Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Monday, March 17, 2014

Plot Summary:
Sawako Kuronuma is an outcast and, in fact, everyone she looks in the eye runs away. In fact, she is nicknamed Sadako because she looks exactly like the evil girl from The Ring. Although Sawako is nothing like Sadako, she is socially awkward and people mistake her willingness to help for curses and witchcraft. Now that she is in high school, Sawako wants nothing more than to make friends and be liked, but she didn't anticipate Kazehaya. Kazehaya is the most popular guy in school and Sawako had the pleasure of bumping into him before the start of the school year. Sawako admires everything about him because he is nice, smart, handsome, and well-liked by everyone. Little does Sawako know, but her meeting with Kazehaya will set off a chain of events that she never expected. By acknowledging her existence, Kazehaya tells all oof their classmates that Sawako is not the loathsome Sadako. In fact, Kazehaya points out to everyone that she works harder than everyone else and takes on extra duties so no one else has to. With his help, Kazehaya helps Sawako come out of her shell and show everyone that she can't see ghosts or put curses on people. Granted, not everyone takes an instant liking to Sawako, it's the little things that get people to notice how special she is. Not to mention, when she captures the attention of Chizu and Ayane, there kidness to move their desks next to her leads to a special friendship filled with many adventures that allow Sawako to blossom and grow. The only problem with this transformation, is that Sawako will inadvertently make enemies with girls who will terrible things to make her the laughing stock of the school and rip her relationships apart. Furthermore, Sawako's insecurities also pose a threat to her relationship with Kazehaya.  This is truly, and utterly, a sweet tale of first love and friendship where anything is possible.

Critical Evaluation:
It's been a while since I have a read a manga that has made me smile from ear to ear. This manga is about a girl who is so unbelievably shy and awkward that is scares people away. Although I have yet to meet someone like this, I am sure the intention was not to terrify, but to be pleasant. Sawako has been misunderstood her whole life so making friends hasn't always been the easiest thing to do. However, when Sawako meets Kazehaya, she sees everything she wants to be in him. As for Kazehaya, he is such a pure soul that everyone just falls in love with him. For Sawako, Kazehaya is the first person to see her for who she truly is and that makes her feel special. Although Sawako knows she has to do a better job of standing up for herself, Kazehaya gives her the strength and the courage to make everyone notice her (without them running away). What's even more awesome is that Ayane and Chizu actually go out on a limb and befriend Sawako despite all of the obstacles that lay ahead of them. Granted, Chizu and Ayane are also a bunch of misfits with less then reputable reputations, Sawako doesn't let the gossip influence her decision to befriend then because she sees the good in everyone, just like Kazehaya. Although Sawako insists that she wants to be more like Kazehaya, in reality, they are both very alike. My heart skips a beat with every volume because the closer Kazehaya and Sawako get, the more I beg for a happy ending. This really is for the those looking for an sweet and virtuous story about love and happiness.

Information about the Author:According to Amazon.com:
Born October 23rd, Karuho Shiina’s favorite movies include The Apartment, The Shawshank Redemption and My Neighbor Totoro. Her previous series, Crazy for You, was also published in Germany. Kimi ni Todoke is her latest hit manga.

Genre:
Teen Romance Manga, Teen Humor Manga

Number
of Volumes:
20-ongoing

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up

Books Similar to Kimi Ni Todoke:
Awards & Recognition:
  • Top selling Manga in Japan (2013)

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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