About the Book:
Title: The Corey Effect
Author: Casey Dembowski
Publication Date: Oct. 4, 2022
Publisher: Red Adept Pub.
Synopsis: A second chance ten years in the making.
When Andi Scott left her hometown ten years ago, she swore she’d never go back. But news of her estranged father’s death has her driving the all-too-familiar roads. Each turn brings another memory—of the girl she became there and the boy she loved and lost. The only saving grace is that there’s no way the former love of her life, Corey Johnson, is still in town. They both got out, even though it cost them everything.
Andi’s barely in town for a day before she discovers that not only is Corey still in Fairford, but he’s the cofounder of a successful local business—one he built with her father. The news shatters the walls Andi built around her past and forces her to reexamine everything she thought she knew.
When Corey asks Andi to stay in town, she can’t refuse his boyish grin or the way he still looks at her as if she’s the only person in the room—and finds she doesn’t want to. Corey’s still the same person that made the worst day of her life better with one crooked smile, but there’s more that he’s not telling her. Andi has to know what it is, even if it means opening her heart to the person who broke it in the first place.
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I was really excited to read The Corey Effect after reading Casey Dembowski’s debut novel. A second chance contemporary romance, the story follows Andi as she returns to her hometown after ten years away to attend her estranged father’s funeral. Andi assumes that her old flame Corey would have been long gone by now, but when she arrives, she realizes that Corey is inextricably connected to her family. As Andi faces abuse from the past and relives a year that has haunted her, she also gains a new perspective on what happened since she left.
This is a realistic and interesting story about family, love, healing, and more. Andi is a well-developed and relatable protagonist, and I found it easy to understand and connect with her. The story is told from her point of view, and you see how much she grows as she learns more about what happened after that fateful year that changed her life forever.
One of my favorite things about Andi is that she listens to the Les Misérables soundtrack, much to my Les Mis loving delight!! Andi talks of her love of the musical and how she listens to the song One Day More, which was my inspiration for my blog’s name. I adore that song, so to have my feelings shared by the protagonist is pretty special and makes me a little biased. lol
We learn more about Andi’s story through flashbacks, which added depth and dimension not only to her character but to her father’s and Corey’s. It was interesting to see what led to her estrangement. However, I would suggest checking out the content warnings, as there are some aspects of her story that could prove upsetting to readers. Andi’s story includes parental alcoholism, abuse, anxiety, and more.
The flashbacks also delve into her romance with Corey, who was her first love. They had such a lovely high school romance, and though they haven’t seen each other in years, the feelings (and chemistry) are still there. A lot stands in their way, including feelings of betrayal, misunderstandings, and more, but I so hoped that the pair would resolve their conflicts and find happiness together.
This is another great read by Casey Dembowski, though it’s a bit heavier than her first book as topics like alcoholism, family dysfunction, failed relationships, death, and more are addressed. However, the romance, friendships, and personal growth of the protagonist provide levity, humor, and hope and balance the story nicely.
Thanks to Casey Dembowski for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The romance.
- The character growth.
Want to read more by Casey Dembowski? Check out my review of When We’re Thirty!