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Twinkle Stars, Vol. 1 by Natsuki Takaya

Twinkle Stars, Vol. 1

by Natsuki Takaya

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This is the newest series by the author of Fruits Baskets. I loved FB but I must say that aside from one short story collection, I was a bit disappointed by her other works. I just couldn't find the charm and heartbreak that made FB so appealing.

Twinkle Stars almost succeeds though I'm still a bit confused about the plot.

Ok, that makes it sound like it's overly complicated which it doesn't seem to be. Yet another naive young heroine with the boundless optimism to overcome her difficult situation in life (though she still somehow comes off as very different from Tohru, maybe because she's less bumbling) stars in the series. She is also an orphan of a sort, abandoned by her father and living with her strange, agoraphobic cousin who avoids people and does not even leave the house to work. Sakuya describes him as tired and supports him as best she can. She is part of a star viewing club with her two best friends, the eerily devoted and two-faced Sei and Yuuri, who not so secretly has a crush on her.

On her birthday a strange young man appears, and disappears just as soon. But it's love at first meeting. She searches everywhere for this Chihiro. When she does find him, finally, their reunion is not all that she hoped. There is cruelty beneath his princely demeanor (probably caused by trauma, all of Takuya's men are traumatized) and he breaks her heart. The story seems to follow her life and her attempts to get close to Chihiro.

Now here's where I get confused. Despite the title, this is not another astrology story. Takuya states this clearly. And yet, I keep expecting something supernatural. There is this constant feeling that Chihiro might vanish into thin air at any time, that he is not truly a human but a celestial being, one of the stars that Sakuya loves so much. But there has been no indication, other than this feeling that TS is anything but a normal (well, not fantastical anyways) high school love story. If this impression that Chihiro gives off is intentional, foreshadowing, I'm impressed because it's very subtly and beautifully done.

A very engaging read with interesting characters. Not yet at the level of her most popular work but it has the potential. ( )
  roguelibrarian | Sep 24, 2009 |
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