by Whitney Grace
Takao Kasuga was ready to leave this world in a blaze of glory with Sawa Nakamura, but in the last moment she pushes him away from the flame and decrees she is going to enjoy the fire solo. Nakamura’s suicide plan is ruined, however, and Kasuga is forced to start his life over in a new town. White-washing over his past has left Kasuga an empty shell and he denies himself every pleasure, including his beloved books. A slight encounter with popular Aya Tokiwa reignites his passion for literature. They begin trading books and Kasgua almost overdoses from literary starvation. He also begins to fall for Tokiya, but, alas, she has a boyfriend.
The Flowers of Evil started out as a strong series that took an extreme approach to teen angst and awkwardness, then it went haywire and absolutely depressing. Volume seven leads to a climax sending all past emotions down stream and Kasuga has the chance to recover, but old habits die hard. It is interesting, because the series could go either way by reverting to less than believable extremities or approaching with character growth and relationship development. Take volume seven as a crossroads, because who knows where volume eight is going to lead.