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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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05/28/2008 Archived Entry: "Novel review: Sweet Admiration"

Sweet Admiration
By Yuuki Kousaka
Illustrations by Midori Shena
Published by the Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc

Review by Ryes

Sweet Admiration by Yuuki Kousaka is a nice novel about businessmen falling in love, kind of similar to The Man Who Doesn't Take Off His Clothes. Except in this one, Katsuya and Shio already know each other from the past.

Katsuya and Kazuki were childhood friends who spent one crazy summer together, but became so close that they always kept in touch. Kazuki has a brother named Shio who is so beautiful that Katsuya's been in love all these years. When he hears that the company Shio works at in Tokyo is hiring, Katsuya jumps at the opportunity to get to know Shio better. But when they end up rooming together Katsuya finds out Shio has changed.

Shio's not the gentle brother who picks up Kazuki and Katsuya every day after playing outside. He's hostile about the living situation and doesn't seem to want Katsuya around. But no worries! Katsuya wins him over with his superb culinary skills and engaging dinner talk.

This novel was pretty short, pretty sweet. Shio is an icicle (we find out why), so Katsuya doesn't give up and works at it to make sure there's a friendly environment in their home. Eventually, Shio starts warming up to Katsuya and they find many things to talk about. Tension comes in the form of Shio's half-brother Takamasa.

That part of the storyline was a little predictable. I've always thought that the endings of romance books were generally predictable, but I'd like the events in the middle to be mixed up a bit. As soon as Takamasa started clinging to Shio, I knew right away how the rest of the book would go. I still enjoyed reading it though because it was everything a short story should be. It moved right along, with no side plots or anything else.

I loved Midori Shena's art style and I hope I see some works from her in the future. Her style was just right for the story.

Sweet Admiration is perfect for a short read and one to keep on the shelf for Sheena's beautiful artwork.

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