Book Review: Love & Lies Volume 2

January 8, 2018

Love & Lies Volume 2 cover

I hope that everyone is doing well, and had a nice time
celebrating the beginning of a new year.

Things have been going fairly well, especially after finding
out that Amazon finally killed off one of its biggest mistakes, and I can still
do the things that I enjoy.

Back during the end of 2017, I got some Amazon credit and I
used it to get two titles.

Today, I will be reviewing one of those two titles from,
which is called Love & Lies Volume
2
by Musawo.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier
post
, I will not go over it again.

Things are starting to get complicated for Yukari, as the
ministry comes to check up on him and Lilina, and Yukari himself gets nervous
with certain conversations.

However, when Yukari, Lilina, and Misaka go on a camping
trip with Yukari's and Lilina's parents, things start getting more complicated
and Lilina is reminded that things might not end happily.

While the first volume was pretty impressive, though it did
have a clichéd vibe towards the beginning, that does not mean that the series
will remain good all the way through.

And after reading this, I can say that I kind of liked it,
though not as much as the first volume.

Just like with the previous volume, from the moment that I
started reading the first few pages, I found myself so engrossed in the work
that I did not want to put it down for any reason.

For any kind of work out there, a reader needs to be pulled
into a work enough that they lose track of everything for a short moment that
work would take to read, and, depending on the kind of work being presented,
there are many ways to do this, though the usual is just by making things move
along slowly, yet still seem interesting.

In the case of manga, as it is usually a serialized medium,
this is done by picking up where things were left.

Back in the previous volume, Nisaka spotted Yukari kissing
Misaki and both he and Yukari expressed interest in talking with the other,
which made me wonder what exactly would happen, and this volume's first chapter
opens up right with Nisaka and Yukari talking to each other.

As much as I would want to praise Musawo for starting things
off quite well though, seeing as she does the writing and art work, the real
credit goes to Kodansha's Japanese branch, or whoever they had compile these
chapters into volumes, as they knew how to start a manga volume off on the
right foot.

If the volume had not started right where the last one left
off, I would have been a little disappointed, because that would have made a
relatively decent cliffhanger into nothing more than something that did not
make too much sense, though it could have just left the conversation to a
flashback moment and been okay.

Fortunately, the people who compiled the chapters that made
this volume did not do that, and at least made it easy to get back into the
work.

Hopefully, this will continue on for the rest of the series,
as it will be able to keep things interesting, though it would take quite a bit
of time for me to forget how this series began in a way that did not give off
that feeling of being unique.

I also liked how I was able to chuckle a few times while
reading this book.

Even though the humor was not really that unique, in
comparison to anime and manga in general, things were still executed well
enough that I was still able to get some sort of a laugh.

One of the things that I really liked about this series was
that even though it started off in a way that almost made me want to forget
about this series after one volume because it did not give off that vibe of
being unique that every story needs to have, regardless of whether it is truly
original or not, the humor still made things enjoyable enough that the world of
the series felt more lively, and Musawo was still able to deliver in this
series quite well.

If the humor had been left out entirely, I would have been
really disappointed, as the only reason to keep following the plot, which is
not really that different from any other series that makes one wonder if the
characters that are head over heels for each other would in fact get together,
leading to a dating setup that is about as boring as the one in The
Whistler
from John Grisham, which would make me want to drop this
series almost as quickly as Girls' Last Tour's first volume made me want
to forget about that series.

Thankfully, the humor was still present, and that was able
save this volume just enough for me to not get bored just yet, which makes me
want to give Musawo a little applause.

Hopefully, the humors remains good throughout the series
run, but I do not doubt that the humor will become tiresome really quickly,
seeing as this series has already showed quite a few flaws in the first volume,
so the next volume may be the last of this series I read.

The thing that I liked the most though was how Lilina
started to react more about what Misaki and Yukari do.

Back in the previous volume, she claimed that she was
incapable of falling in love and tried to Yukari and Misaki to be closer and
Misaki warned that it could backfire on her, but she did not seem to care too
much.

While Lilina did not say anything like “get away from my
man!” in this volume, she did seem to show signs that she indeed has some
feelings for Yukari, like her wondering how she should take Yukari's honesty
about kissing Misaki, and with the explanation of how couples are matched up
under the Yukari law that was revealed in this volume, it does make sense that
it would be happening.

