Saturday, March 23, 2013

A graphic novel for those who like Faith Erin Hicks

If you like Faith Erin Hicks (and who doesn't) or The Plain Janes, The Cute Girl Network by MK Reed and Greg Means may be just what you're looking for.

When Jane, a cute skater girl new to the city, falls off her skateboard in front of Jack's soup stand, Jack helps her up, and asks her out. Jane and Jack have a few fun dates and while it quickly become clear that Jack is clumsy and forgetful, Jane likes being around him. When Jane's roommate hears about Jack, she puts out a call on the Cute Girls' Network, a phone tree of young women in the city who warn others about "undateable" guys. She brings Jane to talk ot a few of Jack's exes. Some of the stories they tell are horrifying. Despite pressure from her roommate to dump Jack, it's ulimately up to Jane to decide what to do. In the end, Jane and Jack make a reasonable, and very adult decision one would be happy to put into any teenager's hands. 

Though I love the illustrations and find the message of the book to be wonderful, I found myself asking a few questions about the Cute Girls Network. What about girls who date girls? What are the qualifications for the network, especially as there are references to "cute" and "quality" girls? Though there are a few holes in this book, it's ultimately a fun, fast read. 

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