~ Book Review: Sunbeams in the Sky (Vol.1) (ARC) ~

Published: April 18, 2023 

Author: Monika Kaname & Translator: Julie Goniwich

Himari Akeno can’t wait to start high school! Even though she’s parting ways with her twin sister, Mio, Himari’s enthusiasm to start this new chapter of her life is palpable―that is, until a traumatic incident sends her home to hide in her room…Watching Himari’s dreams shatter is more than Mio can bear, especially when her sister still longs for an ordinary student life. Determined to see her twin get back out into the world, Mio “catches a cold” and convinces her sister to fill in until she “recovers.” As long as the shy, introverted Himari can pull off impersonating the bubbly, energetic Mio, nothing could go wrong…right?

Vol. 1
Vol. 2
Vol. 3

Sunbeams in the Sky, Vol. 1 [そらに陽だまり [Sora ni Hidamari] #1] is my first manga in a long time. I have read a ton in the past, but took a brief break, so I am glad to read a new one. The cover for this is sweet and I love the color-scheme. The art was very well done, and I loved the expressions of all the characters. The story follows identical twin sisters Mio and Himari who attend different schools. After an assault incident involving Himari, she decides to stay home and attempt to recover from the traumatic incident. Mio ends up asking Himari to instead attend her school to help her become more comfortable.

There are some logistical questions that do not get answered, such as, why the two do not go to the same school in the first place or why Himari did not transfer and instead posed as Mio. I am not sure if these will come up later or if the reader just is supposed to accept it, but it does not take away from the main story of the one sister posing as the other. Not only does Mio have some obstacles in trying to mimic Himari, but there is the added complication of romance. While Himari likes Tsukiyono, Mio likes Asaka. Since neither is acting as themselves, there is a lot of potential drama as the series moves forward. There is a lot that could happen with each guy finding out and the general people around each sister finding out, too, so I cannot wait to see what happens.

As this is the first novel in the series, it does its job of setting up the story and characters with enough potential for the remainder. While it does have a very dark theme with the assault, it does also include many lighter moments as the twins impersonate each other. This series will, I believe, be on the shorter side which means it should not become too much more complicated than the basics of the reveals. The characters are sweet and fun, so they all were likable enough to care about their stories. The premise of twins pretending to be each other is not new, but I still enjoy it. Overall, this was an interesting story, and I cannot wait to see how the rest turns out.

**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Yen Press, for the opportunity to read this entertaining novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

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