Deanna Kizis

"How to Meet Cute Boys"

(Reviewed by Kam Aures SEP 30, 2003)

"We've all heard the story of Peter Pan by now. You know, Pan's flying around, doing his thing, when he becomes obsessed with this girl Wendy, and starts showing up at her house at all hours and taking her out on fancy adventures. Until, one day, Wendy wants him to act like a man. She wants him to be accountable. So what does Peter Pan do? He flies off with Tinker Bell in tow and continues his life as another immature male and Wendy gets left in the dust.

Of course, Peter Pan's story is pretty easy to figure out: Boy meets girl. Girl becomes woman. Woman wants boy to grow up. He can't handle the pressure and bails. The Peter Pan syndrome - that's pretty much every guy I've ever met."

How to Meet Cute Boys by Deanna Kizis

Benjamina Franklin (Ben for short) is a 27-year-old writer for Filly magazine who has recently broken up with her boyfriend Jack. She decides to go on the prowl for a new boyfriend at the annual Filly magazine's party. Ben's most recent article for the magazine is entitled, "How To Meet Cute Boys" and her friend challenges her to put her own advice to use. After spotting her target guy she employs the techniques that she wrote about and believes that she is successful when the "cute guy," Max, asks her for her phone number.

Read excerptFive days pass after the party and Max still has not called. Ben is obsessing over the reasons why and is constantly checking her voice mail and caller I.D.

During this time, her twenty-one-year-old sister Audrey announces her engagement, which distresses Ben even more. She shares her thoughts about the situation with us. "I was the twenty-seven-year-old sister who would have to bring her best friend to the wedding because I probably wouldn't have a boyfriend to take. Everyone would tut-tut over me, convinced my decision to break up with Jack was a horrendous mistake, and the rumor that I was a lesbian (which I know was being circulated by my Catholic grandmother) would finally take a toehold." She has six months before the wedding to find a boyfriend.

After an excruciating wait, Max finally calls her. As they are starting to date, Ben realizes that he has a fake I.D. and finds out that he is much younger than she thought. However, he does own a successful clothing company called Super Very Good, so maybe having this responsibility will help him to act more mature than his age. Ben soon realizes that trying to put aside the age factor may not prove to be easy in the long run as Max begins to display signs that he has a fear of commitment.

Inserted throughout the novel are many magazine style dating articles and quizzes that Ben wrote for Filly. For instance, one of the articles is called, "For Fun, Freedom, And In the Name of Research, Turn Them Off!" In this article, Ben details encounters with 5 different "cute boys" in which she attempts to turn them off by being needy, self-conscious, and using a variety of other ploys.

In real life, author Deanna Kizis is the West Coast Editor of Elle magazine and her knowledge and experience within the industry certainly shows in How To Meet Cute Boys. She has developed a very entertaining and fast-paced novel which is easy to read from cover to cover in one sitting. The incorporation of the magazine articles and quizzes into the novel is a unique touch and adds greatly to an already humorous story.

It was very easy to relate to Ben's trials and tribulations and I think that anyone who reads the novel will find that at some point that they too have been in at least one of the same situations or felt themselves feeling the same way that she feels. Whether it be waiting for the guy to call or seeing an ex-boyfriend out with his new girlfriend, anyone who has ever dated will recognize these predicaments. Kizis does a great job at creating a realistic novel exploring "the treacherous waters of the modern dating world."

  • Amazon readers rating: from 29 reviews

Read a chapter excerpt from How to Meet Cute Boys at MostlyFiction.com



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About the Author:

Deeana KizisDeanna Kizis is a West Coast editor at Elle magazine. Her work has appeared in Harper's Bazaar, Entertainment Weekly, People, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Details, Premiere, and Variety, among other publications. Ms. Kizis lives in Los Angeles.
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