Book review: When Katie Met Cassidy, by Camille Perri

Perri, Camille. When Katie Met Cassidy. G.P. Putnam’s Sons. 2018. $25.00. 264p. HC. 9780735212817.

When Katie Met Cassidy begins as many romance novels do — on the heels of heartbreak. Katie Daniels is unsure of who she is. So much of herself was tied to Paul Michael, her ex-fiancee. She liked what he liked, her friends were his friends, their lives totally intertwined. So imagine Katie’s despair, having twisted her life together with Paul Michael in the hopes of building a perfect future, only to discover that Paul Michael has found another woman, their mutual friend, no less, to merge futures with.

And this could have remained the premise of this novel, Katie having gone on to find her happy ending in the form of some Paul Michael-opposite that gives her everything that Paul Michael didn’t. But that is, fortunately, not where Camille Perri takes this novel. instead, When Katie Met Cassidy is a novel about sexual awakening and finding yourself, clumsily and inconveniently.

Katie Daniels, our heartbroken 28 year old lawyer, finds herself immensely attracted to a fellow lawyer, sitting across from her at a the negotiation table. She finds this attraction strange, as she has never experienced one like it before: intense and all-consuming. The subject of Katie’s attraction is confident and brilliant Cassidy Price, who also happens to be a woman. And where Camille Perri could have tightly wrapped up this novel in a cliche “woman finds herself attracted to another woman, realizes she is a lesbian” arc, she doesn’t. Katie isn’t sure she’s a lesbian. Katie isn’t sure that her attraction to Cassidy is anything other than post-heartbreak confusion. Katie isn’t sure of much of anything besides the fact that she enjoys Cassidy’s company, and their time spent together. For Cassidy’s dilemma, she likes Katie. Perhaps a little too much. Commitment and reliability being foreign to Cassidy, Katie presents a big problem.

Recommended for queer-romance readers looking a light and messy romantic comedy. A quick, feel-good love story with believable  and complicated characters. Cliched and fluffy, perhaps, but made new by the introduction of characters rebelling not only against society, but rules of their own making. These women question everything about themselves in the wake of loving one another, and the answers they find aren’t always easy or comfortable, but they bravely welcome them nonetheless.

Rachel R. Newlin, MLIS
Cataloging Librarian, Schaumburg Township District Library

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