Saturday, August 21, 2010

Book-A-Day 2010 # 199 (8/21) -- Only One Wish by Mia Ikumi

Every so often, I try to make sure I read a cluster of really girly books -- ones that are entirely outside my personal experience, and deeply concerned with the thoughts and feelings of the other half of the human race. (And it's easier to that with manga/graphic novels, since each book takes less time.) I seem to be in another one of those clusters right now, with Raina Telgemeier's Smile and this book, which is amazingly girly in ways I rarely even think about.

Only One Wish collects four related stories in what could easily have been an open-ended series; the lack of a "Volume 1" in the title gives me the hint that there aren't any more, but I could easily be mistaken. The setup is that there's an "angel" -- who acts as the horror-host for these very vaguely horrific stories -- who will grant one wish to someone who texts her at her secret cellphone number...which you can find out by climbing the stairs up from the top floor of your school at midnight and reading it in the mirror on the landing. (You also seem to use the secret angel-phone that appears near that top landing, but the narration never mentions whether that's required.)

And the people who do the texting, and wishing, are entirely schoolgirls -- schoolgirls who wish for cute boys, to not be dead (so that they can chase cute boys), to shrink a cute boy so she can keep him like a doll, or to...actually, the fourth story is about another cute boy, but the angel is just the host; she doesn't get involved in the text-messaging, though she does watch the girl and boy text-message each other. All those girls are all young and bubbly and terribly (even stereotypically) feminine, concerned with their phones, with cuteness, with the boys they like and the boys that like them, and (almost as important as boys!) their friends.

The angel declares that these are horror stories, but it's a very, very mild horror -- the horror of losing your best friends in the whole wide world, or of the cute boy rejecting you, rather than, say, the horror of being tortured to death by someone ugly, large, and cackling. (I'm not fond of more traditional horror, though, so I didn't mind the lack.) They're atmospheric, vaguely creepy stories...if you're a Japanese schoolgirl, or the equivalent. Otherwise, they're cute and mild and difficult not to look down on from a great height. But if you ever wanted a lot of pictures of a shojo girl wearing both a sailor suit and a witch hat, you are amazingly in luck!
Book-A-Day 2010: The Epic Index

No comments:

Post a Comment