Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pretty Poison by Yutta Narukami review

Pretty Poison

Author/Artist: Yutta Narukami

Publisher: Luv Luv Press

Rating: M – for ages 18 and up

Genre: Josei, Drama, Romance

Grade: A

*** Review originally appeared at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society at http://liheliso.com/buzz/. Check it out! ***

Riyako is a gorgeous 20-year-old office worker. Her dream is to one day marry the man of her dreams, settle down, and start a family. She thought she had found that in Nobuki. Sadly, Nobuki was cheating on her. While she was in a vulnerable state, she met Shogo, a handsome young guy. In a moment of weakness she ended up sleeping with him. Riyako wanted to move on and spend some time being a single gal, but Shogo seemed to want to start something. No matter how hard Shogo tried to meet up with Riyako, and how hard Riyako tried to avoid Shogo, they seemed to be drawn to one another.

One day while Riyako was on her lunch break, she happened to spot Shogo. To do a little investigating she overheard Shogo talking with someone, and that someone happened to be Riyako’s ex, Nobuki. How long had Shogo and Nobuki known each other? Will Riyako be able to unearth the secret? She knows that Shogo is as dangerous as poison, but can’t seem to keep herself away.

There is also a short one-shot called Yuji Scores. Chisa and Yuji have been dating since high school. These days Yuji is playing soccer professionally. Yuji is ready to take their relationship to the next level. He proposes to Chisa. Chisa is ecstatic! She can’t wait to be a bride. But with peer pressure from co-workers and friends, will Chisa continue her relationship with Yuji, or will her friends succeed in convincing her that she’s too young?

I must say "Brava!" to Luv Luv Press for releasing Pretty Poison. I’ve read all of their releases (they only come out every other month so keeping on top of the releases isn’t too hard) and this one out shines all of the others. The only other release that features two stories in the volume is Real Love by Mitsuki Oda. The other titles are all one-shots that seem to rush the story to get to the sex. I realize that the story starts off with sex immediately (Yuji Scores also starts off in bed) but we have the opportunity to build up some tension and actually have a story. The art is very well done and is detailed but not overdone. In many romance stories we constantly see the main character looking for love. While initially Riyako is looking for love, she works on being able to stand on her own two feet.

Josei titles are a great read if you want to read something on the spicier side of manga but you aren’t into the homosexual nature of yaoi. Luv Luv Press is the only josei publisher here in the states. Chances are that if there is a large enough demand for these types of books, more publishers will be formed.

Luv Luv Press has raised their bar with Pretty Poison and I am looking forward to more plot driven titles from them. I’m not knocking their other titles, but in comparison to this work, the other books are somewhat mediocre. Keep it up (no pun intended, get your minds out of the gutter… oh never mind) Luv Luv, I have high hopes for you!

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

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