Title: Seduction More Beautiful Than Love Vol 1
Author: Lee Hyeon-Sook
May Contain Spoilers
Daoun is a new high school teacher, and she’s finding that dealing with some of her students is a little more difficult than she anticipated. Handsome Ryumin, the school’s prince charming, teases her and flirts with her, keeping her constantly unsettled. Then her old college friend, Hyunwoo, joins the teaching staff, and she’s oblivious to the fact that he’s in love with her. Will she fall under Ryumin’s spell, or will shy Hyunwoo be able to catch her interest before it’s too late?
Daoun is a little self-centered and not much more mature than her students. She’s focused on becoming a successful teacher and on getting ahead in the world, but there are so many distractions strewn in her path. She’s unnerved when she thinks that one of her students is staring at her during class, feeling eyes boring a hole in her back. Yet when she looks, there’s nothing unusual about her class. This sets up her confrontation with Ryumin, who reveals that he’s been staring at her longingly, wondering what it would be like to kiss her. Totally unnerved, Daoun’s effectiveness as a teacher is diminished here. Instead of putting her student in his place for his inappropriate behavior, thoughts of Ryumin begin to monopolize her thoughts. He’s attractive, a smooth talker, and has a mysterious aura that’s hard to ignore. He oozes sex appeal, and Daoun isn’t immune to his charms.
Hyunwoo, her college friend, is transferred to the high school, and he thinks he may finally have a shot at confessing his love to her. Hyunwoo is shy and unremarkable, and Daoun hardly gives him a second thought. He’s a good friend, and that’s as far as that goes. When he shows up with a car, however, she’s a little more interested in him – now she has a ride to work, and she won’t have to take the train! Yay! Hyunwoo is encouraged to be spending more time with her, but to Daoun, he’s really nothing more than a chauffeur. He’s not glamorous, or rich enough, to catch her attention. Worse yet, during their outing to the amusement park, his car breaks down in the pouring rain. Embarrassed, he has to ask Daoun to push it, which just sets her into a rage. Her weekend is ruined, as, it seems, are Hyunwoo’s plans for a romantic outing with his love. I’m a little confused why he wasn’t gallant enough to let her steer the jalopy while he pushed it; maybe it’s best if she never catches a clue and realizes that he’s in love with her.
Ryumin is a conflicting mass of emotions. Smooth and slick on one hand, he’s tormented by memories of a accident that left him scarred and vulnerable on the other. He’s traumatized by this mysterious event which his disaffected father refers too with supreme annoyance. He’s kind of hard to figure out – I can’t decide if he’s just playing around with Daoun, or if he’s sincerely attracted to her. Either way, his attention is putting pressure on Hyunwoo to make her aware of how he feels, or to continue to worship her from afar. Ryumin’s girlfriend Hayoung is starting to suspect that her man might be losing interest in her, adding even more tension to the plot.
Lee Hyeon-Sook’s illustrations are so pretty! Elegant and finely detailed, her characters stare moodily into the distance or dreamily ahead, their tresses stylish masterpieces. Emotions are what’s important here, and they’re reflected in every panel, through the widening of an eye or the dejected slump of a shoulder. Subtle and not so subtle feelings are skillfully portrayed, drawing the reader into the complex web of taunt emotions.
Rated for Older Teen 16+
Review copy provided by TOKYOPOP