In my mission to educate myself further about manga, I sought out the recent popular titles. First off, a confession: I am not a girly girl. I never have been. I have never read romances and tend to disdain them, as much as I know I shouldn’t. So, I was not terribly excited about delving into romance manga, worried that I would only find tales of fashion plate girls swooning and impossibly pretty boys being either monstrous or too good to be true.

Peach Girl was a happy surprise. Don’t be put off by the fact that she can’t seem to do up her fly on the cover. While the girls are fashion plates and the boys impossibly pretty, the story is familiar to anyone who’s fallen in love, is too self-conscious to have the confidence to do anything about it, and yet can’t stop thinking it. Momo is terribly aware of how she looks: blond hair and a tan she cannot get rid of in a world where pale skin is the ideal. She is teased for either being a beach bunny or a slut by her peers, though she is most certainly neither. Her “friend” Sae–actually her back-stabbing rival–sports dark tresses and a pale complexion. Will Momo get the object of her affection, the quiet Toji, despite her perceived flaws, or will Sae win the day? Add in the class dreamboat, Kiley, making eyes at Momo, and you have a recipe for humor and heartache in all the right doses.

Peach Girl, vol. 1
ISBN: 1892213621
by Miwa Ueda
Tokyopop 2000

  • Robin B.

    | She/Her Teen Librarian, Public Library of Brookline

    Editor in Chief

    Robin E. Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. She has chaired the American Library Association Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection List Committee, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, and served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She is currently the President of the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table for ALA. She was a judge for the 2007 Eisner awards, helped judge the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards in 2011, and contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime at comics conventions including New York and San Diego Comic-Con and at the American Library Association’s conferences. Her guide, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

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