The Love Report
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Pub Date 13 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 05 Jul 2023
Astra Publishing House, Hippo Park
BFFs Grace and Lola talk about everything related to romance—and have lots of questions: What about the mysterious allure of the popular girl at school? And the rebellious goth with the reputation? And boys. They don’t quite understand what makes some school romances soar to legendary heights, while other flirtations fizzle. Lola has an idea—they’ll observe, study, and analyze all the couples at their Junior High—and compile their findings as The Love Report. Surprises await them, and force them to learn to see beyond appearances in this fast-paced series opener. They’ll also discover secrets between themselves.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 111 members
Thank you to Astra Publishing for letting me read this early.
This story was like a warm hug that I really needed. I wish this was published when I was a kid because alot of the themes that are discussed in the book. I related too. Definitely a must read if you need comfort,
An excellent addition to the gallery of tween/teen domestic titles like Raina Telgemeier's Drama, Svetlana Chmakova's Berrybrook Middle School series (Awkward, Brave, Crush, Enemies), and the romance oriented Baby Sitter's Club graphic novel adaptations (Logan Likes Mary Anne!, Boy-Crazy Stacy, et al).
Lola and Grace are curious about love, so they decide to investigate the student romances at their school and write their findings down in their 'Love Report'. Along the way, Lola goes through the experiences of a romantic relationship with classmate Noah, from crush to boyfriend to breakup. This is a sweet, low stakes read that nevertheless deals with issues of tween/teen romance, heartbreak, slut-shaming, objectification, in-group exclusions and bullying. The age of the characters/grade level does not appear to be explicitly stated, but it has a Middle School-ish feel, or early High School.
This is a title by French writing duo BeKa and Italian artist Maya, so there may be a few places where there are minor cultural differences from the American/Canadian books listed above. The first half was published in 2021 by Belgian publisher Dupris.
Maya, a former student of the European Manga Academy, illustrates in a clean manga-style that cleanly merges European comics emotional modeling and facial expression with Japanese manga style linework, lay-out, and color. The use of close-ups mid sequence for emotional impact, particularly for showing subtle emotional shifts is especially strong.
This is definitely going on my list for tween graphic novel readers' advisory for tweens looking for read-a-likes for the titles above.
The main characters in this book are lovely and adorable and deserve to be protected and loved. My goodness, what a good book!
Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
"The Love Report" follows two girls navigating middle school relationships by recording information about love in a notebook called (you guessed it!) The Love Report. Our protagonists are Lola, a nerdy kid crushing on a boy for the first time, and Grace, who's slightly more popular and relationship-savvy. They're BFF's, and their relationship is DELIGHTFUL to follow! It feels sweet and genuine, but the author also allows room for moments of fighting and tension - just like in any friendship.
There were so many things I enjoyed about this book. The art is beautiful and the story is well-written, perfectly suited for a middle grade audience. I feel like sometimes middle grade authors try to talk down to their readers, and this book gracefully avoids that issue. It handles topics like divorce and consent without being too graphic, but also without ignoring the gravity of either discussion. The author writes these plotlines into the novel understanding that these are real issues middle schoolers are starting to become more aware of at this point in their lives.
Additionally, the plot itself feel pretty genuine and realistic in all respects. I know I would've really liked this book in sixth-through-eighth-grade. The only moments that felt a little weird were the standard moments of "adult author trying so hard to write teen dialogue and getting it wrong in a way where it's close but just off enough to feel strange" which mostly occurred with slang used in brief snippets of dialogue and some outdated texting abbreviations that I just KNOW would make my 14-year-old sister cringe. Other than that, I enjoyed it - the plot's a little cheesy at times, but that's to be expected from a middle grade book titled "The Love Report." The characters and conflicts are generally well-written and well fleshed-out, and I was impressed by how each of the side characters seemed like a real person - normally I've found that middle grade books (particularly graphic novels) will work to develop the main characters and maybe the antagonist a bit, but they tend to leave secondary characters behind. It was refreshing to read a middle grade book where the secondary characters all feel pretty reasonably like real people, with real lives and real personalities. This reinforces the book's central message that everything (including love) is more complicated than it seems, so that works nicely, too.
Some plot threads were predictable to me as an 18-year-old, but I'm sure that the plot twists could still work for some of the book's target audience, depending on their familiarity with plot structure. There were also some minor typos (most notably on page 109, page 138, and page 142), but these are pretty common in ARCs - I'm sure they'll be fixed by the time the book hits shelves, and I'm only mentioning them in this review to give the editor a heads-up in the off chance they read this. There were also some characters whose motives felt a little strange (the "cool older goth girl" character would sometimes lash out at the younger protagonists and I didn't always understand where she was coming from about that?) but it seems like this is going to be developed into a series, and if so, I could see those issues being resolved in a later book.
I'm definitely going to recommend this to some middle school librarians I know. This is a great book for anyone who wants a middle grade novel about navigating complex relationships (of all types - platonic, romantic, familial, and so on) as well as anyone who wants to read a book with a strong cast of female characters. I feel like this would be good for fans of Raina Telgemeier's "Drama" or Svetlana Chmakova's Berrybrook Middle School series.
