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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mr. Collins vs The Cute Girl Network | The Cute Girl Network blog tour

The very soon-to-be-released graphic novel, The Cute Girl Network, has been on my radar for awhile, and is definitely on my to-get list — but never more so than now that one of the stars of the novel has shared that The Network has an Austen connection. [You all know me well enough to know that that's all I really need to know...]

Scene-stealing Cute Girl Blythe has dropped by to introduce just who The Network are and what they do, and to ask this all-important question: Is Mr. Collins really so bad?
(Yes. Yes, he is.)

Blythe, ladies and gents...

Hello, my name is Blythe and I'm the star of the new graphic novel The Cute Girl Network. Well, not the star, per se, but I steal every scene I'm in. The book is mostly about my friend Jane and her not-so-gentlemanly gentleman caller Jack. Me and the girls from The Network (only boys call it the "cute girl" network) have been doing our best to warn Jane about what she's getting into with that louse. We've been contacting all of Jack's ex-girlfriend to give her the straight dope. I hope it works out because that's girl's headed for trouble.

Now this leads me to another Jane. Jane Austen. See, I'm part of a pretty cool book group here in Brookport with some of the other girls from The Network. For the last month or so, we've been reading the best-selling paranormal teen romance series Vampyr Boyfriend. It's been a lot of fun. We get a couple of bottles of pinot noir, maybe bake a lasagna, then savagely critique the books (though I secretly liked the first one, don't tell anyone). Recently, I suggested we skip book four (Vampyr Touch) and read Pride and Prejudice instead. I should say re-read, because I mean, really, come on!

The reason I suggested P&P for the book group was something that Jane said (our Jane, not THE Jane). She compared Jack to Mr. Darcy! Gasp! I know, right! To understand what a grievous statement this is, you need to know a few thing about Jack. First, he's an idiot. He's the type of guy who puts on his shoes before his pants and waters his ficus with orange juice, you know, for the vitamins. And while Darcy is one of the richest men in England, Jack is one of the brokest blokes in Brookport. He sells soup for minimum wage and lives in his friend's walk-in closet. She argued that when Mr. Darcy came to Meryton, everyone thought he was a jerk too. It was only later that they find out he was just shy and was really a great guy underneath.

Now, we all like to play the boyfriend game with the Austen's canon. My last boyfriend was totally Captain Benwick from Persuasion, but instead of mourning his dead fiance and reading poetry, he was hung up on his ex-girlfriend and listened to The Smiths all day. Ugh! Still, it's a fun game to play when you have some grasp of reality, but comparing Jack to Darcy is stretching it to the breaking point.

Harriet (she pretty much runs The Network these days) countered with what we were all thinking. If Jack is anyone, he's Mr. Collins. He's an obnoxious fool who treats women like trained hunting dogs who are suppose to submissively bow at his feet and laugh at all his stupid joke. He an insufferable jerk, but underneath it all, when you really get to know him, he's still an insufferable jerk!

Then Jane said something that almost knocked me out of my chair (though I was on my third glass of pinot at this point). She said, and I quote, "Is Mr. Collins really so bad?" What?! Yes! He's the worst! I weep for Charlotte having to live out her days listening to that vainglorious oaf prattle on for eternity. They could have used The Network back in those days, for sure. I mean, I'd rather date Wickham than Collins, and Wickham kidnaps teenage girls and blackmails their families for beer money.

I really think The Network has it's work cut themselves this time. If Jane is comparing her Mr. Collins boyfriend to Mr. Darcy, she might be out of reach. Harriet ended the evening with a good point. Even though the people of Hertfordshire thought Darcy was a snob at first, those close to him respected him as a man of honor. We may all think that Jack is moron, but Jane still has to meet with the people that know Jack best, his ex-girlfriends. I think she's in for an education.  

Will Jane listen to reason and let The Network help her avoid the biggest mistake of her life, or will she end up heartbroken and humiliated? I guess that's what this book The Cute Girl Network is all about.

This one anyone else's definite to-get list? And is Mr Collins really so bad? My guess would be it's a 'Yes' to both questions... ;)


The Cute Girl Network by Greg Means, MK Reed & Joe Flood
Get It | Add It
192 pages
Expected publication: November 12th 2013 by First Second
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.


  1. Now, this has me intrigued. A romance with a Mr. Collins-type in it? Sheer curiosity has me wanting to read it.

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