By the second chapter of this novel, understanding dawned. What I was reading was really manga without the artwork rather than a traditional novel. A graphics-less graphic novel, if you will. That explained the bizarre addition of extensive character profiles at the beginning. It also explained the strange ‘not the US, not Europe, not Japan’ feel of the setting and culture, and why everyone acted like they were in high school rather than college-aged young adults.
I read a lot of manga, so in a way I’m okay with this weird hybrid. Once I saw it in that light, I could almost forgive some of the narrative issues with this work. However, there were many other issues that were unforgivable.
Who, other than a twelve-year old, constantly refers to breasts as melons? It was just embarrassing. At one point, the writer called a woman’s genitals her “vag.” We’re writing about grown-up stuff, so let’s use our grown-up words, okay?
Call them editing errors, typos, or just sloppy work, there are far too many mistakes with this work. I almost listed the long list of examples I had set aside, but why should I work for free as their copy editor? Someone needs to take a heavy red pen to this prose. Also, providing detailed character profiles does not absolve the writer of having to write characterization into the novel itself. If this had been an actual manga, artwork would have helped me to differentiate between the far too many two-dimensional characters, but they were just a blur of useless names after a while. I didn’t care enough to bother referring back to the dramatis personae.
But of all the problems with this novel, the worst was the rampant misogyny. The “hero” states that: “Girls are all about the money. Asian girls are really all about the money.” Boom! Not only a palpable hit with that old time religion of ‘women are greedy and evil,’ but also drops the casual racism bomb and just keeps going. (I can hear the author protesting: “Oh, but he was Asian too, so it’s all right.” No, it isn’t. Nothing in that comment was okay.)
I originally meant to save this as an example of the clunky writing, but it’s another example of the many misogynistic throw-away lines fouling this book like dog poo on a hiking trail: “Because when they looked at a guy, girls naturally calculated potential long term future and assessed potential status and dollar signs.” Just try to maneuver around that sentence. It’s like a verbal obstacle course with a huge muck pit of girl-hate in the middle.
According to this story, lesbians are man haters who secretly want to have a penis. VERY LONG SIGH.
There’s lots of creepy non-consensual touching and voyeurism – by the “good guy.” The “hero” alters a woman’s body magically so it will fit his masturbatory needs, and this is supposedly a woman he thinks of as a sister. Someone he loves. He makes another woman do an erotic striptease and give another guy a lap dance in class so she’ll be humiliated. Consensual? Screw that. Women are here to give this guy pleasure. And everyone else too, because gang-rapes are disturbingly routine after about the halfway point of this story. Then at the end, the author makes all the females in this story agree that the guy who did it was really a nice guy despite his few mistakes and they kind of liked being anally raped by him. Gross.
That pretty much sums up my feelings about this book. Not erotic. Just gross. Not the worst writing I’ve read, but you deserve better. Thankfully, better is out there for your reading pleasure. Go find it.