Lenni Reviews: “Commute: An Illustrated Memoir of Female Shame” by Erin Williams

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*This book is recommended for mature readers.

This graphic memoir follows Erin Williams, a recovering alcoholic and three-time sexual assault victim, through her daily routine and the thoughts and memories that come to the surface.

I can respect this book as a blow by blow of one woman’s thoughts during her day because I, and likely others, look at strangers, makeup stories and/or get reminded of events in my past. I can even relate to the random biological thoughts; just all the stuff that pops into your head. It’s creatively done. But this is such a personal and visceral experience that I feel bad for judging it and have difficulty empathizing with it. It seems wrong to critique something so personal. The content made me uncomfortable and it should, to be honest. I can see this being triggering for sexual assault victims and the art can be a little wonky in some places. My brain had to take a minute to process what the image was trying to convey. 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Nothing To Forgive” by Lee Brazil

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+.

Vic comes back from vacation to find his older boyfriend, Marc, with a much younger man. Fuming, he storms out without a word until Marc reaches out to him with hopes to explain.

This is an ok quick, steamy short story. I was left feeling like it would be a side story to a bigger novel or series rather than something that feels complete on its own. Our main characters do have chemistry but I don’t feel like I had enough information about them to get attached. The writing is good though! 3.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Seven Days: Monday–Sunday” by Venio Tachibana & Rihito Takarai

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

On a whim, high school third-year Yuzuru Shino asks out first-year Toji Seryo, who is notorious for only dating girls for one week then breaking up with them. But as the end of their deal draws near, they realize seven days may not be enough.

I like this manga. Simple, straightforward, happy ending, nice art, and not too graphic. Perfect if you’re in the mood for something slightly predictable (if you know anything about the genre,  you know what’s going to happen) but sweet nonetheless. Maybe a little more development with the boys would have helped understand them on a deeper level so you get more emotionally invested. But, I still enjoyed it. 3.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Way of the Househusband” Vol. 2 by Kousuke Oono

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Our favorite house husband, Tatsu, wants to get fit! After driving his wife crazy in the house with a hula-hoop, she suggests a fitness class. He also gets really into growing his own herbs and frequents a tag sale.

This manga is just good fun. I get that people may not like this because it’s so silly but the silliness is why I keep coming back and why I love it. Tatsu’s mobster looks are almost like “resting bitch face” making all of his unintentional shinanigans hilarious to me. All I need is more if Tatsu’s backstory and this will all be perfect! 4.5 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “Our Dreams at Dusk: Shimanami Tasogare” Vol. 3 by Yuhki Kamatani

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Tasuko is back to helping out at Cat Clutter but his crush, Toma, is working there as well and Toma was there to witness Shuji’s outburst outing Tasuku in the last volume. We also have a new character, Oyama, and her daughter, Mai.

Oyama is one of those people who try so hard to be accepting and understanding, they swing right back around into being inconsiderate jackasses; as if her understanding makes her superior. Mai seems to blossom when her mother isn’t around because she’s acting normal, being an example of what I think the theme of this series is, just treat people like people.

I’m noticing these volumes are getting more “screamy” as they go on. I’m waiting for a full-on brawl in the next one. But I still enjoy this series! 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Our Dreams at Dusk: Shimanami Tasogare” Vol. 2 by Yuhki Kamatani

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Tasuku meets Shuji, a younger boy who wears girl’s clothing and is unsure of his gender identity. Tasuku tries to make him feel comfortable with himself and attempts to befriend Shuji.

The tail end of his volume is a sour note indeed. Without spoiling too much, I feel Shuji was an absolute jerk. Just WAY over the line. I’m going to have a lot of trouble tolerating him later on.

Other than that, I love how the message in this book is simply to treat LGBTQ people as PEOPLE; not a display, sideshow, or a pity party. A crazy idea I know (so much sarcasm here) but it’s something people unknowingly do when faced with someone different from them. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “That Blue Sky Feeling” Vol. 3 by Okura & Coma Hashii

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Noshiro, Ayumi, and Sanada are all coming to terms with their feelings in this final volume of the series. Noshiro attempts dating while Sanada finally comes out to his friend.

I like that this didn’t turn into a huge romantic story. Noshiro remains his lovable accepting self and wants to be with Sanada whether it be romantic or friendship. It’s left up in the air as to which it will be and I think that’s the best ending if we’re stopping the series at three volumes – despite it being a little frustrating because obviously the reader would love to know what will happen. Overall, this series was adorable. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” vol. 3 by Paru Itagaki

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

With the Festival of the Meteor on the way, the students are excited and busy with preparations. But Legoshi is distracted by his feelings for the rabbit, Haru, worried that his predatory instincts are behind the attraction.

I had a good chuckle at the Festival of the Meteor, which is to commemorate the meteor that killed the dinosaurs. This series is odd but so creative, I’m addicted to it.

This volume also has a side story about Legom, a chicken who sells her eggs part-time for extra money and introduces Juno, a wolf who develops a crush on Legoshi. It also introduces the town outside the school with a seedy underbelly of black-market meat. There’s some interesting world-building going on here and its awesome to see something this creative. Each volume has something that makes me impressed! There are some confusing action panels that made me stop and flip the page back to make sure I understood what was going on but otherwise, great book. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Pushback” by John E. Stith

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Dave is finally happy after restarting is life after his fiancee was killed in a car accident in which he was driving. He has a new girlfriend, a good job, but three bullet holes suddenly appear in his car and the people at his high school reunion have no idea who he is. Then strange letters and texts arrive. As the danger mounts, Dave tries to figure out who is trying to ruin his life.

I wanted to like this so bad but there is something about the writing that’s so damn dry. This guy is being (spoilers??) shot at, poisoned, hunted down, framed for crimes he didn’t commit, and he comes off as if all of this is a minor inconvenience to him. He’s just overall too chill about everything going on around him and since he didn’t care, I didn’t either. I was just killing time until the final reveal which I guess makes sense but like I said, I wasn’t that invested. 3 out of 5.

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