Sand Chronicles vol. 3 - Hinaki Asihara
Sweet 16-year-old Ann returns to rural Shimane from Tokyo for the summer, eager to reconnect with her boyfriend Daigo. But will the allure of their close friends--wealthy brother and sister Fuji and Shika--sunder the romantic ties that have bound Ann and Daigo since they were 12?(courtesy of Goodreads)
*Warning: Potential spoilers. My manga reviews tend to be more of a summary than a review. I find it hard to review manga in the same way I do regular books.
Wow, this volume is all about drama. Each of the four main characters have major issues. The characters' difficulties are ironic considering that this is set mostly in summer - which should be idyllic, simple, and happy. It is anything but.
The volume starts with Ann and Fuji heading back to Shimane from Tokyo for summer break. At the end of volume 2, Fuji surprised Ann by kissing her and declaring his love for her. Ann is loyal to Daigo, upset, and doesn't know what to do. She confronts Fuji about it in Shimane, and guess who happens to overhear? Poor Daigo.
Meanwhile Fuji is tormenting himself over his belief that he is the product of an affair his mother had with a common laborer. He asks his grandmother for more information. She confesses the truth to Fuji. His mother did have an affair, but the product of that affair was Shika, not Fuji! Unfortunately, Shika was the one who heard grandma say this, not Fuji - mistaken identity. So Shika knows the nasty truth and Fuji still believes the nasty truth is about him. See the drama?
As summer fades into fall, Shika and Fuji are relying on Daigo and Ann more and more for friendship. They're both desperate - one knowing the awful truth and the other believing a horrible lie. Sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures...
The drama in this volume is a tad overdone. Veering away from realistic fiction toward soap opera. I can't say I mind though. Like any good soap opera, the outrageous story lines keep me glued to the page to find out what's going to happen next.