Hi. My name is Tami. I am the author of this blog. You can contact me by posting a comment or emailing me at readaton@gmail.com. I am also happy to add you as a friend at www.goodreads.com where I keep track of everything I am reading.

I LOVE to read. I am pursuing my master's degree in library and information science at San Jose State University. Right now I mostly use this blog for class assignments.

No matter your reading tastes you will find books for you here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fruit Basket

Fruit Basket

by Natsuki Takaya
Tokyopop Manga, 2007
ISBN 1427806896
434 pages

3.5 (out of 5) STARS

Plot Summary

Tohru Honda was an orphan, living with her grandfather, when one day fate kicked her out of the house and she was forced to take up residence in a tent in the forest. Little did she know that the land she was staying on belonged to the Sohma family, a mysterious clan. After stumbling upon the teenage squatter, the Sohmas invite Tohru to stay in their house in exchange for housework. Everything's going well until she discovers the Sohma family's greatest secret: when hugged by members of the opposite sex, they each turn into their Chinese Zodiac animal!


Critical Evaluation

This was a brand new experience for me. This is the first manga book I have ever read. I chose this one because it was referred to positively in the Manga's genre group presentation earlier in the semester.

There were quite a few things I liked about the book. 1- The artwork. I particularly enjoyed the artwork of the people. Somewhere I read (can't remember where now) that the author of Fruits basket likes to draw her men slender. That would be for sure. The men in the book are very beautiful also effeminate. It is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between the males and females. 2- I liked the story line. It is interesting to have the characters turn into the different zodiac animals.

My only real problem with the book was getting used to the style. I still get confused about which way to read the pages. At the back of the book I found a "map" for how to read each page. But not each page perfectly follows that format and then I get confused. I followed the gist of the story just fine but sometimes I would read the dialogue in a backward manner.

Reader’s Annotation

When Tohru's mother dies in a car accident, Tohru lives in a tent. But she is soon found by some classmates and invited to live with them.

Information about the author

Natsuki Takaya (高屋 奈月 Takaya Natsuki, real name Naka Hatake) is the penname of a Japanese manga artist best-known for creating the series Fruits Basket. She was born on July 7, 1973; (Tanabata). Takaya is left-handed and once revealed that she wanted to be a mangaka since first grade, when her sister started drawing.

She was born in Shizuoka, Japan, but was raised in Tokyo, where she made her debut in 1992. She enjoys video games such as the Final Fantasy series or Sakura Wars, or working on her different manga series, such as Fruits Basket, which is the second best-selling shōjo manga ever in Japan, and the top selling shōjo manga in North America. Fruits Basket has also been adapted into a twenty-six-episode anime series.

In 2001, Takaya received a Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo manga for Fruits Basket.

According to Takaya (in a sidebar of a Fruits Basket manga volume), she enjoys drawing girls (girly ones) more than she does boys. Takaya also enjoys electronics and music, but dislikes talking about herself. Also revealed in a sidebar of Fruits Basket, Takaya broke her drawing arm (left) after Fruits Basket volume six was published. She had to go into surgery, and as a result, had put Fruits Basket on a brief hiatus. Takaya made a full recovery, but complains that her handwriting had gotten uglier, due to the surgery. During her hospital stay, she gained an interest in baseball.



manga. fantasy.

Curriculum Ties

literature. Japanese culture.

Booktalking Ideas

*What do you know about the twelve zodiac animals? What year were you born? And so then, which zodiac sign are you?

Reading Level

age 12 and up

Challenge Issues


Why Included?

Manga is continuing to gain popularity and is a necessary part of a ya collection. Fruit Basket has great reviews and seemed like a good place to start for my introduction into manga.

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