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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.
Hello everyone and welcome to Gray’s Nook where I discuss and review manga, short stories, and novels! In today’s blog, I was graciously allowed a copy of “Koimonogatari: Love Stories, Vol. 1” by Tohru Tagura from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am very excited that I was able to review this BL manga as it was on my radar to pick up, and I’m over the moon to have been able to read it. Thank you Diamond Book Distributors and NetGalley!
Yuiji Hasegawa is the main character of the story, thus far–As we watch the story progress in his POV. In the beginning of the novel, we notice his character is empathetic towards the second main character of the story. He knows that it isn’t his business to meddle in such affairs, but he can’t help but watch Yamato–or should I say, observe? Yuiji is fairly cautious at keeping his distance from Yamato until an event with a study session allows them to become more acquainted with one another.
After this study session, Yuiji finds himself liking Yamato more and more as a person and good friend. He openly admits to Yamato that he had overheard a conversation between Yamato and a mutual acquaintance about his sexuality. However, Yuiji makes it clear that while he knows about Yamato’s orientation, he isn’t someone who will air something like that out to anyone as it isn’t his business, and that he likes him. As a friend– (BUT NOT FOR LONG >___>//It’s the first book I’m already rooting for this ship to sail okay???)
Yamato Yoshinaga is the second main character of the story, he’s a cool and calm character with a radiant personality. However, behind that placid disposition, he is silently yearning for someone to speak openly with about his truth. He’s a mature character, knowing he likes men–he doesn’t act impulsively on his emotions. Yamato cherishes the feelings he holds for people, and he doesn’t take advantage of his relationships with others he cares for. He’s careful to hide his feelings, and in doing so he’s also struggling with accepting himself.
His character is by all means, noble, even if he states that he feels like he is lying to everyone. Yamato knows that he likes men, and he also understands about that his feelings are one-sided, but he won’t just actively jump on anyone offering up ‘services’ to him. I adore his character and morale, as he states to people that he is young, and he is learning still about his heart and desires–and he wants to follow what his heart tells him without being forced by others.However, his greatest hurdle–accepting himself and his own heart.
This is the first volume in the series, and it’s not a jump into the bed and let’s have sex ordeal in this story. It is WHOLESOME, and a slow burn romance. This story is about growing into yourself, learning what you like and don’t want in a relationship. Understanding one another, and learning to face life’s hardships along the way. I enjoyed this volume immensely, and I couldn’t believe how fast I read through it… I’m in mourning.
If you’re looking for a boy’s love romance with two main characters slowly getting to know one another, and developing a solid relationship in the process. I’m very sure this is the book for you, while this is only book one. I have high hopes for this novel and what will transpire in the future volumes, overall this has been a great read. I can’t wait for the next!
As always, thanks for reading, and see you all on the fictional side~!