A review by thomas_ryan04
Before the Coffee Gets Cold, by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

emotional reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


There's so much I wanted to love about this book, but there's also so much that I did love about this book. It was a book of two halves for me, really - the concept was fantastic and at the core of the story lies some really hard-hitting and thought-provoking messages. It really makes you consider, just as the first page says: If you could go back, who would you want to meet?

What I wanted more of from this book was character. Character, character, character - it's what was clearly missing. Kawaguchi gave too many details about each character which stops the reader from forming their own images - something which, I think, is extremely important in a book. It's important to allow the reader to take a moment to think about the character and their situation. Too much of the story is character-driven (with too much detail) whereas I would have liked more emphasis put on the plot and the wonderful 'time travelling' concept.

Will I read the second book? Quite possibly - but maybe not straight away. The fourth chapter really gripped me the most, the only one I read in one sitting, actually

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