Sunday 3 May 2020

Book Review: Koimonogatari: Love Stories Vol. 1 by Tagura Tohru (LGBT/Contemporary/Manga)

Title: Koimonogatari: Love Stories Vol. 1
Author: Tagura Tohru
Publication Date: 19 May 2020
eBook - PDF
ARC via NetGalley


When Yuji accidentally overhears his classmate Yamato confessing to another friend that he's gay, his perspective shifts. Seeing Yamato in a new light, Yuji does his best not to let prejudice color his view, but he still finds himself overthinking his classmates' interactions now. He especially notices the way Yamato looks at one particular boy: Yuji's own best friend. Even though he tells himself he shouldn't get involved, Yuji finds he just can't help it; watching Yamato's one-sided love draws him in a way he never expected. At first, it's empathy, knowing that the boy Yamato has his sights on is definitely straight and has no idea. But as his own friendship with Yamato develops and the two of them grow closer through a mutual study group, Yuji comes to truly care about Yamato as a person, regardless of his sexuality. He only wants Yamato to be happy, and to be able to express his true self. 

Koimonogatari is definitely a slow-burn story. I liked the premise and, for the most, I liked the artwork, although a few characters looked similar which was, at times, a bit confusing. I think it's fair to say that this first volume really is about introducing the characters and setting the scene. Not a lot happens in terms of major action and the piece is dialogue heavy. In the e-ARC copy I received the text was very grainy, so it was hard on the eyes with so much to read, but I assume that wouldn't be an issue with a final, physical copy. I would be interested to see what direction this story ends up taking; however, this first volume didn't grip me enough that I will be desperately awaiting volume two. As such, I am giving it three stars. I didn't dislike it, but neither did it thrill me.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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