In a series like this, there does need to be some kind of conflict,
other than the one preventing Yukari from being with the girl he has feelings
for, and this occurrence suggests that there might be some conflict that will
crop up and Lilina might start to take a stand, knowing what would happen if
Yukari did not choose her, in order to be sure he can pursue his dream, but I
kind of doubt it, seeing as what data I could gather about what happens later
on in the series does not fall in place with such a scenario.

If things like this did not occur, I would have been really
disappointed, because it would have seemed to be unrealistic and unbelievable,
and it would have given me even more reason to consider dropping the series,
because works in the romance genre still need to be works that the audience
would find believable.

Fortunately, Musawo remembered that this was a work of
romance and started to show that Lilina's efforts might just end up hurting
her, and that makes me want to give Musawo some more applause, though still not
quite as much as I would have liked to see.

Hopefully, things will improve in this area as the series
progresses, but this could very well be the Attack
on Titan
of romance, so it could be very much possible that Musawo will
either forget once again that this is a romance or do so much damage to the
series that it would not be worth following.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else
that I particularly liked, at least that could not be shoehorned into what I
already talked about.

Because my interest was captured quickly and held right up
to the end, by picking up where the last volume left off, there were some
things to chuckle about, and Lilina reacting differently than what she claimed
back in the beginning of the series, this was a fairly decent read.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about,
such as typos, only one thing really bothered me.

There is no unique vibe to be found.

Now, many people might be saying that it is hard to come up
with anything truly original, but, as I have said numerous times, even once
already in this review, a work of fiction can still give off that vibe of it
being different from everything else, and if a work does not give a reader the
feeling that what they are really is going to be different, they are not going
to enjoy themselves one bit.

In the case of this series, Musawo has been having
difficulties creating that vibe, by having the very first chapter of the series
start off like so many other series, in which the protagonist that we are
introduced to has a crush on somebody and wants to be with, and when I saw a
character claim that they would never get married, I thought that things would
turn around.

However, in this volume, things go back to giving me a
feeling that all of this has been done before and that Yukari and Misaki will eventually
end up together, even if that might not be the ending that Musawo has in mind
for this series.

Really, Musawo? Is this how a proper romance, let aloe a
work of fiction, is supposed to play out?

There are many works of fiction and many genres that those
works are classified under, but many of the greatest works of fiction out there
were great because they delivered things in such a way that even people who are
not technically the target audience can enjoy themselves, and they each have
something that makes that work seem like it is an entirely new work.

Unfortunately for this series, this is the second time in a
row that I got this feeling that I feel like I have read something like this a countless
number of times before.

The second volume is supposed to give readers even more
reason to continue following a series than the first did and try to start
making this series come into its own by fleshing things out a bit more, but
most of those chapters did not do that, or at least do it in a way that I am
actually interested in what is going on.

This could very well be a weakest of the romance genre, just
like how there is very little one could do with zombies, but, in my time spent
reading numerous works, whether something has the unique and/or interesting
feel that it needs or not is entirely dependent on how the creator writes
things, so it would not make sense that any one genre has weaknesses, as
opposed to the writer's capabilities being what keeps it from being good.

Still, a series or other work of fiction does need to make
the readers think that it is unique, and Musawo completely and utterly failed.

Hopefully, things will improve in the next volume, because I
really wanted to like this series, but I would not be surprised if things get
worse, since I decided to only give this series three volumes to impress me.

Thankfully, nothing else really bothered me, so I can leave
this series with something left to stand on, instead of burying it further into
ground.

While there was only one thing wrong with this book, the
issue that presented itself was one of the more major problems a fictional work
can have and that this was the second time in a row it cropped up, it really
hurts the quality of the book itself.

Despite the fact that there were a few things to like, the only
issue to be found makes things bad enough that this was only good enough to
kill time.

I recommend this mainnly to fans of Love & Lies,
as they will be able to like this the most.

As for everyone, you are free to read this book if you want,
but the lack of a feeling of uniqueness might be very off putting, so I would
suggest avoiding the series altogether instead.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on Patreon
or, if you want to see if my judgement is right, buy a copy of the reviewed
title from Book
Depository
, who offers free shipping to many countries around the world, so
that I can find more worthwhile reads for you guys.

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