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Childhood's End
Arthur C. Clarke
Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Coipel
Scrivener's Moon - Audio
Philip Reeve
Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You, Vol. 1 - Karuho Shiina Poor Sawako has the misfortune to look very much like Ringu's Sadako. Yes, the malevolent ghost that crawls out of the TV. Her classmates are honestly scared of her, something that her intense shyness does not help. (And let's be honest: wouldn't you be withdrawn if the usual response to you was fear?) From the first volume, it looks like the general story arc will be drawing Sawako out of her shell, with the help first of one of the nicest boys in class.

There's plenty to like about Kimi ni Todoke. For one, the romance elements are very understated, and it looks like it will slowly and naturally grow from both sides. No insta-love, or anything approaching it. The main characters are sweetly earnest, and even the few meaner moments from classmates are somewhat understated, and something that I can see generally decent kids doing when they're young and in herd mentality. Nobody is unreasonably, awfully mean to Sawako, and that's a relief.

But I think I would have liked this better if I hadn't already read [b:I am Here!|2353138|ココにいるよ! 1 Koko ni Iru Yo! |Ema Tōyama|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1333724785s/2353138.jpg|2359860], one of the best mangas I read all year. The general idea is similar (drawing a painfully shy girl out of her shell) even if the execution is very, very different. Don't get me wrong, I still enjyed Kimi ni Todoke, but it didn't grab me in quite the same way that I am Here! did.