Size Doesn’t Matter (207): Scooter Girl; The Prince and the Dressmaker

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (207): Scooter Girl; The Prince and the DressmakerScooter Girl by Chynna Clugston Flores
Published by Image Comics on February 21, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 176
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Take a ride to southern California and experience Chynna Clugston Flores' screwball dark comedy classic in FULL-COLOR.
A love letter to mod and scooter culture, SCOOTER GIRL is the story of Ashton Archer, the Vespa-riding, swanky suit-wearing man who has it all. That is, until the girl of his dreams motors right past him on her Lambretta, causing him to lose it all. Convinced that her presence has ruined his life, Ashton sets out to win her heart and end the black curse put upon him by any means necessary.

Someone recommended this graphic novel to me back in college when I first started reading graphic novels. At the time I loved it. When this reprint showed up on NetGalley, I couldn’t resist requesting, because I wanted to see if it held up, and, if it did, to buy a copy to keep. Scooter Girl holds up in some ways, but not so much in others.

Scooter Girl centers on Ashton Archer, a hot, wealthy guy who dates every girl he possibly can. He convinces them to keep their relationship a secret so they won’t all know; basically, he’s a big douchebag who thinks of women as objects for him to screw. When a new girl comes to town, Ashton’s all ready to bang her too, but something about her throws him off; whenever she’s around he goes from suave and debonair to accident-prone and awkward.

I actually really love that trope, but the ship here really doesn’t work for me. I can’t remember for sure if it did the first time I read this, though I think it did? Where this book works is in displaying Asher’s toxic masculinity. He’s so determined to prove himself that he pretty much stalks her, won’t stop flirting with her even when she asks him to, and, when he decides he’s been cursed, considers murdering her so he can get his perfect life. It’s a hard-hitting look at how entitled men feel to women reacting to them a particular way, and, sadly, it rings true. His inevitable realization that she gets to him because he’s in love and his change to being an empathetic person, however, don’t ring true, and I want better for her.

It’s always weird when I find myself saying this, but the only problem with Scooter Girl is that it forces a romance which rather undermines the feminist messages.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:


I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (207): Scooter Girl; The Prince and the DressmakerThe Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
Published by First Second on February 13, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Fairy Tales
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

The Prince and the Dressmaker is the absolute cutest thing. I’m all about fairy tales, and Wang tells a brand new fairy tale story that absolutely works and made me smile. The Prince and the Dressmaker is adorable, funny, and has a genderfluid prince. I’m all about it.

Dressmaker Frances makes a dress for a teen unexcited to attend the ball. Instead of doing what the girl’s mom wants, she follows the girl’s directive and creates a design that’s way ahead of its time. Just as she’s losing her job, a man shows up offering a high salary to serve a private client…who turns out to be the Prince.

Prince Sebastian has a secret: some days he feels like a boy and some days he doesn’t. He lives in fear of his secret coming out, but he wants this chance to live as himself in nighttime ventures into the city as Lady Crystallia, dressed in Frances’ fashions. Lady Crystallia becomes a sensation, a fashion plate, and it’s everything Sebastian dreamed, until everything starts to go wrong. The resolution is absolute perfection and made me laugh out loud really hard for a couple minutes.

The romance is very, very cute, though obviously in fairy tale style there’s pretty minimal character building so it’s not a ship of ships. However, it pleases me endlessly that Wang makes sure to show Frances’ longing for Sebastian and Crystallia, and I love that their first kiss is Frances and Crystallia. The whole book just makes me really happy. The art also works really well, especially on the fashions which are phenomenal.

One of my problems with First Second’s graphic novels thus far has been that, whether standalone or series installment, the individual volumes never seem to feel like a complete story unto themselves. The Prince and the Dressmaker does not have this problem. Yes, it’s a brief story and a simple one, but it’s a fairy tale and that fits it perfectly. When I finished, I felt satisfied and I had a big grin on my face.

The Prince and the Dressmaker is precious. This one’s earned a spot in my permanent collection. Absolutely recommend!

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

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