A teen grapples with ALS and his decision to die in this devastatingly beautiful debut novel infused with the haunting grace of samurai death poetry and the noble importance of friendship.
Abe Sora is going to die, and he’s only 17 years old. Diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), he’s already lost the use of his legs, which means he can no longer attend school. Seeking a sense of normality, Sora visits teen chat rooms online and finally finds what he’s been longing for: friendship without pity.
As much as he loves his new friends, he can’t ignore what’s ahead. He’s beginning to lose the function of his hands, and soon he’ll become even more of a burden to his mother. Inspired by the death poems of the legendary Japanese warriors known as samurai, Sora makes the decision to leave life on his own terms. And he needs his friends to help him.
I really disliked the beginning and almost gave up on the story. I just don't follow or care about the online life and the beginning was full of online chat dialogue that I found both annoying and pathetic, making me lose sympathy with the main character. As the book continues I really enjoyed what it developed into and I'm glad I finished, but the beginning was rough.