Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Behind Story Volume 1 by Narae Ahn

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Author: Narae Ahn
Publisher: NETCOMICS
Publication Date: July 30, 2015
Age Rating: Adult (mature themes)
Disclaimer: I obtained this book for free through NetGalley


Highschool students Taehee and Yohan meet in a motorcycle accident. From then on their relationship slowly grows. But things get complicated because of Jinsuk, the teacher who's obsessed with Yohan.
The thing that drew me in about this novel was the cover. I thought it was really nicely done and love the colors. Unfortunately, that excitement did not continue once I opened to the first page. It is manga style I think (can you tell I don't read manga?), black and white, which isn't a big issue. I mean yes, maybe I am a spoiled brat who likes reading comics with bright colors, but it honestly wasn't the lack of color that turned me off. The illustrations themselves just weren't pleasing to me. I hate even saying that, because I feel like it implies the author has no talent. She does, believe me; I couldn't draw even half that well, or even a quarter that well. It's just not for me, personally. Here's an example of one of the pages at the beginning, just to give you an idea:



I thought the story would be kind of intriguing as well, but it never really picked up enough to hold my attention. Once things focused more on Johann (which is how it is spelled in the book; Yohan is how they spell it everywhere else apparently), it became a little more interesting. By interesting, I mean it made me feel slightly ill as I had to witness the interactions between Johann and his teacher, which didn't seem completely consensual. The relationship between Taehee and Johann was strange too; it seemed like one minute they didn't want much to do with each other, and the next they're buddies having confusing feelings about each other. I think this series is kind of about these two teens figuring out who they are and their sexuality, which is refreshing, but in the end I just didn't care about the characters. I take that back; I felt sorry for Johann, dealing with this creepy, manipulative, possibly psycho teacher. The rest just made me feel indifferent.

Another thing that bugged me was the dialogue. There were more than a few times were it was hard to discern who was speaking. It ended up being confusing and I had to spend time on a couple of sections trying to figure out what in the world was going on. Everything put together made for a very unsatisfying reading experience for me, but I do hope others enjoy it.

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