Adapted by SUOL
Our heroine is stuck in a terrible Cinderella-style nightmare, both in real life and as she’s sucked into a popular game! After her mother passes away, her wealthy father reluctantly brings her into his home where her two half brothers treat her horribly. She finally manages to move away by getting into a prestigious university, where she gets addicted to a fantasy romance sim. After defeating the game on the normal mode, she decides to attempt on the hard mode, which is actually playing from the “villainess’s” perspective. She realizes she has much in common with Penelope, the villain, and yet she is still thwarted and killed quickly. Frustrated, she falls asleep, and, upon waking, finds herself in the role of Penelope in the game! Now, she must use her knowledge of the game world and what she's learned from her past to navigate five male characters and convince them not to kill her for the slightest misstep. There's no reset button this time!
It's no wonder this manhwa is super popular as a web comic, and it's bound to be well circulated in a library. The pacing and storytelling is wonderfully executed, and the illustrations are beautifully cinematic. The game elements of this story blend Solo Leveling with shōjo romance, and it mixes in the best elements of what manhwa I’ve read: visually stunning color illustrations, gorgeous dresses, lush backgrounds, and hot guys. Towards the end of this volume, our main character (who never names herself in this first-person narration) finally figures out some subtle ways to stand up for herself and not get killed, so this volume leaves off in an interesting space of righteous vengeance and intrigue.
The story deals with some psychologically heavy topics, such as abuse and murder, so this would be better for high school audiences.
Update 12/29/23: This style of Isekai is a subgenre known as Otomoisekai, where "otomo" means maiden, and the stories usually follow young girls being reincarnated as the villains into a dating sim with many video game elements. These stories have become popular in the last several years, so this will probably not be the only story with these tropes coming your way.
Sara's Rating: 10/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
Publisher: Ize Press
Publication Date: November 8, 2022
ISBN: 9798400900006 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 10/10, Suitability: High School, Manhwa, Otomoisekai, Isekai, Romance, Family, Survival, Ize Press
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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