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Kushiel's Dart
Jacqueline Carey
Into the Closet: Cross-Dressing and the Gendered Body in Childrens Literature and Film (Children's Literature and Culture)
Victoria Flanagan
Ouran High School Host Club, Vol. 01 - Bisco Hatori When Haruhi Fujioka breaks a priceless vase, she finds herself in debt to the host club, a group of rich young men who entertain rich young ladies and make them happy. That is basically the premise of the entire series, which, to be honest, sounds a bit rubbish. However, this is a great romantic comedy and one of my favourite shoujo manga series of all time.

In this first volume, the premise of the series is set up and we are introduced to the major characters. One of the most important things in a shoujo manga is the characters, and the character development. In this volume, the characters seem rather shallow - the soppy, annoying male lead, the prankster twins, the cute one, the silent one, the cool and slightly evil one - but we get hints of depth which are expanded on as the series goes on.

Haruhi, on the other hand, is a bit of an atypical heroine. She's blunt, doesn't care about her appearance and is a bit apathetic to anything but her studies. Very interesting heroine of a shoujo manga, really, as they're usually cute, blushy girls. I think this is one of the reasons I like Ouran so much. Haruhi reminds me a bit of me... minus the blunt part, haha.

The art style is a bit inconsistent in this volume, but it gets better as the series goes on. This is partly the reason why this volume only gets four stars. It's particularly noticeable with the twins. If you compare this volume with later ones, you can really tell that Bisco Hatori has grown as an artist. One thing she really is good at, however, is comedic expressions (*coughTamakicough*). They never fail to make me snigger. :)

To be honest, this was a nice change of pace for me. I just wanted to read something lighthearted and fluffy. Also, there are about five volumes of the series I've never read and I really wanted to find out the end. It was nice to revisit the host club after a couple of years.

If you enjoy shoujo manga, give this series a try. :)