Little did Nao Kogure realize back in middle school that when she left an umbrella and a box of bandages in the rain for injured delinquent Taiga Onise that she would meet him again in high school. Nao wants nothing to do with the gruff and frightening Taiga, but he suddenly presents her with a huge bouquet of flowers and asks her to date him—with marriage in mind! Is Taiga really so scary, or is he a sweetheart in disguise?
Gr 7 Up-During her second week of high school, an orphan girl named Nao Kogure is surprised to be approached by a boy named Taiga Onise, who has a reputation for being a delinquent. She is even more surprised when he asks her to date him "with marriage in mind." Nao is afraid of making him angry, so she says yes, and as time passes, she gradually gets to know the kind boy behind the dangerous reputation. Taiga makes Nao boxed lunches with the food cut into heart shapes, he creates a guidebook for their group to use during their field trip, and he rescues her during a "scare dare" activity. In some ways this is a typical manga romance, but what raises the story to another level is the exploration of Nao's character. Her behavior is often driven by fear-she is afraid of making Taiga angry, and she is afraid of being abandoned like she was by her parents. But she gradually evolves into a stronger person over the course of the story, making decisions in spite of her fears. Meguro's artwork skillfully uses the typical manga-style of windswept hair, glistening eyes, and lots of blushing as the relationship evolves. Readers will be interested in learning what happens next in the relationship as well as discovering more of Taiga's backstory. VERDICT For lovers of romance and fans of stories about girls who learn how to become strong.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Newcomer Amu Meguro debuted with the one-shot manga Makka na Ringo ni Kuchizuke wo (A Kiss for a Bright Red Apple). Born in Hokkaido, her hobbies are playing with her niece and eating. Honey So Sweet is her current series in Bessatsu Margaret magazine.