A light novel spin-off for the hit yuri manga and anime series Bloom Into You!
Saeki Sayaka has always been an old soul—serious and reserved, preferring to focus on her studies rather than make friends. Until, that is, a romantic confession from another girl in middle school turns her carefully ordered world upside down. Though none of her classes have prepared her for this, Saeki must now come to terms with her sexuality in this gentle, coming-of-age novel about grappling with first love, growing up, and relating to other people.
Going into this light novel, I didn’t know much about the original series, aside from that it was a sapphic love story, and I had kept the anime on my watchlist since its premiere (I should probably see it soon, btw), so I jumped onto the chance to get to read a story set in that world. So, this story is about Saeki Sayaka, and it tells her story during elementary and middle school. The first story is about a friend she makes at the local swimming class, who seems very extroverted, compared to her composed self. She initially finds this (unnamed in the text) girl annoying, but soon she is pulled into her current, and out of surprise and maybe fear/confusion/angst, she stops going to the class. Skip forward to her middle school, when she and her senpai in choir are going out, while also keeping their relationship a secret. She finds this first relationship of hers a bit confusing, and she is unsure about what love is, and tries to appease the other girl, thinking that love is changing yourself for another person. Her relationship with her gives her joy, but it is also apparent that the other girl is calling the shots. It is very much a coming of age story, with Sayaka delving into first love, her feelings, her being certain in her sexuality, what a relationship would need, some heartbreak but also a revelation. I found the growth in her character very well-written and would love to read more stories about her in high school!
Is it diverse? lesbian main character; sapphic romance; set in Japan
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Seven Seas, via Edelweiss.
Released on February 11, 2020