13th Boy

I have the hardest time finding a good manhwa to read.  I keep wanting to try one one because they all look so gorgeous.  And yet the popular ones that everyone raves about always leave me fuming.  Then I found a little gem that looks quite ordinary among all the prettiness that surrounds it, and I must confess, I'm in love.

13th Boy is about a girl finding her 13th and last love after being dumped by her 12th one (or at least that's what I think they tell me).  Never mind the fact that she's only 15, and is so obsessed with the 12th boy he's still a main love rival after 8 volumes.  And of course Koreans can't live without their love polygons so he's pining after another girl who pines after another boy who pines after Hee So, the main girl.  I know it looks and sounds juvenile (which, alright, it is) but 13th Boy is a lot more than meet the eyes.

It's kind of odd, but it embraces its oddity so well that it's actually endearing.  And then it somehow works in these incredibly thoughtful and melancholic moments like that's who it is to begin with, a seasoned adult with mature emotions to spare.  It's a lot like Sae Bom, one of the main characters.  She's backwardly childish, a little cuckoo, but ridiculously cute and surprisingly emotional.

If this was a saner manhwa, it might feature a talking porcupine and Hee So's forever love would be tough guy Wie Yeong (what with their bickering chemistry).  But obviously that's not the crack we're smoking here, so instead we're dealing with a talking cactus and I find myself switching ships midway to the damn cactus o_0 He's sweet, honest with his feelings, and has none of that emotional baggage the other guys are carrying around.

Yes, you heard right.  I am shipping the main character girl with her pet cactus.  If that's not reason enough to go read this now, I don't know what is.

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