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Zesty!: Volume 2
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Gr 10 Up-This sometimes humorous and often ridiculous romantic adventure tells of a wealthy family who is threatened to be torn apart by secrets and corruption. Eldest son Zesty is a flamboyant gay young man who pretends to have little interest in his father's crooked business dealings, but is secretly trying to undermine him at every turn. He and his younger siblings form an organization called Magpie, which works to sabotage their father's corporation as it greedily takes down rain forests and attempts to cash in on other nefarious projects. In order to secure the family fortune, Zesty's father tries to arrange a marriage between his daughter Melon and Prince, the son of another tycoon, who is also a part of a ninja clan that will go after Magpie. Because this is yaoi (manga about boy-boy love), Zesty of course falls for Prince and crazy high jinks ensue. The artwork has a slightly amateur feel, with excessive use of computer-generated backgrounds and shading, but it is well framed and easy to follow. Fans of this genre will enjoy the romantic obsession and tension between the leads, though in this issue it leads to nothing more than the occasional kiss. A secondary purchase for libraries that collect manga, or for those looking for a fairly innocent yaoi in response to patron requests.-Dawn Rutherford, King County Library System, Bellevue, WA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

The Web comic collection Zesty! is part of yaoi (boys' love) publishers' move to expand their material to include young adults. As a result, there's nothing explicit here, although the lead is blatantly clear about his attraction to other men, with two expressions of his desire for "dick" and "penis" in the first five pages. An early joke is equally tasteless, with Osama bin Laden used as a punch line for a heist distraction. Zesty Tastee has a name better suited to a parody, but he's meant to be the dream man, the playboy son of a billionaire. When a brooding brunette named Prince appears at his father's party, Zesty falls instantly in love, but Zesty's father plans to marry Prince off to Zesty's sister to seal a business deal. The art consists of the kind of manga stylings that are all surface, huge eyes (even for the style) and even bigger hair with lots of bangs. The pages are stuffed with more textures and backgrounds than traditional manga, without the open space that makes them quick and easy to read. In short, it's a generic work, pumped out to fill a growing market without much discretion. (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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