[Taken from my blog.]
I finally got around to reading this. I think it took me so long because of the journal style, which I do enjoy, but seems to slow me down for some reason. But I only had a few books with me in Japan, and this was one, and I got through it pretty fast.
It is different from the manga, which isn't much of a surprise. The story is the same, but this time is strictly in his head, and showing how he took everything that happened between him and Y-ko. There's more to the story, too. Pretty much all of the book focuses on their relationship and her crazy antics, which are entertaining. But there was also a lot more romance, and cute scenes between them, which I enjoyed. There wasn't... heavy romance or anything, just hints as to what was going to happen, but I liked it nonetheless.
There was also more... chemistry shown. More cute moments and closeness between them than was given in the manga. And it showed more of them at the beginning, how their relationship grew before they actually became a couple. It was nice to see all of that, which I hadn't noticed too much lack of in the manga, but now that I kind of do. They were cuter and sweeter in the novel, much more than I was expecting.
I still like their characters. He is sweet and caring, and takes all of Y-ko's antics. She's enjoys bothering him and making him do things for her, which he complains a bit about, but overall enjoys doing for her. They work together well. He's happy with her, very content to stay with her, which is obvious, and she's happy as well.
(I think that, seeing all of the happy couples around me, including the family I stayed with, and then reading this book and seeing how well they work together, just... made me happy. A bit envious, to be sure. It just... fills me with happy feelings, I guess?)
The writing is a bit exaggerated, which at first annoyed me, but grew on me about half-way through. I don't think it was all that more exaggerated than the manga, just that seeing it only written and not in manga-form wasn't as good, and I didn't like it much at first. (I don't know if it got better, or I got used to it. Maybe a little of both. Either way, I enjoyed it.) I was glad, though, that it grew on me, because I wanted to like it.
This was just... really good. Better than I was expecting, and even than was hinted it would be at the beginning. I was pleasantly surprised. If you liked the manga (or didn't read it, whatever;) then you should really pick this up. And I'm pretty sure there is another book to go with it, which I am definitely planning to pick up the first chance I get.