Sunday, March 17, 2024

Cupid's Revenge, by Wibke Brueggemann

Ever since their mutual best friend died, Tilly and Teddy would do anything for each other.  So, when Teddy begs Tilly to accompany him to tryouts for a musical revue called "Cupid's Revenge," she comes along, even though she has no interest in acting or singing.  The truth is that he isn't too keen on them either but he is trying to impress a girl named Katherine.

Katherine doesn't seem very impressed with Teddy but Katherine and Tilly have instant chemsitry and that makes things awkward. Tilly knows better than to date Katherine, but the heart wants what the heart wants.  And, anyway, you know how this trope works so I don't really need to lay out the rest of the story.  Furthermore, the setting -- rehearsing a play -- is tiredly familiar. No surprises!

What's a little more off script is the rest of the story:  Tilly's oddball family of professional musicians and dancers (so, so unlike Tilly) are colorful and humorour.  The drama of taking care of Tilly's recently-diagnosed-with-dementia grandfather, who's come to live with them and proves to be alternatingly a huge handful and a great help, provides pathos.

Full of humor, some lovely romance, frank depictions of sex, and a fantastic cast of characters, Cupid's Revenge (the novel) is a stand out for both refreshing a tired plot and being a surprisingly good read.  I have a poor record with British YA (or NA, in this case) as it tends to be preachy and condescending, but this book surprised me.  It's not just a heroine with a good head on her shoulders but a full cast of characters who act like normal people and behave sensibly.  The story and its humor comes through so much bettter without lots of false drama and contrived circumstances.


Carolyn Priest-Dorman said...

Yoohoo, [not a] Viking! We're getting ready to move back eastward. Dof sent you email to the address on your home page and it bounced. Is there a more current address we can use?

Paul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.