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  Manga Mondays is a meme hosted by Alison at Alison Can Read where bloggers can share their passion for reading mangas. It's a great place to get new manga titles to try and to meet new bloggers. I've been debating about dropping the Boys over Flowers manga series since nothing has really caught my attention with this series thus far, but I was pleasantly surprised with volume 5 and it made me think that I may have judged this manga a little too quickly. Volume 5 is a big game changer and I'm really excited to see where the characters and story arc goes.

Description: Tsukushi endures innumerable ups and downs in this entry in Yoko Kamio's acclaimed series. Domyoji Tsukasa is as jealous as ever with the arrival of Thomas, while lurid and embarrassing photos of Tsukushi and Thomas emerge. Just when she thought things couldn't get any worse, Tsukushi's tormentors up the ante of cruelty and violence. Only one boy comes to her rescue. Which one will it be?

Review: My heart broke for Tsukushi in this volume. I really admire her as a character. She is smart, has a good head on her shoulders and good intentions, but they always manage to back fire on her. Things have gone pretty smooth for Tsukushi after she went on her so-called date, which was absolutely disastrous and hilarious, with Domyoji and the school has accepted her as Domyoji's girlfriend. She is treated kindly for once and not the social pariah. She even has made a new friend in Sakurako, who appears to be a little too pathetic and passive that makes her completely suspicious. Instead of being weary of Sakurako, Tsukushi takes her under her arm and introduces to the F4. Little does Tsukushi know that Sakurako has devised a game that could ruin Tsukushi and the F4!
  The cruel game that Sakurako created quickly comes into play when suggested photos of an incapacitated Tsukushi is found in a very compromising position underneath Thomas, a foreign exchange student Tsukushi met at a party. The photos circle the school and a rumor that Tsukushi slept with this foreign boy and cheated on Domyoji spreads like wildfire. The entire school takes up arms against Tsukushi in support of their elite leader without his knowledge. The bullying starts slowly with Tsukushi's lockers and clothes ruined and accelerates from her being beaten by stones, bats, and even dragged by a car! These scenes were very hard to read and overly dramatic. When Domyoji finds out about the photos he is instantly angry at Tsukushi, but instead of praising his classmates he tells them to stop and surprisingly he comes to her rescue and tells her that he believes she is telling the truth that nothing happened. 
  Volume 5 creates a new connection between Tsukushi and Domyoji, one of trust instead of a weird romantic attraction. Domyoji did not really appeal to me as a character since he's been one dimensional for the past few volumes, but now I'm starting to see his complex layers. I've seen different sides to him now: the rich bully, the insecure boy abandoned by his parents, and now a sensitive guy who admires Tsukushi for never bowing down to him which he finds fascinating and attractive. I can't wait to see how Tsukushi and Domyjoi's relationship changes.
  The artwork of Boys Over Flowers isn't stunning, but it gets better with each volume. Interestingly enough I didn't pick this manga series because of its artwork but rather its characters and story arc which has been praised by many readers. I hope to watch the anime and/or the live action story after finish reading this manga series.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language, strong bullying violence that even includes attempted rape, and crude humor. Recommended for teens and up.

If you like this book try: Boys Over Flowers Vol. 6 by Yoko Kamio, Kare Kano: His and Her Circumstances by Masami Tsuda, Mars by Fuyumi Soryo
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