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My Solo Exchange Diary Vol. 1: The Sequel to…
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My Solo Exchange Diary Vol. 1: The Sequel to My Lesbian Experience With… (edition 2018)

by Kabi Nagata (Author)

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1138184,325 (3.95)None
This sequel to the viral sensationMy Lesbian Experience with Lonelinesswas also named one of Amazon's best graphic novels for 2018! Struggling with the idea of living alone and adjusting to the effects of her previous book's success, this follow-up to the award-winning autobiographical comic continues the author's quest for self-acceptance and love.… (more)
Member:Axmyman
Title:My Solo Exchange Diary Vol. 1: The Sequel to My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness
Authors:Kabi Nagata (Author)
Info:Seven Seas (2018), Edition: Translation, 168 pages
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My Solo Exchange Diary Vol. 1: The Sequel to My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness by Nagata Kabi

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My Solo Exchange Diary is the sequel to My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness, which was a strangely poignant and visceral story of a twenty-something Japanese woman grappling with mental health, societal pressures, and her own sexuality. My Solo Exchange Diary follows the same memoir-esque manga style, chronicling Nagata Kabi’s self-development in the aftermath of My Lesbian Experience’s publication. Somehow, it’s just as good as the original.

What surprised me about My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness is that, despite the somewhat risqué title/cover, the work was far more about grappling with mental health issues, building up self-esteem, and figuring out what healthy relationships are, than actual sex. My Solo Exchange diary has even more of the same. Nagata is just shockingly good at describing the feelings of depression and loneliness, can do such an excellent job of visualizing and explaining some of the most difficult mental states. In so few words, she can perfectly encapsulate so many weird and uncomfortable sensations, like feeling guilty about spending your parent’s money, failing to live up to the standards of others, or rushing headlong into something out of sheer desperation.

Much of My Solo Exchange Diary deals with Nagata’s relationship with her parents, which is clearly… sub-optimal. They’re emotionally distant even as they’re financially supportive, albeit in an almost stifling manner. The fact that Nagata’s mother is disappointed by the publication of My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness crushes our protagonist, but over several chapters, we watch as she grows and re-defines her relationship with her parents, however painfully those changes are made.

It’s good. The sheer number of mental/social/health issues Nagata touches on over the course of the work made it more than worth your time. It’s so very, very easy to empathize with her, whether it’s the way she trawls Twitter searching for reviews or the simple joy she expresses at getting her own fridge. Or just holding it together through a few social outings. As usual, the artwork is the perfect blend of cartoonish and realism, often using excellent visual metaphors to describe her emotional/mental stage. Highly recommended. ( )
  pvoberstein | Dec 14, 2020 |
The emotional dissonance Kabi felt in both loving and resenting her family, how that sent her into a spiraling depression, trying desperately to find out what she needs in life to be happy, striving for it but not realizing her happiness, and coming to these tiny realizations about herself and her life, but being unable to do anything initially, and then finally achieving something that resembles independence and a hope for being loved and being able to love in return - all of it resonated so deeply with me. A big part of me wants this story to be a work of fiction because it hits so close to home, and I’m somewhat afraid of what the next volume will bring. However, I’m rooting so hard for Kabi, and myself by proxy, and I want to find out if she somehow makes it to a place that resembles happiness, or if her struggle will just continue. ( )
  H4ppyN3rd | Oct 6, 2020 |
I think we all just wanna hug her, and then pinch her. Like, with nails. It's nice to catch up with her and her honesty and see how she's learned. It's weird to read about her writing what I'm reading, and it feels so present and close; weirdly, the most 'real' feeling nonfic I've read? It's like a direct conversation. ( )
  Chyvalrys | Aug 5, 2020 |
Starts slow and a little frustrating, but that frustration—with someone who can reflect on their struggle but not extract themselves from it—was good for me to sit with, because it goes somewhere good and insightful. ( )
  jtth | May 4, 2020 |
Wow same ( )
  hatingongodot | May 3, 2020 |
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Dear Nagata Kobi...How've you been? This is Nagata Kobi.
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This sequel to the viral sensationMy Lesbian Experience with Lonelinesswas also named one of Amazon's best graphic novels for 2018! Struggling with the idea of living alone and adjusting to the effects of her previous book's success, this follow-up to the award-winning autobiographical comic continues the author's quest for self-acceptance and love.

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