Thursday, April 21, 2011

REVIEW: Cupidity

Goode, C.  (2004).  Cupidity.  New York:  Simon Pulse.

273 pages.

Appetizer:  Laura Sweeney loves mythology.  She's set to be her class's valedictorian, but the one thing she lacks is love.  Without thinking, she sends a prayer to Jupiter asking for a boyfriend.

Her prayer is heard!  Most of the Roman gods are living in a retirement home in Los Angeles.  Since it's been a while since anyone has prayed to them, they decide to answer Laura's prayer, sending Cupid in the disguise of a beautiful teenage girl named Cupidity to make a match for her.

It doesn't take long for cupidity to cause chaos in Laura's Ohio high school, with jocks dating goths, popular girls dating popular boys.  Realizing something is not right, it'll be up to Laura to restore order.

I have to say, I really liked the concept of Cupidity.  I thought the idea of having the Roman gods living in a retirement home was an interesting twist.  Also, the romantic confusion is so complex, seemingly challenging to high school cliques and gender bending (since Cupid becomes Cupidity and then winds up having a role in the confused love mess), I was reminded of a Shakespearean comedy.

I think I would have loved this book...when I was eleven.  You know, before I had any idea what romance or high school were actually like.

The writing not so great.  I found myself cringing at cliches and mediocre descriptions.  The book often tells instead of shows.  As a character, Laura did not engage me at all.  I found her annoying and as the story went on I had serious trouble believing that she was as smart as she was supposed to be.  She was just blah.  Her love interests were blah as well.

I was left feeling certain that I loved the concept of this book, it's potential sense of escapism, much more than the actual book.

Overall, I was left feeling meh.

Dinner Conversation:

"Flies buzzed around the Dumpster in the alley, and the late-summer heat was brutal even in the shade.  Laura Sweeney swatted a mosquito away from her arm and pushed her glasses back up her cute but sweaty nose.  Her friend Taryn sat across from her on the benches behind the Dairy Queen, and both were dressed in the blue polyester uniforms of the DQ" (p. 1).

"Why isn't there a perfect boy out there for me?  Someone I really like.
In anguish, she lifted her head and shouted to the rainy sky, "Jupiter, send me a boyfriend!"
A crack of thunder startled her, and she looked around, feeling a slight chill" (p. 14).

"Cupidity...bow and arrows.  Laura's fevered imagination seized on a ludicrous explanation for these two unlikely romances.  Cupidity had shot her arrows that fateful night when Megan and Peter fell for each other....
No, it's too insane to think that Cupidity is some kind of modern-day Cupid, Laura decided.  I've got to keep my imagination in check" (pp. 111-112)

Tasty Rating:  !!

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