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Nessa's Thoughts

Just a British girl who reads a bit too much.

Currently reading

The Dead Zone
Stephen King
The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
Jean-Dominique Bauby
Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady
Samuel Richardson, Angus Ross
Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
Piper Kerman
The Cuckoo's Calling
Robert Galbraith
Model, Volume 1 - Lee So-Young Once upon a time, a girl named Plain Jane Jae moved to some undisclosed location in Europe from South Korea to study art. Her best friend Melissa goes out drinking one night and befriends an almost impossibly beautiful man named Michael. After he gets drunk, Melissa drags him to Jae's apartment, because it's closer than hers, and just leaves him there.But in the morning, Jae wakes up from a terrible dream about a vampire biting her neck, only to find out that it wasn't a dream at all, and she's got the fang punctures on her neck to prove it. After Michael finds out that Jae is an artist, she offers him an interesting proposal - she wants to capture his beauty in a portrait for one of her art projects, and in return, she'll allow him to drink her blood. In fact, this deal works out for the both of them. Michael's favourite type of blood (no pun intended) is that of fairly young artists who are innocent to the realities of this world. And Jae loves painting portraits and occasionally getting insulted, I guess.Now, to be honest, that's a rather flimsy premise. A super-pretty vampire modelling for a girl who is so plain, that when Michael offers her a beautiful dress, she takes it off, messes up her hair and wears a really simple shift dress. Ah, the cliché of most YA heroines in these supernatural romances…Anyway, Jae eventually moves into Michael's mansion, and meets his maid, Eva. Then she meets Ken, a vampire in service to Michael… and it's revealed by the end of the volume that Ken is actually Michael's son. Hm.One thing I will say first, though - the art in this manhwa is really pretty. The vampire characters have these wispy, long bodies, with full lips and silky hair. The backgrounds are quite detailed, and of course, this being a vampire story, the art in general is very Gothic. In contrast, the human characters aren't quite as pretty as the vampires, but still have that gentle, willowy look about them. My one complaint about the art? Someone tell Lee So Young that fingernails aren't naturally as long as she draws them to be. They seem to begin at the topmost joint in each finger, and it just looks really weird. I got used to it after a while, though.The story isn't really all there, yet, though. I feel like it meandered a lot between Jae first meeting Michael to Jae moving in with him to Jae discovering Michael has a harem to Jae discovering Ken is a vampire (love triangle!~) to Jae getting physically and emotionally abused by Michael, to Jae finding out that shock, horror, Ken might be Michael's son. And there it ends. I just didn't feel like Jae had much going for her as a character. She's fairly bland, and for an artist, she doesn't really do much artwork. More exploring the mansion, whinging about something, arguing with Michael, and finding out more about the relatively small cast. Eh, maybe we'll find out more in the subsequent volumes.Michael is a fairly bland character also. I'm probably jaded from the glut of vampire fiction I've read, but I really hate reading vampire characters how despair about the state of humanity nowadays. The bloodsucking equivalent of those little old ladies who whinge about how things were better back in their day. Michael does this when he complains about how Jae lacks the artistic passion to ever make it as a painter, and he grabs her violently at one point when she asks him why he's such an arse. Though that was remedied when Ken sent a flock of bats after him. (Though Michael killed them, the bastard.)Speaking of Ken, he was felt kind of shoved into the plot at the last moment, as if the artist/author went: "Hey, here's another vampire, Jae! LOVE TRIANGLE TIME!" Ken is at least begrudgingly nice to Jae, so I like him a lot more than I like Michael. However, I'm more than willing to forgive this series for weak characterisation and a story that's only just finding its feet. The artwork is pretty, and I'm definitely intrigued to read more, so for now: 3.5/5.(This review is also available on my blog: http://book-wyrm.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/model-1-by-lee-so-young.html)