Four friends have stolen aboard the Titanic. They're after the Rubaiyat - a book inlaid with priceless jewels. Josefa is a charismatic thief, Hinnah a daring acrobat, Violet an outstanding actress and Emilie a talented artist.
It is Josefa's plan, but she needs all of their skills. Despite their very different backgrounds, in a world of first-class passengers and suspicious crew members, the girls must work together to pull off the heist of their lives.
I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
"Love is in the air!" at this junior high, and best friends, Lola and Grace, want to know all about it. They create the Love Report, a journal analyzing and writing down all the love information at their school. From the mysterious popular girl who always hides away at lunch to the goth girl Adele, who's hiding some personal secrets of her own. Boys confuse them, and so does love, but with the help of the social gossiper at school, Lola and Grace can interpret the ups and downs of falling in love.
The Love Report is absolutely adorable. Sure, some topics were hard to connect with, but the art style really grasped me. I felt for Lola and Grace, from parents fighting all the time to crushing on the cute boy at school. With a pastel color scheme and beautifully drawn artwork, I liked how it was all set up. It's a time of growing up and having your first kiss, but all in all, connecting back with your best friend(s). Is there going to be a sequel?
What a sweet little book! The art is fantastic, especially the use of color and expression throughout. It also goes to show that relationships, in all forms, are fickle. Nicely done!
This was a cute story and I could definitely see it becoming popular as a graphic novel. I would recommend it to my young readers at the library.
"The Love Report" was adorable! I loved Grace and Lola's friendship and their relationship with the other girls in their school. It was a light and cute read, and I really enjoyed it. I can't wait for the next volumes!
This was a really good book about exploring the concept of romance and love for tweens. I like how the book covered the highs and lows of romance, from divorce to consent to first dates.
Observe, study, and analyze; the mystery of love.
Grace and Lola wants to find out the mystery that is love, and starts to interview different people at their school. But their personal life gets messy, and what happens when they both hide secrets from each other?
A relatable graphic novel about young love and messy home life. I felt for both Grace and Lola’s situations, and to not spoil anything, I’m really happy about the way it was resolved. It was heart breaking to read about what they were going through, coming from a place where I can understand both their pain—and it felt so real as well—it felt like I was put back in my own situation(s) and even though it’s been a while, the pain is still there. As young as they are, the experience will permanently be there.
The thing that I didn’t like was how many grammar mistakes there was. I am Norwegian, so English is not my first language, but there were obvious mistakes which were annoying reading. But overall, it didn’t affect my experience that much. I also really liked the art style, and want to read more from the author and the illustrator!
I’d recommend this to young readers from middle grade and up, and readers who likes to read graphic novels/comic books.
I got this book for free from netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
NetGalley ARC Educator 550974
A wonderful story about the nuances of love, friendship, support and relationships. Though told from a middle schooler's point of view, the stories resonate for all ages. A must read for schools and families.
Thank you NetGalley and Astra Publishing House for a copy of The Love Report!
Grace and Lola are best friends in middle school that are looking to understand love. They create a notebook where they write down what they learn along the way.
This has two volumes of a graphic novel. I thought the art style was beautiful, especially the coloring of the illustrations. I thought the story was cute and I liked seeing Grace and Lola learn about themselves and others. I think there were some good lessons about how we perceive and treat others.
I would like to being by thanking Astra Publishing House/Hippo Park for the ARC of 'The Love Report'. Review contains minor spoilers re: content, but does not mention character names in relation to those topics.
A touching and beautifully illustrated middle grade graphic novel that's sure to be a hit with its audience, 'The Love Report' captures the different kinds of relationships and love we see day to day. Lola and Grace's friendship is delightful and honest, and the connections they make as they pursue the meaning of love are not to be missed. The novel handles more mature topics with the same finesse as it handles it's first crushes and kisses. It touches on topics of consent, divorce, first love, single parenthood, friendship, how people view you, etc and none of it feels out of place. It also does an excellent job of showing how strong the bonds of female friendship are, and how it feels to be a preteen/teen girl navigating love in a chaotic world.
BeKa and Maya's first GN is a delight, and I am excited to see more from them, and learn how Grace and Lola's Love Report ends.
This was very sweet, and will hit home for many young teens that are confused about crushes and love and all the intricacies. Honestly, I was very glad at Lola telling off Noah at the end, 100% deserved. The friendships were really the highlight of this graphic novel for me though. I often get asked at work for early teen books that have friendship as a main theme but without it being catty. Lola and Grace were sweet but realistic, and the issues they deal with within their friendship and outside of it were very poignant.
Adele was a character that really came out of left field and partially stole the show. I think she did a good job of taking these girls under her wing, but her story was another one that was heartbreaking to read. Felicity was another favourite, I love a character that thinks critically about why people like them and if they truly know them. Definitely more than a bimbo. I'd highly recommend this for about 12-15 year olds, but it could resonate with older teens too. Also, a huge shout out to Lola's mum at the end.