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How To Meet Cute Boys    by Deanna Kizis order for
How To Meet Cute Boys
by Deanna Kizis
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2003 (2003)
Hardcover, Audio, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Liz Cooper

Benjamina 'Ben' Franklin has problems. Unfortunately, these go beyond the fact that people tend to snicker and widen their eyes in disbelief when she tells them her name. Having recently broken up with her live-in boyfriend, Jake, she's now actively looking for 'The One'.

Ben works for Filly, a women's fashion magazine where she writes articles on the do's and don'ts of relationships. Her latest article, 'How to Meet Cute Boys', advises readers on techniques and approaches on how to do just that. Urged by her best friend, Kiki, to try out her own advice, Ben approaches Max at Filly's annual 'fashion issue celebration' party. He's cute, he seems alone, and he dresses well - all of which makes him seem a little too good to be true.

By the time the Fire Department comes to break up the party, Max has asked for Ben's phone number; but when five days go by and she doesn't hear from him, panic and self-doubt take over. The fact that Ben's younger sister, Audrey, announces her engagement doesn't help matters. Benjamina now has only six months to find a boyfriend before her sister's wedding. Is Max the one? Or is he just another commitment-phobic man destined to break Ben's heart?

In How To Meet Cute Boys, Deanna Kizis has crafted a story that is bound to appeal to any woman familiar with the anxiety and heartache that comes with embarking upon a new relationship. Benjamina is witty, intelligent and successful. At times, she's also extremely insecure, emotional and irrational. The reader is given plenty of insight into Ben's thoughts and feelings, as the book is written from the first-person perspective, which allows an in-depth look at Benjamina's inner musings.

A colorful cast of secondary characters joins Benjamina throughout the novel. Ben's mother has been on 'an aggressive dating campaign' since her first divorce 21 years before. Chandra, a minor celebrity, utters streams of swear words at all times and likes to initiate violent outbursts (particularly when there are cameras around to provide free publicity). How To Meet Cute Boys is sprinkled with terms such as 'rental unit' (what you call someone you've been dating for a long time when you can't call him your boyfriend because he hasn't called you his girlfriend yet), and 'girlie crack' (highly addictive activities - clothes shopping, for example - that lead to maxed-out credit cards).

Deanna Kizis's writing style produces a delightfully realistic portrayal of 20-something single women living in L.A.. So whether you already have one, or whether you're still searching for that 'cute boy' of your own, pick up this delightful novel and see the world through Ben Franklin's eyes!

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