Posted in Book review, Reading Challenge

Book review: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

This was a pleasant surprise. I got this book from my very good friend as a recommendation and I didn’t really have any expectations. I usually read book series from genres like fantasy, cozy mystery, military scifi, paranormal romance etc. So to read a single book that seemed, to me at least, somewhat mainstream literature had me wondering if I would find this book interesting enough.

Don’t you wonder sometimes, what might have happened if you tried?

A Finnish translation of the book Never Let Me Go. It’s quite rare that I read translated books, or books in Finnish in general, even though it’s my native language. I’ll try to make an effort to read in Finnish more often. 🙂

I will try not to spoil any major plot points and keep this general enough, but be warned, that there are some mild spoilers about what this book is about. It’s not a new book, and I know there is a movie too, but there might be someone still (like me, haha) who doesn’t know this story.

Never Let Me Go started quite slowly to my taste but as it picked up pace, it became clear that this would be a “growing up story” and it would have a twist. Without spoiling too much, the twist is futuristic and could very well be from a scifi story. However, this book doesn’t dwell on the worldbuilding aspect of how the world had come to this and what it all meant. Instead Never Let Me Go simply focuses on its three main characters and their growth to adulthood.

Throughout the book there was a feeling of strong melancholy for me, even in the happy moments. The main characters are constantly preparing to give up something, whether they realize it or not, and it is a strong theme to relate to. After all, time is limited for all of us and we give up moments as fast as they happen and quite often it is only later on that we realize what we cannot have back anymore.

This book actually reminded me strongly of a feeling, or memory, of a lazy afternoon at the end of some summer in my own childhood. I was lying on my bed and stared at the ceiling where a sunset would throw soft, golden patterns of light that would slowly fade away and I was immersed in a feeling of trying to hold onto that moment and embrace it before time would pick up pace again. That’s what this book had me remember and it’s a nice memory, if a little sad.

Never Let Me Go is beautifully written and it makes you think throughout the book both of your own past and also what kind of a world we might witness in the future and what kind of ethical questions will become mandatory that we cannot ask yet.

I will mark this book to this prompt in the Reading Challenge:

25. A book from an author you have never read before

I am a bit embarrassed to say that this is the first book I’ve ever read from Kazuo Ishiguro. I guess it has to do with me enjoying so much my own regular genres that I rarely feel the need to go outside of them. But this is one of the things that the Reading Challenge is for: going outside of your usual comfort zone with books and hopefully you will experience something new.

What Reading Challenge? Check it out in my earlier post here.


I love books, games and the coziness of our house (currently it's the kingdom of me and my husband). My work in a game studio as a Senior HR Specialist keeps me busy and social, but I am an introvert in my core. Navigating life between my very social work and my introvert, less social personality can be tricky and it goes hand in hand with my interest in overall personal well-being.

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