Early Book Review: The Cute Girl Network by MK Reed, Greg Means and Joe Flood

The Cute Girl Network is a graphic novel by MK Reed, Greg Means and Joe Flood, which is currently schedule for release on November 12 2013. Jane is the new in town, and the only people she knows are her new roommates and the dudes at the skate shop where she's just been hired. When Jane wipes out on her skateboard right in front of Jack's food cart, and finds herself agreeing to go on a date with him. Jane's psyched that her love life is taking a turn for the friskier. However when her roommate discovers who she is spending time with a call goes out into the Cute Girl Network, and Jack's ex girlfriends share their tales of woe with Jane in order to dissuade her from continuing in the relationship. Jane learns every detail of Jack's past misadventures, whether she wants to or not. Jane needs to decide she will let Jack's past mistakes effect her future, and what she really wants.

I think that The Cute Girl Network would appeal most to New Adult readers. The characters are all out of school and trying to make their way in the world, but none of them seem very mature or established. Jane is making a fresh start in a new town and soon has a group of friends, a job, and is starting to find her way. She is smart, spunky, and trying had to get the guys she works works with or skate with to think of girls that skate as more than just accessories. Jack is a klutz and has some attention issues. He loses cell phones constantly and is more than a bit goofy. However, when the two start off a friendship they just seem to fit together. Neither has a lot of money, but they have fun and are comfortable together. The interference of friends adds some conflict and drama, but the point of the story is more about the way they share bits of themselves and focus on being happy rather than the rest of the world and their opinions. I liked Jane's attitude and that she is willing to listen, but still relies on her own instincts and wants rather than what peer pressure tells her to do. I liked the strength of most of the female characters, even though one got to be a little condescending and pushy. Jack, and his male roommate, were less than stellar characters, but work well for their purpose. I think the guys in the story, aside from some of the guys in one scene in the skate shop, could have been stronger or more intelligent. The 'stupid guy' stereotype does a disservice to a graphic novel that portrays the majority of female characters as strong. There are good guys and girls out there, and I would have liked a better balance there.

All in all, I enjoyed The Cute Girl Network, and think it will definitely find an audience among older teens and new adults. I would recommend it to readers that enjoy stories that center on relationships and trusting in yourself rather than your peer's influence.

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