The One, Volume 1 - Nicky  Lee This was an unexpected indulgence read for an overtaxed brain. Sometimes, I just have to look at pretty drawings and read about lighthearted romance to detox.

This seemed to fit the bill: a story about an aspiring model looking to make it big in the industry. The protagonist Cane Lele's initial motivation to break into the industry is to meet a famous male model whose portraits, to her, are an art form. She ends up meeting his twin brother, and sparks between them fly. However, as she faces personal tragedies, her quest to become an international model has a much different purpose.

Considering that I had thought I would lose interest quickly, I was pleasantly surprised by the story. Nicky Lee's depiction of the modeling world is, I suspect, quite romanticized. But she skillfully deals with personal and professional issues that arise in such an industry. Like much of shoujo manga, romantic situations are lighthearted and a little unbelievable, but this wasn't anything that I wasn't expecting. I actually think Nicky Lee touches upon the dark nature of loneliness and anger better than she does on fluffy romance.

For now, I am up to volume 7 (I clearly enjoy the story more than I let on in this review). I'm not sure if I will continue until the end, but for now, it's a great escapist read.