Miki Falls 1 : Spring
by Crilley, Mark

When Miki Yoshida meets Hiro Sakurai, she is unnerved by how much she cares about him and is determined to break down his defenses to find out the dangerous secret that he is hiding.

Crilley, probably best known for his Akiko novels and comic books, weighs in with the Miki Falls series, about lively, curious high-school-senior Miki, ready for adventure and romance. Attractive new student Hiro Sakurai piques Miki's curiosity, but he is not interested in making friends. Stubborn Miki, however, refuses to take no for an answer, which leads to a surprising revelation about the secretive young man. Except for an odd twist at the end (which, presumably, will be developed in future volumes), there are no surprises here. Crilley's manga-inspired illustrations, on the other hand, are terrific. Ranging from crisscrossing sequential panels to spot art, varied in size and artfully connected to further the plot, the pictures cleverly instill the story with abundant emotion, humor, and drama. An overlay of light shading and almost delicately rendered facial features and details give the book a softer feel than much manga. Despite the age of the characters, this will attract more middle-schoolers than older comics fans. ((Reviewed March 15, 2007)) Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

A young girl's journey into love evolves with the seasons in the stellar first volume of a quartet. Miki is an extremely likable 17-year-old girl, who, like most teenaged girls, wishes she were more assertive. Unlike her fanciful friends, Miki believes that there are more important things in the world than boys . . . until she meets Hiro. Handsome, brooding and mysterious, Hiro is a man of many secrets, and may be the only one who can never truly be with Miki. When she refuses to relinquish her conquest of him, Miki stumbles upon why Hiro is so enigmatic-and her feelings for him become all-consuming. Complex characters combine with masterful, expressive art culminating in an arresting new series for teen readers. The soft, gentle romance between Miki and Hiro is brilliantly juxtaposed with the darker elements of the story creating a salient tension between the two, and crescendos in the next volume entitled Summer (ISBN: 978-0-06-084617-6). A stark departure from Crilley's previous Akiko series, Miki Falls is a ruminative look at a love and a richly developed labyrinth of fantasy and secrets. (Graphic novel. 12-16) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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