Futaba Yoshioka thought all boys were loud and obnoxious until she met Kou Tanaka in junior high. But as soon as she realized she really liked him, he had already moved away because of family issues. Now, in high school, Kou has reappeared, but is he still the same boy she fell in love with?
Gr 7 Up-Futaba Yoshioka has always disliked boys, finding them rough and loud. But Kou Tanaka had a gentle side that she could not ignore, and by the end of the school year her feelings for him grew into love. They were supposed to meet before going to a summer festival together, but Tanaka never showed up, and later Futaba learned that he moved away. Over the next few years, Futaba reinvents herself, becoming the kind of girl that other girls like, even though it means that her new friends are shallow. When the boy she once loved suddenly moves back to her neighborhood, they must decide if their feelings can be rekindled. But over the years, they both made choices about how they wanted to appear to other people. If Futaba and Kou do want to form a connection, they will have to take down the walls they put up around themselves. The soft, ethereal artwork complements this sweet and moving story about the innocence of first love. VERDICT For fans of thoughtful and romantic manga, and readers who enjoy stories about characters learning to trust each other and themselves.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
Born on June 8, Io Sakisaka made her debut as a manga creator with Sakura, Chiru. Her works include Call My Name, Gate of Planet and Blue. Strobe Edge, her previous work, is also published by VIZ Media’s Shojo Beat imprint. Ao Haru Ride was adapted into an anime series in 2014. In her spare time, Sakisaka likes to paint things and sleep.