Summary: A girl tries to reunite her childhood friends
Gut reaction: I love this!
Why: As a nostalgia addict, I can deeply connect with Mike’s struggle to get her friends back together and into a close group once more. The desire for things as they were is both impossible and human nature. The characters are mostly solid, although a few are flimsy, and the setting is very heart-felt. I immediately empathized with the characters and cheered them on in their struggles. I hope it ends well, because I’m too focused on the past to predict where it’ll end up in the future. Please bring the good old days back!
Who would like this book: shoujo fans, slice-of-life fans, shounen fans, other nostalgia addicts. I, of course, will doggedly follow it until the end.
Summary: Two witches compete for the title of queen by seducing boys but get mixed up in ancient racial politics.
Gut reaction: Cutesy, magical girl, handled really well, pretty original.
Why: The characters are deep, the back-stories cliché and the story only semi-predicable. There are definitely some unexpected turns and I do think I know how it’ll end, but I won’t spoil it for you guys since it went to the effort of being so well-developed. The character development is superb, the setting in half-unexplored in the best of ways, and the system of magic is really detailed and thought out. What at first glance seems to be a cutesy styled shoujo turns into a darker coming-of-age story about emotion and acceptance.
Who would like this book: Shoujo fans, maybe Chocomimi fans because the art is also stylized, maybe more mature fans as well. It’s hard for me to read because of the immense styling, but once I pick it up I can breeze through it, so I’ll read it through.
Summary: A tomboy has a series of bad boyfriends and her perfect childhood friend confesses to her.
Gut reaction: Annoying guy lead, likable female lead, I like childhood friends, music genius
Why: The hero is one of those perfect people who is half-foreign, a piano prodigy, insanely smart, beautiful, chivalrous, and has a tragic back-story and cruel family. What’s surprising is that he’s the younger one and she’s not useless. She may be a tomboy, but she’s not innocent and doesn’t need to be saved all the time. So far she has no interest in him, and it is also nice to see a girl who can reject without having another love. The story is going to be slow going for a bit and then intensify with a story about his tragic past and unknown rich family and she’s going to have to end up with him, but the beginning is good.
Who would like this book: Shoujo fans, Maid-sama fans. I’ll keep reading unless they over-do it with the tragic back-story arc.
Title: The Wallflower Author: Tomoko Hayakawa Summary: Four pretty boys have to turn a horror-loving girl into a perfect lady Gut reaction: shallow but fun Why: The heroine, Sunako, grows on you and isn’t annoying. I find that the constant chibi drawing style of only her is, though. The four boys, especially the main, Kyohei, are quite annoying but they don’t get in the way. The plot is going nowhere and allows for little to no development. Also, each chapter is a repeat of the same old scenario. Who would like this book: Shoujo fans and fans of light-hearted simple fun stories would like this. It’s a good light read, so I’ll probably follow until it becomes a pure love story.
The characters themselves, although not new, are done well and done interestingly. Although the main couple is boring, they are done in a refreshing manner. The side characters are two-note but consistent and entertaining. The setting is weird but not odd and had potential to be much worse than it is.
The plot sucks and anyone who has read Maid-sama can quote it development for development, although I’m not sure which came first. It’s quite irritating that the girl can never get ahead.
Who would like this book: Any fan of Maid-Sama or shōjo in general would like it. It’s funny but the comedy alone won’t carry you through. It’s easy to read, so I’ll follow it to the end.