Manga Reviews: Lovesick Ellie Volumes 1, 2, & 3

Series: Lovesick Ellie
Volume 1
Author: Fujimomo
First published: 2015
Ongoing: yes
Rating: 4/5 stars
Date read: December 31, 2019

Lovesick Ellie follows a young woman named Ellie who is a self-proclaimed pervert and is fixated on the most popular boy in school, Ohmi. A chance encounter with Ohmi reveals Ohmi’s true nature, leads to them getting closer, and maybe to Ellie’s fantasies becoming a reality.

Lovesick Ellie is off to a great start. Ellie is one of those wallflower protagonists who doesn’t have many, if any, friends. She’s likeable, easy to root for, and easy to sympathize with given the way her classmates make no effort with her. Ellie’s perverted nature can get a bit awkward at times, but it’s more hilarious than it is weird (and it’s pretty weird). I love Ellie’s interactions with Ohmi, they’re so cute, and even though she’s often thinking perverted things they’re very wholesome. I like that Ohmi accepts Ellie for who she is right off the bat, and that he’s comfortable being himself around her, I’d say that’s a pretty good premise and reason for liking a girl. But Ellie and Ohmi aren’t the only fun characters, I love the addition of Sara to the cast. Lovesick Ellie does something unique with her introduction, in that initially it seems like Sara is using Ellie to get closer to Ohmi but in reality really does just want to be her friend. Chapter four is pretty much your typical festival chapter, with a potential rival thrown in, but I’m interested to see Fujimomo’s take on it.

Volume 2
Rating: 4/5 stars
Date read: January 31, 2020

Volume 2 of Lovesick Ellie picks up right where we left off last volume, with Ellie and Ohmi stranded after the festival.

It’s a pretty common occurrence in shoujo manga that the main couple gets stranded, has to stay at a hotel, thinks about doing the deed, but ultimately doesn’t. I like that Lovesick Ellie did things differently, and more realistically, in that Ohmi called his uncle for a ride home. When we were introduced to Aoba, I expected him to be a rival for Ohmi, but of course Lovesick Ellie isn’t your typical shoujo and goes about things a bit differently. Aoba isn’t really acting like a rival and while he does bring out Ohmi’s jealous side he makes no actual passes at Ellie, and I feel like his character is present more to give insight into Ohmi’s past than anything else. Ohmi’s backstory isn’t overly moving or anything (mind you I never think manga does backstories particularly well as they always seem to hinge on some sort of event) but I did find this one a lot more believable. I definitely have a soft spot for this series, Ellie is a super weird protagonist but she’s also very endearing. She’s different from other shoujo protagonists in that she’s weird and she embraces it. I also just really like Ohmi as a love interest, they’re well suited for each other.

Volume 3
Rating: 4/5 stars
Date read: April 18, 2020

Is all of Ellie’s hard work and studying finally paying off?

I think this was the best volume of Lovesick Ellie so far. It took a lot of typical shoujo tropes and flipped them on their heads. Instead of the typical “bland girl gets bullied for being with the popular boy” scenario, we have a misunderstanding and Ellie’s peers think Ohmi is dating Sara and they target her instead. As much as I don’t like this trope, I did enjoy seeing Lovesick Ellie poke fun at it. Ohmi wasn’t great at communicating his feelings to Ellie in the last few chapters (I’m pretty impressed at his communication with Ellie aside from this), but I think the problem was addressed and fixed pretty quickly. I can definitely forgive miscommunication when it’s resolved right away, and when said resolution is as cute as this one was. In fact every resolution they had in this volume was adorable, and I love how much Ohmi reassures Ellie when she’s feeling insecure. As wild as Ellie’s imagination can get, her insecurities towards her first kiss were very endearing and something I’m sure a lot of young people can relate to. Romance aside, one of my favourite aspects of Lovesick Ellie is Ellie’s relationship with Sara. I love that Ellie and Sara confide so much in each other, and find their friendship super sweet. Shoujo manga is killing it lately with the friendships. I LOVE me a rival so naturally I’m super excited about the next volume. 

If you read Lovesick Ellie or plan to, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy reading! 💗

Book Review: The Kiss Quotient

Title: The Kiss Quotient
Author: Helen Hoang
Date Published: May 30, 2018
Rating: 4/5 stars
Date read: December 14, 2020 (reread)

The Kiss Quotient follows an autistic woman named Stella Lane who hires an escort to help her learn about intimacy and relationships.

The first time I read The Kiss Quotient I was completely enamoured because not only was this my first romance with asian representation, it also featured a woman with Aspergers, and as someone who has OCD and other autistic related symptoms, it felt really great to be seen. That Stella is also in STEM, and a math related field at that, was another reason I really liked this novel. I find authors rarely feature characters who are interested in mathematics, so while Hoang didn’t delve too deeply into the topic this was still such a refreshing change.

I thought the writing of this novel was solid, nothing spectacular, but easy and enjoyable to read. I also tend to prefer a dual narrative when it comes to romance, so in that regard I was happy. I do have to wonder though, do most men swear so much in their heads? This is something I often see when it comes to romance novels and it is not my favourite. As for the characters, again, I found Stella really relatable and very sweet. And while Michael annoyed me at times, I really liked how kind, patient, and caring he was with Stella, and thought the two had really great chemistry.

This novel is not without its faults though, and what stands out to me most is the last section of the novel. I feel like I will forever be complaining about the unneeded drama that always results in the couple breaking up and then getting back together near the end of every romance novel (that I’ve picked up at least). There has literally only ever been one instance in which I’ve thought this justified and it was not in this novel. But even then, I would have been more open to this narrative choice if it had led to some legitimate character growth on at least one character’s side. Michael’s self-esteem journey in particular could have used a lot more development, especially since it was the root of the conflict. I’m not saying that self-esteem issues aren’t a thing and can’t cause issues in relationships, but I will not ever find the “I’m breaking up with you because you’re too good for me” argument compelling. I also wasn’t a fan of the possessiveness characters developed over their partners, in my first read I was willing to overlook this because I was so happy with the representation, but this second time it just made me uncomfortable. I do still consider this one of my favourite romances though, so ending aside if you’re looking for a fun and steamy romance I’d highly recommend it. 

P.S. Quan is the best. 

Have you read The Kiss Quotient? If not, do you plan to? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy reading! 💗