A few weeks back I found a PDF file of the novel on the internet. Its out of print now, and as Tokyopop are no more, I thought hey ho why not. I read it in 9 days (which isn't a lot for me).
The story was much the same as the anime, but it didn't have Sato's class president (the girl with dyed light beige hair), and it didnt focus too heavily on Sato's sempai from the literature club (the depressed girl). Actually regarding her, they only met up a few times and it ended with her saying how much she enjoyed her new life. Sato left her side immediately, realizing he doesn't want his messed up life to interfere with her seemingly perfect one. As he walked away he turned back to see her crying, AND THAT WAS THAT.
Yamazaki was much the same as the anime, though he never attended that anime school once he met Sato, and he became a hikikamori, focusing on creating his hentai game which Sato wrote. Actually this game wasnt a hentai game in the end.
I was slightly annoyed how it never mentioned why Yamazaki escaped to the city, and why he hated his parents so much. This was all explained in the anime though.
This novel missed a few tricks that were covered in the anime, such as the date Sato and Misaki had to do to convince Satos mother of his good life in the city. In fact the novel didnt even talk about about his parents at all!
Misakis life was pretty much the same as the anime.
What made this book awesome was a few key scenes that weren't in the anime, such as regular drug taking, Sato and Yamazaki fighting in the park whilst being high on drugs, and then the time they both disguised themselves to go to Misakis church to watch her make a speech.
The book was written in first person, and then towards the end it mentioned how Sato wrote the book whilst working part time on construction sites. From here it gets interesting, because Sato then mentions how he changed his real name for the book, and that his real name is Tatsuhiko Takimoto- the REAL author of the book. DAMN. This was real?! wait, maybe not, but some parts must have been, right? I feel bad for laughing at the jokes and stuff that happened. If this novel is true then its a tragic tale. I wish him the very best in life, as with Misaki if she was also a real person too.
Still, even if this was mostly the same as the anime, it still felt better somehow. It was a bit more tighter only focusing on the 3 main characters. 9-10