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"Daisuki." (Volume 1) Paperback – December 18, 2012
About the Author
Hildred Billings is a Japanese and Religious Studies scholar who has spent her entire life knowing she would write for a living someday. She has lived in Japan a total of three times in three different locations, from the heights of the Japanese alps to the hectic Tokyo suburbs, with a life in Shikoku somewhere in there too. When she's not writing, however, she spends most of her time talking about Asian pop music, cats, and bad 80's fantasy movies with anyone who will listen...or not. Her writing centers around themes of redemption, sexuality, and death, sometimes all at once. Although she enjoys writing in the genre of fantasy the most, she strives to show as much reality as possible through her characters and situations, since she's a furious realist herself. Currently, Hildred lives in Oregon with her cat, with dreams of maybe having another human around someday.
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Top customer reviews
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The two main characters, Reina and Aiko, felt like real people to me. I was especially drawn to Reina - she considers herself to be more masculine than Aiko, works in a company filled with (perverted) men, and she reminded me of myself and some of my close friends. She has an insane sex drive (as does Aiko), but also engages in poly* activities. I liked that we saw some poly* in the book, but a part of me fears that someone new to LGBT literature might confuse lesbianism with poly*ism. At the end of the day, all characters that engaged in sex felt like real people with real issue and needs, but with a playful side too.
This is a book in the erotica genre and there are lots of opportunities for sex. These scenes can be read for pleasure, but they also add to the sub-plots in the story. If you dig a little deeper, you can see the seeds of foreshadowing for major themes later in the book. Obviously, this book is recommended for adults due to the mature content.
The writing was quite good. A couple of times near the beginning I came across some odd word choices (i.e. fornication, gyrating) that I felt didn't fit the mood for the passage. However, there were some beautiful passages and the ending was absolutely fantastic. These characters really grow on you, and the writing just adds another dimension that can't be ignored. Our characters are Japanese, and so some Japanese phrases are included in the writing. They are added in a way that the reader can easily catch on to what is being said and even adds a bit of a cultural air and realism to the dialogue.
As this is a romance novel the plot was predictable to some extent. Despite this, there were a couple of sub-plots that contributed to the overall story arc and really made this book unique. There are quite a few things to consider once you finish reading the book. Yes, the story takes place in Japan but the issues there are similar to the issues here and I think most people can relate to someone in this book.
The book does contain Japanese-language phrases peppered in, and at first I was worried that readers unfamiliar with the language might be confused but I think Billings does a good job conveying the tone and meaning in the passages.
I eagerly await starting the second release, Hatsukoi.
If you're in the market for good lesbian romance (and, really, who isn't?), definitely check out "Daisuki.". I read it in one sitting and absolutely loved it.