Sunday, May 11, 2008

Thirsty for Love by Satosumi Takaguchi and Yukine Honami review

Thirsty For Love

Author/Artist: Satosumi Takaguchi/Yukine Honami

Publisher: Juné

Rating: M - Ages 18 and up

Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Tragedy, School Life

Grade: A+

*** Review originally appeared at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society at Check it out! ***

The blurb on the back says:

People say it's impossible to love two men equally at the same time. But what if you have a lot of love to give?
Yuka loves the passionate Orie, the arrogant Tatsumi and the painfully honest Suguru. All are different, but each is loved deeply and sincerely. One of the boys doesn't know that his girlfriend is cheating on him, another doesn't seem to care that he shares his girl with others, while one turns a blind eye to the situation. So what happens if you take away their common denominator?
Secrets and lies are unearthed and, with Yuka's sudden passing, the three boys are left feeling empty. But with Yuka gone, who will fill their thirst for love? The three are inevitably pulled towards each other and unwittingly bond together through their common lost love. Will they find comfort in each other's arms? Love, admiration and lust intermingle around them in an inescapable spiral in this coming of age romance.

This blurb does no justice to this amazing piece of work by Satosumi Takaguchi and Yukine Honami. The story centers on our three boys Orie Nakano, Suguru Suenobu, Tatsumi Kuwabara and the woman in the center Yuka Sarai. Yuka is triple-timing her men. Orie is the only one who doesn't know that Yuka is sleeping with other guys. Tatsumi comes across Yuka and Orie getting it on, but instead of freaking out, he joins in on the fun. Once the action is over and Yuka is in the shower, the two get into a bit of a scuffle and Orie leaves.

The story gets even more complicated from here. Orie plays on the school basketball team and has admired an upperclassman for quite some time. For some strange reason his sempai (for those unfamiliar with honorifics, sempai = upperclassman) suddenly quits the basketball team. Orie doesn't quite understand and takes it very personally.

The day after the threesome Tatsumi chases down Orie and drags him to the roof. Up there waiting for the two of them is Suguru, Orie's sempai. We soon learn that Suguru is also seeing Yuka and was aware that he wasn't the only one she was involved with. Suguru takes it particularly hard that the third guy in the equation is Orie. Orie breaks down as well, because he's upset that his sempai is quitting the team before he had the chance to play with him (not in that way, this may be yaoi but this is a pretty deep story!)

A few days later Yuka meets up with Orie on the way to school to explain that she loves the three of them deeply. She also informs Orie that she has a secret that Suguru knows, but she doesn't expound on it any further. Even though he walked with her to school, she wasn't in class and the teacher mentions that she'll be out of school for a while. It turns out that Yuka has Leukemia and it isn't expected to recover.

With Yuka's death brings deep pain to our three boys and the only way that they can overcome their grief is to cling to each other.

This was a truly moving story. It was truly an amazing experience reading this work. Takaguchi-sensei's story is unique in the yaoi genre. Any time you include women characters they are generally shoved aside as jealous beasts because the guys are getting all the action or they are used as set dressing. But in this case Yuka plays a central role in bringing our three characters to their destined end. Along with Takaguchi-sensei's story, Honami-sensei's art brings the story to life. Her detailed simplicity (I know, I know oxymoron city, but that's the only way I can describe it) truly brings each character to life. You can sense the sadness and pain in their eyes. All I can say is WOW! If you want to read something that is truly unique in the yaoi genre, then this is the way to go. It is beautiful to look at, Juné always does a great job. The cover has a raw and gritty, yet beautiful feel to it. You'll definitely enrich your mind and soul by reading this breathtaking story. I'm glad I read it!

***Review Copy provided by Publisher***
***Reposted with permission from The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society***

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