ARC Review: Shortcake Cake, Vol. 1 by Suu Morishita

Shortcake Cake, Vol. 1Shortcake Cake, Vol. 1 by Suu Morishita
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Release date: August 7, 2018

Ten Serizawa has a two-hour commute through the mountains to high school every day, so she can’t spend much time hanging out with her friends in the afternoon. She decides to move into the local boardinghouse, where one of her friends and three other boys are living. Ten’s friends consider her to be as oblivious as a rock when it comes to noticing boys and falling in love, but will she be able to keep her calm and steady heart in her new living situation?

A contemporary romance about a girl who starts living in a student sharehouse and the romance that arises. Ten seems pretty much chill, and uninterested in dating like her friends – until she meets one of her housemates – the quiet Chiaki who loves to read books. But there is another guy, Riku (she is kind of wary because he is too cheerful and flirty), who also starts to fall in love with her. For a first volume, it doesn’t develop much – just her arriving at the house, meeting the other housemates, a trip into the town she is living in, and a mysterious and rude guy who seems to know Riku.

On a character level, Ten is definitely different from the usual heroine, but it is also difficult to discern what she is thinking. The most entertaining bit of hers was when Riku is showing her around and they both are trying to figure out whether the silence between them is awkward or not. Riku notices her and Chiaki getting close and tries to figure out what Chiaki thinks – but the latter is also unreadable like Ten (which means, at this rate, they will never date).

I wish it focused more on the relationships between the housemates first, rather than just jumping into romance territory. There are other characters, too, like Ageha, her friend and Aoi, the other girl, and I hope we see more development on that front, too, in future volumes. Right now, it is a generic shoujo story with maybe an unusual heroine, and it is standard meet-cute fare.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from VIZ Media LLC, via Edelweiss.

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