Peach Girl Book 1

Sometimes it’s not just the comic that determines whether you like it or not, but the circumstances in which you find it. Peach Girl was one of the earlier manga series I flipped through, but it wasn’t until the story was reissued in the right-to-left “authentic” format that it clicked with me.

Perhaps that’s because I’ve gained a new appreciation for and am much more familiar with shôjo teen romance, or perhaps it’s because the art reads more smoothly in its original format. Regardless, this is a fun, engrossing soap opera with a likable, unusual heroine.

Peach Girl Book 1 cover
Peach Girl Book 1
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Momo is the title character. Her name means “peach”, and her swim team activities give her blonde hair and a darker skin that her culture finds unattractive. Her looks make people think she’s an easy party girl, to the extent that slimy older men on the street offer her money for sex. It’s funny to see someone who’s so attractive in a stereotypically American “California girl” style spend the whole book lamenting her appearance, in a “be careful what you wish for” kind of way.

Momo’s also got a temper, which allows her to stand up for herself — if only she could do so in a more acceptable way than punching people. She’s torn in her affections between goofy playboy Kiley and Toji, the boy she’s had a crush on for years. The situation is complicated by the misunderstandings that spread through gossip, with various scenes sparked by overheard rumors or misinterpreted sightings of secret meetings.

When Momo’s classmate Sae gets involved, things take a definite turn for the worst, since Sae excels at lying and manipulation. She’s classically pretty, and there are hints that she hangs out with Momo just to make herself look prettier. Sae’s used to getting everything she wants, in contrast to Momo’s lack of self-esteem, so it galls Sae when Momo gets attention from the two hottest boys in class just by being herself. Sae’s jealousy is evilly attractive to read about. I’d hate to know someone like her, but she’s a great character to hate.

There’s more going on in the story than is obvious at first sight, and the characters are refreshingly non-exaggerated. At that age, just a word or two can cause a teen to call everything they believe into question; Peach Girl realistically turns that tendency into entertaining twists and story turns. The overall message of the book, spelled out in notes from the author, is that Momo will be happy when she learns to accept herself for who she is, regardless of what false friends and her culture tell her.

21 Comments

  1. i read peach girl a lot
    it is my favorite manga ever!
    EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. [...] Sae was the bad girl in Peach Girl, the story of how a teen girl named Momo overcomes stereotypes to find love. And when I say bad, I mean BAD. Sae didn’t think anything of having Momo drugged and date-raped in order to steal her boyfriend. So seeing her as the heroine of a new short manga series was going to be a hard sell for me. [...]

  3. My friend took me to the book store and showed me the book. I couldn’t get away from it. So every time we go I get to read some more. It’s great!

  4. I thought peach girl was very very very very very good. Also if it helps i known this girl named Sae whose such a big bitch.
    ps.
    Being ganguro isn’t such a bad thing even if there is ridicule but isn’t it everywhere take it from a true ganguro girl. ;)

  5. vanesa etienne

    i thought that sae was the worst friend ever. I Hate her guts. Like how could you do something like that but i loved the book. I especially love the tense parts that keep you wondering until you the continuation of it.

  6. i just started to try and read the book.i didn’t read any books yet,but i already now i’ll love it!after all those messages, sae really sounds bad.still love ‘in the book!!!

  7. i love peach girl it is a great book.i can not wait to read more episode of it. unfortunately the library i get them from have not got other episode. but it is all the same. i bet momo and kiley end up together at the end.my sister said i was crazy because i kept on saying i much i love the book, but when my sister read it she totally fell in love with it.

  8. [...] story (an allusion that’s made explicitly in the book). Miwa Ueda previously authored Peach Girl. That series was about a girl who was thought to be something she wasn’t because of her [...]

  9. Andrea ( Sugar Girl )

    This Book Is Great !
    I HATE Sae !!!
    Just To Get Momo’s Boyfriend, AHHH ! :@
    Anyways : If You Haven’t Read It…
    READ IT ! :)
    It’s An Awesome Book !
    I Would Read All The Time XD

  10. Kathryn Marie Janeway

    I love manga comics and i love Bone and Garfield to, i am just a comic book reader! MANGA IS GREAT

  11. sue Mee-Sook

    I love, love, love PEACH GIRL!!! any one know any other books like it?!?!?!

  12. I’m fascinated, amused, and bewiched by Momo and her adventures. I want to read all of Peach Girl. But I’m confused; are there three, series, or two? I find the titles Peach Girl, Sae’s Story, and Peach Girl Authentic, and can’t tell from comments and reader reviews what’s what. Can somebody clear up this mystery?

  13. As near as I can figure out:

    The difference between Peach Girl and Peach Girl Authentic is that the former is left-to-right, and the latter is just a reprint in right-to-left.

    There’s a series you’ve missed, Peach Girl: Change of Heart, which picks up after Peach Girl. It isn’t a separate series in the original Japanese editions.

    Peach Girl: Sae’s Story is a spinoff about Sae.

  14. James,

    Thanks!

  15. I read the first peach girl book, the one above, and I want to read more. But im confused on what to read next. can anyone help?

  16. I would guess you’d want Book 2, available at your local bookstore, library, or Amazon.com.

  17. wow. my nick name is momo and i had long blond hair in high school and the basic story is pretty much mine.

  18. I love the show and cant wait to read the manga typ books

  19. [...] Reading this old Tokyopop edition also made me nostalgic for their early line of releases. The ads in the back are for classic shojo — Peach Girl, Kodocha: Sana’s Stage, Mars — and the early seinen that was so popular: Chobits and Love Hina. [...]

  20. I haven’t started reading this yet, but by reading the comments, I think it’ll be a very good book!

  21. What ever its about super happy blond skanks with nothing better to do than piss off other girls! It is a shallow series but who am I to judge fully I only read part of the series.

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