Monday, July 16, 2007

Ouran High School Host Club (volume 1) by Bisco Hatori

I recommend this book for: middle school and high school

This is a new series to my library system (thanks for recommending it, Teen Advisory Board!), and I thoroughly enjoyed the first volume. Haruhi is a scholarship student at a very prestigious school - the kind where your status is determined by your grades, your lineage, and the size of your wallet. Already feeling left out because she's not filthy rich, she accidentally breaks an $80,000 vase that belongs to the Host Club - a group of 6 handsome boys who entertain young ladies (sort of the same idea as geisha, without all the makeup!). Since she could never repay them, they agree to have Haruhi work off her debt by becoming a host . . . only they think she's a boy! When her secret comes out, they keep it to themselves, which leads to all kinds of antics. The stories play with the conflicts between Haru and the boys, the necessary romantic tension (it is shojo, after all!), crazy or interesting clients, and the conflict between rich and poor - one of my favorites was when the boys developed a taste for her "proletarian noodles", since being rich, they'd never had instant ramen!

This is definitely aimed at teen girls, and I think it hits the mark admirably. The storyline is fun, the art is lovely, and I appreciate the author's sense of humor. Granted, there are some homosexual situations due to the basic premise of the story, so if you're uncomfortable with that this probably isn't a series for you, but there's nothing more graphic than flirting and one innocent kiss involved. Definite fun!

Amazon page - sorry, no reviews!

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