Thursday, July 19, 2012

Skinship by Imari Jade

Shy and mild-mannered Harou Kikuchi dreams of far-away places and hopes one day to leave Osaka, Japan to see the world. But until then he does his best working for Mr. Suzuki the owner of Suzuki's Bakery.

Kenta Yamada lives a lonely existence, reading books or working on accounts. He dreams of one day finding someone to spend time with and share his love with.

He meets Harou, a young man starved for human affection. One kiss awakens the passion in Harou's eyes. Would one caress or a hug win him Harou's heart?

 Reviewer: Purple Rose

Harou grew up in foster homes until he was taken in by Mr. Suzuki, an elderly baker, who became his only family and friend for many years. Because Harou is small and shy, in school he was picked on by bullies and never made any friends. He is now in his twenties and working at the  bakery that Mr. Suzuki owns. Although he hasn't been in school for years, 3 former classmates still pick on him and often chase him home  from work. On one such encounter he runs into Kenta, who he recognizes  from the bakery: it turns out that they live in the same apartment building. Kenta is a black belt in karate and offers to teach Harou how to defend himself. Soon Harou and Kenta's friendship develops into more but Harou is inexperienced so Kenta once again has to teach him. 

The short novella was pretty average, it was like reading a Japanese yaoi novel, just without the pretty pictures inside. LOL. The wording, plot, and even the characters were just like they are developed in yaoi novels, which is often a little different than American mm novels. For  example, Harou was beyond innocent to the point of almost not being believable, ranging from his views on sex to his life skills. And Kenta was a typical seme who was experienced with everything and helped guide Harou. With it's character similarities to yaoi, I did like both of them and would have liked to see some more development between them. One  thing I didn't understand was if they were supposed to be speaking English in Japan or not. I figured they would be speaking Japanese and as a reader we could just pretend it was translated to English, but at  the start of the story Kenta says a Japanese greeting and then proceeds to speak English. Not sure if that was just added to show they were in Japan or what, but it felt off. I'm giving this story 3.5 stars. 

 Publisher: Melange Books                                                                                      

Source:  Manic Readers



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