Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

"Kill or be killed."

Battle Royale is a dystopian novel set in Japan in the year 1997. Japan is part of an authoritarian state called Republic of the Greater East Asia. Shuya Nanahara and his classmates go on a class trip when suddenly, they were gassed while they were on the bus. They wake up to an isolated island, which they learn that the class were chosen to participate for this year's "program" - a research project designed to scare the citizens of Japan. The program was designed for the participants to kill each other, until only one remains. 

One by one, the students are released from the briefing room and start the battle for survival. Who will emerge as survivor?

This book is one of my favorite reads ever -  and I'm not even fond of the horror genre. There are 42 participants and only one of them can survive. You'll get to know the story of every character and their inner thoughts as they face the reality that they have been placed in. You'll find yourself cheering for this character, or end up hating this character and then suddenly you're already sucked in into the world of Battle Royale. It has everything you'd ever want in a story - there's love, betrayal, drama, action, mystery. It's a bit brutal and bloody, so better stay away if it's not your thing. 

I'd definitely recommend it to everyone! It's highly entertaining, and seriously, it's not for the faint hearted. 

Book Title: Battle Royale (バトル ロワイアル)
Author: Koushun Takami
Translator: Yuji Oniki
Published: 1999 (Japanese), 2003 (English)
Publisher: Ohta Shuppan (Japanese), Viz Media (English)

Rating: ♨♨♨ (5 cups! Entertaining. There's actually a movie adaptation of this book plus a sequel and a manga - but nothing beats the book for me)