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Model (Model), Vol. 1 Paperback – May 4, 2004
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From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up–This second book in the series has great appeal to those with very specific tastes, and not much to those without. A tale of vampire romance, it is primarily shoujo (for girls and women) and populated with bishounen (pretty boys). In the first volume, Jae, a young art student, meets the elegant, androgynous vampire Michael. He has agreed to pose for her on two conditions. One, that she lives with him in his gothic mansion, and two, that she allows him a taste of her blood. In this follow-up volume, Jae's interest in Michael (both romantic and otherwise) extends to his equally androgynous but arrogant son, Ken. Further complicating the love/hate relationship that forms between Jae and the enigmatic Ken is Eva, the cold housekeeper. Also on hand is a chic new guest (with some secrets of her own) who reveals Eva's own mysterious past. Secret histories and gothic passions are the mainstay of Model, and the characters, with their elongated bodies, brooding eyes, and flowing hair, are the quintessence of supernatural romanticism. Some readers may view the world of Model as clichéd and built on style rather than substance, but fans of gothic literature, especially Anne Rice's works, will find themselves right at home.–Douglas P. Davey, Halton Hills Public Libraries, Ontario, Canada
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Publisher
Appeals to fans of Demon Diary and Rebirth
A Classic Goth Story set in the modern day
Appeals to fans of Vampire shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Top customer reviews
That's the basis for many a rotten supernatural romance, and it doesn't work much better in the tepid first volume of "Model." So-Young Lee brushes this canvas some tense moments and pretty gothic artwork, but the grotesque-looking characters and thoroughly cliched vampire-and-pretty-girl-fall-for-each-other storyline bog it down considerably.
Jae is shocked when her roommate drags in a beautiful, drunk young man, who gets up in the middle of the night and sucks blood from her neck. Three guesses what he is, and the first two don't count.
So as a sort of payback, she decides to draw his picture, only to incur the vampire Michael's wrath because he doesn't want anyone to paint him. But after she impresses him with her feistiness, Jae is given a strange commission -- she will be the first person to ever capture Michael's beauty on canvas, in exchange for regular blood donations. After some initial skirmishes, she moves into Michael's vast gothic mansion to begin work.
But of course, things keep getting weird, especially as Jae tries to keep her independence under Michael's orders, and constantly reminds herself that her host isn't human. Yeah, she thinks he's hot even though he looks girlier than she does. But things get even more complicated when the icy housekeeper's rebellious son, Ken, comes back to the mansion and reveals a long-standing feud between himself and Michael.
Vampire stories in general tend to have lots of cliches, and "Model" has them all -- gothic mansions (where does Michael get this money from anyway?), gorgeous elegant European bloodsuckers, oh-so-feisty young girls, and even a housekeeper who seems like a prettier version of Mrs. Danvers. Add a sulky male teenage rebel-without-a-cause, and you pretty much have an accurate idea of what "Model" is.
Unfortunately this story is not only cliched, but also tedious and slow-moving -- not much of anything happens, except the two main characters intermittently flirt and bicker and tease. Lee succeeds in perking things up slightly with a revelation about Ken and Michael near the end, and there's one mildly amusing scene involving Michael's "dinner hall," but otherwise it's mostly made up of cryptic questions and autumn rambles around the estate.
Even more distracting: the artwork. Korean manwha has a distinct style all its own, but Lee takes it to grotesque dimensions -- teeny heads, enormous hands and feet, incredibly long fingers and nails. And the manga/manwha "androgynous beauty" angle is taken to absurd extremes -- it is often literally impossible to tell the men from the women in this story, which doesn't reaffirm Michael's attractiveness.
In fact, Michael is actually rather creepy and obnoxious -- he talks endlessly about how gorgeous and dangerous he is, when he isn't wandering around in a sheet. And I guess I'm supposed to be impressed by Jae's spunk, but frankly she comes across as rather stupid. There's a fine line between a feisty heroine and a ditz with no self-preservation instincts... and Jae barrels straight over that line.
The first volume of "Model" ends with one intriguing little mystery, but sadly nothing else to really capture your attention. Cliches up the wazoo, and no likable characters to make up for it.
One night her friend drops off a drunk stranger into the apartment and everything changes. This stranger is breathtakingly beautiful and is also a vampire. The vampire offers her a deal, her blood for his beauty - he will model for her. Will it help get her career on track or is it just a deal with the Devil? Will she be able to handle him or it is all just a trap?
Great art and wonderful use of silence during much of the manga. The reader is allowed to absorb the story, not having it forced down his or her throat.
As tension mounts in this fifth volume of seven, Jae considers leaving the house, but she is too drawn to the mystery behind Michael, Ken, and Eva. We see flashbacks of Michael's human life. Jae reaches the point of no return with Michael, but what about Ken and his love for her? We learn yet another secret as to what Eva wants for Michael to give Ken. Preparations for Ken are fast approaching as he deals with his own transformations. The story complicates as Jae realizes who she truly loves. But has she overstayed her welcome?
Well this is probably my favorite entry because something monumental happens between my preferred ship. I also thought it was good to see the a glimpse into Michael's human life as it added another dimension to him. I was a little sad to see Jae sort of resolves that she isn't actually a talented artist, but just relies on her passion to *want* to be good. I feel like she should be better and stronger than that. I do at least like that she is in tune with her feelings. It's just a matter of her suitors deciding what they want.
The story isn't the most original, and the men are drawn so beautifully to the point of where they look like women, at least if they have long hair. The art style isn't really my favorite as the features are a bit disproportionate for my tastes, but it didn't hinder my enjoyment of the series. Jae's character could be worse. She makes pretty stupid decisions, but I do like that she stands up for herself every so often. And she certainly has her dedication to art. You can't deny that. This being the fifth volume, she is still consistent with goal of obtaining Michael's portrait. I am glad to see an actual deadline.
I purchased the whole series at once on Ebay for about $30. It was an excellent deal and I've gladly kept every one. It is FAR from the best series, but I've certainly read worse.
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