Book girl and the corrupted angel is volume four of the Bungaku Shoujo/Literature Girl/Book Girl series of light novels about Tohko Amano, a book-devouring demon and the author Konoha Inoue that she has enslaved
(with her pigtails and charm).
This time the model is The Phantom of the Opera, though most of the characters admit they are only familiar with it through the musical instead of the book. There are also some surprises for readers familiar with Phantom — author Miho Takeoka takes inspiration, not dictation, from the earlier work.
Like a lot of the tales that serve as inspiration for the books in this series, these books are potboiling, Harlequin-gothic fluff, but (or maybe therefore) irresistable all the same. I’m beginning to suspect that the school Tohko and Konoha attend is actually a mental institution — there certainly are a lot of seriously unstable people wandering around, and quite a few deaths, maybe even a hint of the supernatural — spirits communicating from beyond the grave (though mostly through a sort of voluntary, or imaginary, possession).
Konoha, the whiny narrating protagonist is a bit less whiny this volume — maybe it’s because Tohko is mostly away studying for her exams? He learns some lessons about himself, and is the stronger for it. Tohko is present for, and drives, most of the critical events. Having Tohko mostly in the background is wise, I think — Tohko can be cloying in too large a dose, I think Miho Takeoka gets the balance about right in this volume.
There are some cliches: a tsundere, a crush that’s obvious to all bystanders save the object of affection. And there are some twists on cliches: a panty-flash is a critical plot point (well, what other role could a panty-flash possibly play in a novel?)! I don’t think the cliches overcome the essential charm of this series.
Oh, even though the plot is resolved in this book, the book still manages to end on a cliff-hanger. Hurry up with the next volume, Yen Press.