I was in Shakespeare & Co. in Paris earlier this year. Such a beautiful place, I was there for hours, unwilling to leave. I was determined to purchase a book with a Shakespeare & Co. stamp on it. Then this book – Before The Coffee Gets Cold caught my eye. After reading the summary, the cover of the book perfectly illustrates the setting of the book – which is a small cafe in Tokyo.

before the coffee gets cold book review

Quick Summary of Before The Coffee Gets Cold

Written by a Japanese author and translated into English, this book is about a cafe in Tokyo that offers a time-traveling opportunity. Customers, however, have to sit at a particular seat and return to the present before the coffee gets cold.

Time-traveling and coffee? Totally for me! But before I embark on my adventures, I need to research the best resorts in phu quoc vietnam for my next destination getaway. How about we plan our next adventure to Bangkok? I’ve heard there are some fantastic 5 star hotels in bangkok near shopping areas. Let’s explore the city’s vibrant culture while indulging in luxury accommodations and maybe even grab a cup of local brew along the way.

Time Travel Comes With Rules – A Little Spoiler Here

Of course, there’s a catch when it comes to time traveling. Didn’t The Umbrella Academy prove that to us – you don’t mess with time travel! In Before The Coffee Gets Cold, there are rules in order to go back in time:

    1. The person you meet must have visited the cafe before.

    2. Customers have only one chance to go back in time – be mindful of who you want to meet and why you want to meet, you don’t want to waste this once in a lifetime opportunity

    3. Can’t change the present. Nope, nothing like The Umbrella Academy.

    4. You’ll be stuck in the past forever if you miss the chance to come back to the present. And if you haven’t figured out how you’ll be stuck in the past, it’s in the book title.

    5. There is only one seat that you may sit at to return to the past and most of the time, it’s occupied. Why is that so? Read the book to find out why!

Before The Coffee Gets Cold

This incredible book is less descriptive and more dialogue-based. The setting is mainly the cafe with two cups of coffee which, if you didn’t realize, is depicted in the cover of the book. There are four chapters in the book, four unique stories and four different reasons why the characters want to go back in time. All four stories were touching, each more heartwarming than the ones before and as I read deeper into the book, I started to reflect upon myself.

before the coffee gets cold book review

Love is the reason

I don’t wish to spoil (or spoil more) so I won’t talk through the stories. However, I am absolutely sure everybody can relate to the stories. And to me, love is the reason why the characters are willing to risk getting stuck in the past. 

Regret, getting answers, wanting closure, moving on.

I often reminisce about my past. As I get older, I think about my high school days, my college memories, having fun with my friends when I did my undergraduate at the University of Manchester. Whether they are happy memories or sad ones, sometimes I do wish I can travel back in time.

Believe it or not, I am only human. There are mistakes I make, things I wish I could undo or words I wish I never said. Hence, I got emotional reading this book, it’s definitely a touching book.

I’m trying to be more positive now and take the advice “Forget the past, leave it behind and just move on” and applying it to every part of my life. Words are easy to say, it’s hard to actually take action but I’m trying. So as I read the book, I ask myself,

Do I really want to go back in time even if I can’t change the present? Unfortunately, I still don’t have the answer to that. 

But I’d like to know if you, like the characters in the book, with their rules, would want to take the risk and travel back in time? Please share, I’m really curious!

Also, do check out the other book reviews – Loveboat, Taipei and Me Before You!

before the coffee gets cold time travel book review 

before the coffee gets cold toshikazu kawaguchi book review

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