Manga Review: The Cinderella Solution by Kyoko Sagara and Cathy Yardley


May Contain Spoilers

When best friend, Gabe, tells Charlotte she couldn’t be more feminine if she tried, she’s infuriated.  She bets that she can get someone to propose to her in 30 days.  With the help of her girl friends, she undergoes a whirlwind makeover .  When she does attract male attention, and even Gabe is stunned by the new confident, beautiful Charlotte, he wishes they had never made the bet, because he’s afraid he’s going to lose his bff!

This is a friends to lovers story with gorgeous art.  The illustrations are eye-catching, with lots of detail on facial expressions and stylish attire.  I loved the art!

Gabe is a selfish jerk most of the story.  He and Charlotte have been buddies since she was a young girl, and he’s never had a romantic thought about her.  He thinks of her as a younger sister.  But when she magically spruces up her image and interested guys start crawling out of the woodwork, he does a double-take.  She’s beautiful, funny, and a blast to hang out with.  Unfortunately, Charlotte’s new neighbor noticed all of her attractive qualities first, and now Gabe has a rich playboy for his competition.  Gabe was content to spend his weekends with Charlotte, enjoying her company, and expecting her to always be free for him.  He is so clueless and deluded.  He thought Charlotte would be content to be his buddy forever, with no deeper feelings or relationship.

This is one of my favorite tropes, and I enjoyed this fast-paced story.  It’s very cute, and Charlotte is easy to sympathize with.  She suddenly has all of these feelz for Gabe, and because he’s sworn off marriage, and he thinks of her as just one of the guys, she knows that she has no chance with him.  When the most eligible bachelor around takes an interest in her, she has a hard time returning his feelings.  Gabe is perfect for her, if only he’s open his eyes and see her as a woman!  While I don’t particularly like the message that one has to change and conform to society’s idea of beauty, I did find this story a fun read.

Grade: B

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

“You’re not the type of girl who can attract a man. If you get proposed to within the next month, I’ll give you a thousand dollars!” Charlotte is a talented graphic designer, who spends her days in baggy jeans with ruffled hair. She knew her best friend, Gabe, doesn’t see her as a lady, but if he’s going to make such a bet, she can’t just take it lying down! Charlotte decides to get back at Gabe by dramatically transforming herself…

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