Book Review: Stepping On Roses, Volume 1 by Rinko Ueda

Book: Stepping On Roses by Rinko Ueda

Published April 2010 by Viz Media|200 pages

Where I Got It: I own the paperback

Series: Stepping On Roses #1

Genre: Manga

A rags-to-riches romance from the creator of Tail of the Moon! Poor Sumi Kitamura… Her irresponsible older brother Eisuke keeps bringing home orphans for her to take care of even though they can barely afford their own basic needs! Just when Sumi’s financial problems become dire, wealthy Soichiro Ashida enters her life with a bizarre proposition–he’ll provide her with the money she so desperately needs if she agrees to marry him. But can Sumi pull off fooling high society into thinking she’s a proper lady? Moreover, is it worth it to give everything up for this sham of a marriage?

This is another book I’ve had on my bookshelf for a while, but never read until now.  I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would, and I don’t think I’ll be continuing the series.

The story itself is interesting, and it’s your typical rags-to-riches story.  Sumi is trying to keep her family together, and she wants stability, obviously, but how it happens is…different.  I didn’t particularly care for Soichiro, and he’s a horrible person, in my opinion.  I thought he was horrible to Sumi, and things are bad enough at home that she’ll get married if she has to.

It is a different take on romance, especially with the few romances I’ve seen in manga.  There’s possibly a love triangle though not really.  She seems to be interested in someone other than her husband, who she’s not supposed to fall in love with.  It’s more business arrangement than anything else, and you see how people treat her because of the poverty she lives in because of her brother.

It’s just…the romance didn’t work at all, and I have the feeling that they’ll end up falling in love.  That, or things will end terribly.  I’m just not interested enough in the story to find out.  It was a quick read, but it’s manga, so that’s not surprising.  I did like the illustrations, though, and I thought the story came across pretty well with the artwork.  I did like the historical details included, and it makes it clear that it’s not necessarily happening in present time, which I did think at first.  There is an emphasis on class and social structure, and I though Ueda did a great job at showing that.

2 stars.  I’ve read some manga, but this wasn’t one of my favorites.  It just wasn’t for me, though it might be a better fit for someone else.

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