Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Cupid Effect by Dorothy Koomson

There's something magical about Ceri D'Altroy...

After departing London to follow her hearts desire to become a psychology lecturer, Ceri D'Altroy vows to leave her matchmaking ways behind her for good. Unfortunately, all she seems to do is inspire the new people she meets to change their lives.

There's Ed, who's decided to declare his love to a woman who is way out of his league; Mel and Claudine, two long-term friends who are now tempted to start an illicit affair; and Gwen, the chain-smoking head of department who has a deep, dark secret she only wants to share with her new employee.

No one who comes into contact with Ceri is ever the same again. Could this unsuspecting young woman be a modern-day Cupid?

When Ceri decides to follow her dream, that means leasing out the London apartment that she has worked so hard to obtain, and moving into a share house in Leeds and starting to lecture of psychology whilst doing some research. It's also a chance to leave the past behind, and for Ceri that means a chance to be able to stop being that person who everyone comes to to try and sort out their problems. To aid in that, Ceri writes herself a list of commandments:

1. Thou shalt sort out thy cardiovascular system

2. Thou shalt NOT get involved in other people's lives

3. Even if they're really, really nice thou shalt remember Commandment 2

4. Thou shalt think before thy speaks

5. Thou shalt think again before thy speaks

6. Thou shalt watch less Angel

7. Thou shalt remember that Angel is a 250-year-old vampire who dated Buffy The Vampire Slayer, not the man you're going to be with forever and ever.

As a character Ceri herself was a lot of fun. She is a trekkie who has a rather unhealthy obsession with Angel from Buffy and who people like to talk to. She also does seem to have an affect on people where she makes them feel like they need to be in love and when they do have love problems, she is always available with good advice. In Leeds that means walking a fine line between Mel and Claudine, two best friends who can't decide if they want to be together or not. There is also Ed, her housemate who is in love with a girl who seems to be completely out of his league, her boss, several of her students and a couple of random strangers! Of course, there is also that strange man who just stares at her all the time as well.

I did enjoy hearing about Ceri's previous disastrous love affairs, including the one with Whathisname Tosspot! Made me laugh every time I saw that because, quite frankly, it pretty much could be my ex's pet name!

This was Koomson's first book and honestly you can tell. It is not as good as My Best Friends Girl but certainly has charm and you can tell that as an author Dorothy Koomson has got talent and potential. If anything this book suffered a little in trying to come up with a theory as to why Ceri has the effect that she has on people - it just seemed a little try hard.

Despite the reservations I have about this, her first book, I am looking forward to reading more from her. When I read My Best Friend's Girl, that was the only book of Dorothy Koomson's that was in my library system. Fortunately for me, they have now got this one and another two beside, and hopefully will be getting the newest book Goodnight Beautiful which is out in the UK in August.


  1. Ceri and I must be kindred spirits but she must realize that I am the one who will eventually be with Angel forever and ever .... (LOL)

  2. It does sound like a charming book!

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  4. This author writes very good books. The Marshmellows For Breakfast book was also excellent. It made me want to read all of her books.