Born on June 8, Io Sakisaka made her debut as a manga creator with Sakura, Chiru. Her works include Call My Name, Gate of Planet and Blue. Strobe Edge, her previous work, is also published by VIZ Media's Shojo Beat imprint. Ao Haru Ride was adapted into an anime series in 2014. In her spare time, Sakisaka likes to paint things and sleep.
Gr 8 Up-In this manga about teens who learn about the pain of unrequited love, Ninako has a romantic awakening when Ren, one of the most popular boys in school, notices her when he accidentally breaks her cell-phone charm and then replaces it. This generosity from the school "pop star" distracts Ninako from Daiki, the boy who's been there all along, and makes her start becoming more interested in "girly" things. As the story progresses, she evolves from being a one-dimensional girl with a simple life into someone who gains maturity as she learns what love feels like. She falls for Ren by watching him sleep on the train, by talking to him, and by appreciating his acts of kindness. The black-and-white illustrations feature the manga tropes of pointy hair and big eyes (perhaps bigger than most, if that's possible), and the panels are filled with life and action. This book will be a sure winner among fans of the form looking for a mix of romance and drama.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.