Orange: The Complete Collection 1
I'm a firm believer that manga and graphic novels are perfect for reluctant readers. I know as that's what helped my son discover the magic of books.
What worked: First off, I loved the premise of this manga novel that has a teen receive a letter from her future self. In that letter it warns her to watch out for the new transfer kid. Naho at first thinks her friends are pranking her but when events from the letter come true? She starts to wonder about the mysterious boy and what she can do to help with his fate.
One thing I need to mention is this is a manga book and you have to read it Japanese style which is right to left. Other that that, this book has all the angst of high school life only add to that an apparent time-traveling element. Naho is at first skeptical of the mysterious letter and then when events start happening, just like the letter warned? She doesn't know what to do. Should she try to intercede? And if she does what will the consequences be later on down the line.
Kakeru is the transfer student who seems standoffish at first and then almost too happy. No one really knows his story only that something tragic happened to his mother. Naho doesn't know how to address that issue without coming across as too forward. How Takano shows the doubts, struggles of Naho are very real. She doesn't just jump in and try to solve the problem without serious doubts.
There is chemistry between Kakeru and Naho right at the start. The shyness and awkwardness is there too. Neither one knows how to reach out to the other without fear of breaking up a growing friendship with Naho's group.
Add to that the drama of the Mean girl and the awkwardness of trying to help someone who already has a girlfriend.
The illustrations add to the story line. I like how they show the emotions and reactions of each character in the story. This is the first collection that follows the school year. The second collection continues the story.
What would you do if your future self tried to warn you about the fate of a friend? Time traveling elements with romance make this a must read for fans of Manga and graphic novels. ORANGE won't disappoint.