The Love Report

Astra/Hippo Park. Jun. 2023. 192p. tr. from French by Jessie Aufiery & Ivanka Hahnenberger . Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781662640407.
Gr 7-10–Lola, a sweetly naive romantic, and Grace, a world-weary curmudgeon, use their best friend powers to investigate love in all its forms in this gorgeously illustrated graphic novel. Originally published in France, this fast-paced read hits all the dramatic notes as Lola and Grace report on their classmates’ obsessions, jealousies, crushes, and betrayals—and eventually experience some of the drama for themselves. While the investigation and report read very young, the pair’s classmates and relationship drama seem more aligned with high school, making it hard to pin down exactly how old Lola and Grace are. This dissonance, as well as some instances of simplistic or overly blunt dialogue, may be due to the fact that this was originally written in another language. The art is vibrant and will be highly appealing to manga fans. Occasional monochromatic sections and creative page design add much to the impact of this story where the language may falter. Lola is white while Grace is Black, and their peers appear to belong to many different racial and ethnic groups. Those looking for positive LGBTQIA+ representation should search elsewhere, as there is little to be found in this story.
VERDICT An additional purchase where tween drama and manga-style art are popular.

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