Type: Manga, Series, Book 1, Book 2, M/M, Yaoi, Blackmail, 18+, How cheating on a test gets you in trouble
About the Book: Playboy Maya catches studious Nemugasa cheating on a test, and to ensure his silence Maya blackmails Nemugasa into doing whatever he wants. Twice a week Nemugasa must go to Maya's room for some steamy action, but as dense and oblivious as Nemugasa is, he fails to notice Maya’s true feelings for him. With college entrance exams around the corner, Nemugasa must focus on his studies, but Maya won’t stop distracting him, causing him to finally snap! Can a relationship built on harassment ever be more? [Description from Goodreads.com]
My Review: So I'm a little torn about this book. The beginning is definitely a little rape-y - Maya is blackmailing Nemugasa, saying if he doesn't have sex with him, Maya will tell the administration about Nemu's cheating. So this isn't so much a willing situation. It gets there, though. The romance develops at different speeds for each of the main characters, which is pretty typical of a manga. And this book definitely contains well worn manga tropes - for example, a sort of rival trying to break the two love-birds up, but then becoming part of their hangout group later, as there are no hard feelings after that particular episode.
I read plenty of manga, but this is my first foray into the yaoi (m/m) world, so I wasn't sure exactly what to expect. I definitely didn't realize how, ahem, graphic the sound effects would be. I'm talking like - squilching sounds during... well, I'm sure you could guess. They weren't out of place, clearly, and maybe this is typical of yaoi comics - I'd have to read more to properly judge. And really, it didn't turn me off the whole idea entirely, so it's clearly something easily ignored and moved beyond.
The characters themselves were interested. They didn't necessarily have too much depth, though it certainly got better as time went on. This leads me to believe that if the series continues for more volumes in the future, they will develop properly in time. I also found it interesting how quickly Nemu just.. goes with the flow. Like "Oh yeah, guys probably blackmail other guys into sex all the time!" Maya himself throws off more of a bisexual vibe, and judging mostly by the blackmail - a bit of a sexual predator vibe as well. But as I said, both characters started to grow considerably by the second half of this book, so I see a promising future.
Cover Lovin': A typical manga cover - but I think it fits their characters very well.
Recommendation: 18+ for sure!
Final Rating: I'm going to go with THREE out of FIVE stars (3/5)! Three stars is my standard "there were parts I didn't like, and an equal number of parts I did like" score. The sound effects were a bit daunting at first, and the whole blackmailing for sex vibe was rough. But the romance itself was fun to read. I'd definitely read more, and check out more by this publisher/imprint.
Make sure to pre-order your copy of Don't Be Cruel from Amazon.com today!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~
Disclaimer: I received a free, advance copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.