I honestly don't even know where to begin. I loved this book. It was one of those reads where you want to go slow and absorb every word. It was truly an epic tale. Every scene was memorable, and the characters touched me in a way that I don't find in most books. A lot of times I have difficulty connecting to the characters in the books that I read.When it came to Suzume though, I truly felt for her and was able to place myself in her shoes easily. How do I describe this girl? She was flawed like we all are, for one. She was beautiful, determined, and highly intelligent. She was maddening at times and I wanted to choke her for the bad decisions she was making. The thing is though, even though they were terrible decisions, I can understand her motivation and why she was making them. Her life was tragic. Some very bad things happened to her and her family, and she would not rest until she was able to get revenge on the person that did this to them--even if she had to sacrifice true love to do it.Which brings me to my next point. The love story in this book. Holy crap. I know that is not very eloquent, but I'm not sure how else to describe it. The tension is intense. It was riveting. I just wanted those two kids together so badly. Otieno is a character that is easy to fall in love with. Every time Suzume turned him down or ran away, he would just keep coming back for more. Because he knew they belonged together. He loved her like nothing else. And you could totally feel it too. It took my breath away. When they were together in scenes, the world stopped. I could not put the book down. Zoe Marriot's writing? Unfrickingbelievable. Not only is she really great at creating emotions in her characters, but she really knows how to make the reader feel too. There was not one character in the book that didn't make me feel something. In some cases, adoration, but in others (Suzume's mother), murderous.I haven't felt such tragedy in a work of literature since I read Romeo and Juliet. Truth. The writing itself is gorgeous too. She puts words down on a page in ways I cannot describe. Every page is filled with beautiful passages, description, imagery, and emotions. The way she describes this world she has created really makes it come to life for you. It sounds an awful lot like Japan to me but she says it isn't. But it is distinctly Asian. And it is stunning. Before I go, I will tell you that this is a retelling of Cinderella. But it is a very dark retelling. And I did feel that it was very different from the original fairytale. Quite a few of the details are different. And I almost feel...that if you aren't looking for Cinderella in the pages, you won't even notice. This is a story that evokes many feelings in the reader, draws you in, and doesn't let go until the last page turns. I know that sounds cliche, but honestly, it's true.