Lenni Reviews: “Komi Can’t Communicate” Vol 9 by Tomohito Oda

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

In this volume, we are treated to:

  • Kimo wanting to continue her friendship with the girls she hung out with on the school trip
  • Learns to play “Eraser War”
  • Makes and gives chocolates to her friends for Valentine’s Day
  • Gets creeped on by Yamai again
  • Goes with her friends to a batting cage
  • Meets a girl, Akako Sato, who has issues being too nice
  • White Day shenanigans
  • Side story of Komi’s parents

The stories felt shorter this time, as there are more of them in this volume. I would have either preferred less stories with more length or a longer volume. Things flashed by at a breakneck pace and this is the first volume where I didn’t feel like I wanted more because it was so adorable (even though it was), I wanted more because it went by too fast. Still good but not as good as the others. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Given” Vol 1 by Natsuki Kizu

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

Ritsuka Uenoyama is bored with everything. High school drama, his music, basketball; all of it. But when he finds Mafuyu Sato napping in his favorite spot with a broken guitar and Uenoyama begrudgingly offers to fix it. When he plays the guitar to test it, he finds his passion for music rekindled.

Watching Uenoyama become passionate about music again is sweet and whatever is lurking in Sato’s past is compelling enough for me to want to know more. It looks like there may be a possible romance between the two but for now, I’m content to watch them just be happy about life again. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Patience & Esther: An Edwardian Romance” by SW Searle

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

In order to earn money for her family, Patience gets a job as a housemaid for Mrs. Sweet. To learn the ropes, she’s paired with Esther, the head housemaid, and now Patience’s roommate. As they get to know one another, their feelings deepen, and a passionate relationship blooms.

Not only is this a lesbian romance set in Edwardian times, but it’s also body-positive and interracial. As to that last point, I expected a LOT more overt racism but I’m not sad it’s left out. There’s enough of that in real life these days. And the sexy scenes are tastefully done. But to put the romantics out there at ease, this is a happily ever after that I found very sweet. And the side story at the end with them set in modern-day was really cute. 4.9 out of 5

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Lenni Reviews: “Kakushigoto: My Dad’s Secret Ambition” Vol. 1 by Koji Kumeta

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

Kakushi Gotou has a secret he’s keeping from his daughter, Hime. He doesn’t work in a suit in an office; he draws hentai manga.

He doesn’t want his daughter to end up getting teased because of his career so he puts up a front and shenanigans ensue. Gotou is just a decent guy trying to do the right thing by his daughter – who is too sweet for words. The framing device seems to be an older Hime returning to their old home and discovering her father’s work so I wonder how the series will play out from here. But if you like manga like Komi or Way of the House Husband, I think you’ll find this cute as well. 4.5 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “Wave, Listen to Me!” Vol. 1 by Hiroaki Samura

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

Minare Koda goes out drinking after a breakup and drunkenly confides to a fellow customer. Unbeknownst to her, he works in radio and not only recorded the conversation but played it on air without her permission.

I requested this book because the premise sounded funny and I am a fan of Samura’s art from back in his Blade of the Immortal days. And while of course, his art is fantastic, this story didn’t interest me as much as I thought it would. Minare is kinda unlikeable; often getting too drunk to control herself and giving other people trouble. But sadly, I was bored and I doubt I will read any more of this series. 2.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Night Witches” by Garth Ennis & Russ Braun

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

This graphic novel presents the story of The Night Witches through the lens of a fictional character, Anna.

At first, I was excited to get a graphic novel about The Night Witches. If you check out that Wikipedia entry, you can see they were awesome. But then, I see the main character is fictional and I felt immediate disappointment. Call me petty but I didn’t want characters based on the real women, I wanted the real women. Irena may have some dramatizations but Irena existed. But I give it the benefit of the doubt and read it.


I didn’t even like Anna, everything felt so forced – including all the random sex scenes –  the villains feel over the top, and the art style didn’t click with me at all. I could tell there was an effort but, it all felt sour at the end. If anything, hopefully, this will get people curious enough to do further reading. 2 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Grand Dark” by Richard Kadrey

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

Largo Moorden works as a bike courier and lives a life of sex, drugs, and indulgence with his actor girlfriend Remy. But when people start disappearing and there is talk of war, Largo finds himself mixed up in a strange and twisted conspiracy.

After I finished this book, I had to look at what other people were saying to see if my feelings that the slow-moving pace of this book is borderline unbearable. I did find many people simply gave up and I can see why. Things don’t really start ramping up in action until the 58% mark. Relevant details and world-building do happen but it’s peppered with Largo’s day to day life and his drug addiction, theatre friends, and job. It’s written well; you get the feeling of this decadent behavior in a city very segregated by wealth but it takes so long to get to the meat of the matter. If you’re willing to put in the work, the payoff is pretty good. If not, you’ll end up quitting. 2.9 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “Come Home, Indio” by Jim Terry

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

This graphic novel is the memoir of Native American Jim Terry, as he grows through his childhood with alcoholic parents, growing up to struggle with alcoholism himself, his identity in the Native American community, and losing his parents.

Despite it being pretty depressing, this is a great memoir with amazing art that sets the mood well. It’s unflinchingly honest and raw, leaving you with a hopeful note at the end. If you’re into graphic memoirs, this is a unique story. 4 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “Komi Can’t Communicate” Vol. 8 by Tomohito Oda

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

The bulk of this book is devoted to the class trip to Kyoto and Komi is scared to go because she skipped the last one because she had no friends to hang out with. But now, she’s able to muster the courage to go and have a good time.

We also meet a new character, Naruse; a narcissist convinced Komi is in love with him because he thinks everyone adores him. He warps every situation he’s in as “they’re only doing it because I’m so amazing. Thank goodness the trip is most of the book because Naruse is annoying. The rest is just so wholesome and genuine, it put a smile on my face. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Jealousy” Vol. 1 by Scarlet Beriko

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

Rogi is a yakuza head and after Hachi throws himself in front of his car, Rogi decides to take him in. This book also tells the story of how Akitora meets Uichi Rogi when coming to collect a debt, finding Uichi bound to the debtor’s bed. There is an instant connection and Uichi sets his mind on joining the yakuza to be with Akitora.

This story has me hooked and mostly because of how insane Rogi is in going about becoming a yakuza. I am so shocked he lived through the volume! He reminds me of Queen Zazau where I’m facepalming at the questionable decisions in dealing with very dangerous people. I’m excited to see what happens but at the same time, he frustrates me. 3.9 out of 5.

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