Cupid’s Revenge

Farrar. Jan. 2024. 400p. Tr $20.99. ISBN 9780374314026.
Gr 9 Up–When 16-year-old Tilly agrees to help her best friend, Teddy, win over his crush by auditioning for a theater fundraiser, she has no idea how much it will upend her summer. It’s bad enough that Tilly has to be “script girl” for a bunch of amateur thespians and that her parents expect her to watch over her grandfather, but the real trouble is that she and Teddy’s crush, Katherine, have an undeniable attraction. Tilly is rough around the edges in a way that is heartbreakingly relatable as she struggles with a world where she feels ignored and passed over. Particularly refreshing is the fact that Tilly is often influenced by her physical desires, a teen experience less commonly represented in female characters. The secondary plot of Tilly’s grandfather’s developing dementia adds depth to the story without weighing it down. Many side characters stray too close to predictable stereotypes and Tilly’s peers seem to emerge from bad behavior unscathed (when one character is outed rather meanly, only Tilly is blamed initially). An abundance of hashtags and LOLs make the book feel slightly dated, and the British references may be difficult for some readers.
VERDICT An enjoyable queer romance with extra appeal for performing arts lovers.

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