Genre: Graphic Novel, Adult, New Adult, Romance
Published: November 12th, 2013 by First Second
Paperback, 180 pages
How I Got This Book: Requested that my library buy it, waited until they did, and then checked it out 😉
Why I Picked It Up?: I had seen this book around, especially in some of the library book catalogs, and I just knew I wanted to read it! How can you resist a cover like this?!
Book Jacket Blurb: “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?
In this graphic novel from Greg Means, Americus author MK Reed, and Joe Flood, the illustrator of Orcs, comes a fast, witty, and sweet romantic comedy that is actually funny, and actually romantic.”
If you are looking for a graphic novel that is quirky, real, and contemporary, then you should definitely put this graphic novel on your to read list.
It was kind of hard for me to decide who the audience is for this story. Originally, I thought it looked and sounded like a YA graphic novel, but then my library added the book to the adult graphic novels section. After reading this book, I am actually leaning toward a new-adult graphic novel. Also, there is a lot of explicit sexual content (nothing raunchy, but it is illustrated), which I know is a part of YA literature. I think the tone of this book is a bit more mature than YA, which is why I lean more towards classifying it as New Adult, dealing with life after high school and learning to navigate the “new adult” culture.
I really liked the relationship between Jane and Jack. Throughout the course of this story, they are just real with each other. Jack really likes Jane because she is sure of herself and just “super cool”. Jane appreciates Jack’s quirky, and sometimes forgetful, personality. They both just enjoy being with each other and can have fun being their goofy, real selves. It is refreshing to see this kind of a relationship in a book, especially a graphic novel. With the illustration aspect of this story, I felt really comfortable with the both of them, and I really appreciated that. This depiction of a relationship was as down-to-earth as I have read in a while, and it was just refreshing
This book explores some interesting topics that are pertinent to today’s culture. The first major one is sexism. Jane is a skater girl who doesn’t take crap from people, yet the customers at the shop where she works treat her with disrespect. Same with the skaters at the park–she gets no respect first, simply because she is a woman. When she proves her knowledge or skill at different parts of the story, and the men disrespecting her comment about it, she essentially tells them to STEP OFF. This chick has some spunk, and I just love that the authors of this novel really let her stand up not only for herself, but for women everywhere!
The other major issue addressed in this novel is the nature of the title–a network of girls. In an effort to “help a girl out”, Jane’s friends hold an intervention when they discover she is dating Jack because “he’s a bad guy.” It goes even further when the network of women across the city is notified, and they start showing up with horror stories about Jack. In some ways, it is like a hive–trying to force someone to think like the rest do. It is an interesting phenomenon that is really not addressed so openly in literature all the time, so it was really cool to read a story with this issue at the forefront of the story.
Overall, I found this graphic novel to be fun and quirky, just what I wanted and a bit more. I loved the characters, I loved the quirkiness, and it was just a joyful hour of reading!
My Bookshelf Rating:
Ooooh wow, what a story! This is a story about giving people a chance to show you who they are, even when there is a line of people waiting to tell you. Jack and Jane are cute and quirky characters who are so realistic, I found it really easy to relate to them! Overall, I found this novel cute and easy to read, and the illustrations allowed for character personality to shine through! SOLID 3.5 Stars!
Love and Milk Duds,