was a little disturbed though. There was also a point where the book made me really uncomfortable, so I had to take a break, but I still couldn’t stop myself from finishing this 235 page book in one night. Despite how deeply this novel had its hooks in me, I only rated it 3/5 stars.
Confessions opens with a middle school teacher named Yuko Moriguchi telling her class that she is retiring from teaching. The past few months have been rough for Yuko because her four-year-old daughter mysteriously died at the school. The police branded her daughter’s death as an accident, but Yuko has proof it was murder. In fact, she knows exactly who killed her little girl. The culprits are in her classroom. As Yuko finishes her goodbye speech to the class, she also tells them she has begun her plan for revenge on the students who killed her daughter.
I thought this was going to be something like Battle Royale. It’s not. The revenge plot and violence isn’t fast paced, but something about the book kept me quickly turning the pages. What drives the novel are the questions surrounding Yuko’s daughter’s death, the character connections that are slowly revealed, and the act of revenge itself has some twists and turns. The chapters are narrated by several different characters. We see Yuko’s perspective, the killers’ thoughts, and other students’ views. The characters are decently written. They have motives, but some of their actions, connections, and reasoning hover between being extremely convenient to the plot and being unbelievable. The characters do what they need to do to further the plot, but I would not say I was very connected to any of them. The plot suffered a bit from the too-convenient moments, but the ending contained a twist I wasn’t expecting and found hard to believe, which left a bad taste in my mouth for the book as a whole.
Three out of five stars is not a bad rating. I was obviously pretty engrossed in the novel to finish it in one evening, but it lacked some of the plot and character depth that I prefer to have when I read. For me, this was a good palate cleanser of a book. It was quick, engrossing, and put me in the mood to keep reading more books.