Rating: 4 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

 

Last summer, Jude, a Cupid in training, fell in love with a boy at camp. It was … well, it was a disaster. Cupid’s aren’t meant to fall in love, they’re meant to inspire it, to help humans find it. One kiss was all it took and the boy Jude was in love with no longer knew Jude even existed, the entire memory of Jude erased in a heartbeat, and Jude was left heartbroken.

Now, it’s time to get back on the horse and get back to work. Rachel, Jude’s mentor and the sister who raised them, has a new job for Jude. Jude’s going to be going to high school for a month to help two young humans — Huy Trinh and Alex Tran — fall back in love. Somewhere, between middle school and high school, they lost that spark and are now not even talking to one another.

Going to human school sounds like fun! Making people in love is Jude’s calling. This should all be a piece of cake … until it isn’t. Jude’s life is spiraling and they don’t know how to fix it, or if they even want to. Is it so bad to want a little love of their own?

Jude is a non-binary and transgender Cupid who struggles more with their Cupid identity than they do with their gender. Discovering who they were was hard, yes, but there was an easy answer at the end of the question: Jude was going to be Jude, and that involves clothing that feels right, makeup, and a gender-neutral pronoun. Whether they want to be a Cupid anymore is a harder question.

Being a Cupid, Jude gets to help people fall in love and, as a fan of every Romcom ever made, Jude loves love. The mystery of it, the fun of it, the meet cutes and first kisses, the rush of joy and delight … it’s Jude’s addiction. But is that because they’re a Cupid, or because they want to fall in love? When a Cupid makes a couple fall in love, their task is done. The people they interacted with forget the Cupid ever existed, as their memories are wiped clean and they embark on their new life. It makes it hard to make friends outside of the Cupid circle; it’s isolating and emotionally draining.

Then there’s high school. There, Jude meets Alex and Neve, Alex’s best friend, along with Huy, a young man who is also transgender. Making friends with Alex and Neve is work, but making friends with Huy is … easy. They share a sense of humor, they’re both transgender, and when Huy smiles at Jude, their heart stops. Huy is handsome, charming, kind, perfect. He’s the ideal love interest in every high school love story, and Jude is working so hard to get him back together with Alex, focusing so tightly on the goal, that they don’t have time to think or realize that they’re falling in love with Huy themself.

This is about coming of age and falling in love all at the same time, as Jude has to decide for themselves if they want the life their parents and family have set out for them, or if they want to make the leap and become human. It’s also a story with a very open ending, leaving it up to the reader to decide what they think happens. That may not be to everyone’s taste, but it did work for me.

The romance is sweet and slow, the friendships feel grounded, and both the writing and the pacing were solid. I appreciated that this story has no angst, no anti-anything, and is just a good mood in book form. If you give it a try, I hope you enjoy it.