From one vantage point, it looks like Alice Amorous has a charmed life: her mother is the Queen of Romance Fiction; she lives in a quaint apartment in the College Hill area of Seattle. It should be good. Except that her mother has been hospitalized for mental illness, and it’s up to Alice to hold down the increasingly shaky fort.
Then she meets Errol, a strange boy (wearing black hoodies in the middle of the Heat Wave of the Century in Seattle qualifies, I think) who claims he’s Cupid and wants Alice to write his story. Of course she doesn’t believe him: mental illness runs in the family; she must be going mad, right? Which terrifies her.
Much of the book is given over to convincing Alice that Cupid is really who he says he is. There are some side stories, a distraction in the form of a Cute Skateboarding Guy, and conflicts with Alice’s neighbors as the lies and stories she’s surrounded herself with slowly fall apart. The characters are quirky and interesting and clever, as is the idea of melding mythology with writing romance fiction.
Sure, it gets a bit melodramatic at the end, but I was kept guessing as to where Selfors was going with the book, and delighted that she didn’t go for the easy (or predictable) road out. It’s always nice when a book ends well. I was thinking, though, as I finished it, that the book doesn’t really qualify as a romance (though there is one). It’s more about love in general. And, as we all know, all the world needs is love.
Rated: Mild for some indirect talk of sex and a few mild swear words.