The Cute Girl Network by Greg Means, MK Reed, and Joe Flood
Review by Lauren
copy sent for review; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: Jane’s new in town. When she wipes out on her skateboard right in front of Jack’s food cart, she finds herself agreeing to go on a date with him. Jane’s psyched that her love life is taking a turn for the friskier, but it turns out that Jack has a spotty romantic history, to put it mildly. Cue the Cute Girl Network — a phone tree information-pooling group of local single women. Poor Jane is about to learn every detail of Jack’s past misadventures… whether she wants to or not. Will love prevail?
Review: This graphic novel has a very interesting premise! Imagine being a guy who has dated a variety of girls, with some not-so-great outcomes…but then you find a new girl in town you would love to go out with, but your exes are determined to affect your chances. That’s the idea behind The Cute Girl Network. These ladies think they are doing a service to other girls. They don’t want girls like them to end up dating a loser of a guy, that will only lead to trouble and/or heartache. Despite their good intentions, Jane knows what she wants in a guy and isn’t afraid to take chances.
While Jane continues talking to Jack, she experiences some of his “stupid moments” where he can’t think of the right word or he tries to skate without a board, but it’s the other girls in the network that really paint a bad portrait of Jack. He comes across as dumb, forgetful, and just not worth the effort. Everyone admits he’s not a bad guy, per se, but he’s also not worth dating.
Throughout the book, I found myself on opposite ends concerning whether I liked it or not. I was always curious to learn what would happen next and what choice Jane would make. However, a lot of the things that Jack does are a bit crazy and I kept trying to imagine going out with a guy like him. It was difficult, let me say. As the book continued though, I began to realize that this book is a great example of how you can’t dictate who a person likes. You might see the bad in a person, but somebody else may be okay with those faults and decide to focus on all the good.
In the end, I did enjoy this one. I thought it was amusing, and I liked the detailed black and white drawings. I thought it was great that both Jack and Jane had groups of friends surrounding them that were always trying to make their opinion heard. Some of the things they said made sense, while others were purely wrong. It just goes to show that you have to learn to think for yourself!
I will say that this is suitable for older teen readers and up, because there is cussing, drinking, sex, etc. Nothing too extreme or graphic. It makes a nice book for college-aged readers!