Originally, when I glanced at Sand Chronicles I automatically categorized it into a manga that is aimed at teens full of romance with a hint of drama, being apart of shojo beat, that is in retrospect, what you would expect from it. But, as I began to read, i was shocked. The story focuses on Ann Uekusa, whose mind could hardly wrap around the idea of romance. The way that the author portrays the emotions of a helpless teenager is quite well. True tragedy was expressed throughout the story line, and raw emotions were portrayed. Ann deals with her dad abandoning her mother and her, their divorce , and her mother's suicide all in one novel. The transitions are a little rough in the beginning with the overload of traumatic scenes,but, come the end of the book a bit of comic relief is portrayed. The illustrations are fair to say at the most, sublte use of color, shape, and screentone were used. More detail, would have added to the seriousness of the story, and even to the joyous moments of the story. But, its plain and simple approach doesn't take away from the plot which is this series' crowning glory. Overall, its an emotional read, that is constructed fairly well and delivers for the most part a great plot.