Cheese wedges! Uniforms! Private academies! School balls! Mystic playacting! Arcane rituals! A delightful novelty (since my time, that is), a school gossip blog written by a mysterious person who knows all your secrets! The Flowers Four, ehm the four superlicious school idols, the ones every girl drools after (tally-ho!) and who, most unexpectedly, take a sudden interest in the protagonist!
I used to read manga during my high school years, and a good part of the setting and tropes of this book (Hanayori dango meets Marmalade Boy meets Kiss of Rose Princess) feels like the good old times. This personal part said, the book target audience is people around the MC age - who turns sixteen during the tale - or who still remember the feel of school desks, the thrill of classmates or the evil blonde cheerleader who made their life miserable (regardless of the gender. But you will get your satisfaction at the ten years after graduation party. Maybe).
Dirndls and Shakespeare!
The protagonist is a nice girl with a shabby dressing style (but of course, with her hair down and contact lenses, she is positively stunning!) and a very sharp, practical mind, whose no-nonsense attitude helps her cope with a one-parent family, many relocations and an immature mother. The first person narration allows for a nice dose of cynical thoughts and witty observations, which I liked very much and added to the story; also, her skepticism towards the paranormal makes for great entertainment when she is confronted with disturbing dreams and tales of occult. She is a lover of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (great taste) and tries the scientific approach of Sherlock Holmes to mysterious cemetery rendezvous, bloggers and hot boys when she moves to London and enrolls in her new step-siblings exclusive school.
Nicely written and translated, the story flows with steady pace and no difficulties. It is YA and stays YA, the plot is linear, the surprises not difficult to anticipate as the clues are plain, but I wouldn’t want otherwise from this kind of novel, it was seriously fun, the characterization is fitting (only the young, of course. Adults file under the categories of sympathetic idiots or antagonistic idiots or simply idiots) and I had a good time with this book, the theme of the dreams is very intriguing. Also, no cliff-hanger, though the story is open to a sequel. The end is a bit far-fetched, but it doesn't detract from the overall enjoyment.