Eva Estrella is content with being single and solely focused on landing a job to kick-start her career in journalism. However, the pressure from her mom to find a suitable partner and “settle down” increases every day. In an attempt to appease her mother, Eva signs up for a dating app called “Virtually Yours.” This app allows users to appear as if they are in a relationship, even if they are not. As luck would have it, this unique experience also proves to be interesting writing material for a new journalism related job!
“Virtually Yours” is a colorful bubble-gum graphic novel created by Jeremy Hold, with art and colors by Elizabeth Beals. It bears a striking resemblance to the styles and designs of online dress-up games from the early 2000s, which were predominantly targeted at teenage girls. While the artwork may lack originality and the characters have a doll-like appearance, the panels are still enjoyable and visually pleasing. It’s the kind of comic-book that looks like it’s begging to be turned into a generic Netflix romance comedy.
The other main character in the novel is Max, a young man going through a difficult divorce. He works for “Virtually Yours,” where he manages a fake profile to interact with users. It’s fairly predictable where the plot is headed from the start. At first glance, Eva and Max seem like two completely different individuals. Eva is portrayed as a strong, independent woman with no interest in relationships, while Max is easily swayed in relationships and becomes reliant on his partner’s approval. However, their conversations feel somewhat unnatural, almost as if one character is talking to themselves.
The first half of the novel is engaging and enjoyable, but the second half feels overloaded with poorly thought-out plot points. Despite this, it remains a decent read for a one-time experience.
It’s a 3 on 5 from me.