Book Review / Casey Dembowski

Casey Dembowski | The Corey Effect

The Book: 

The Corey Effect by Casey Dembowski
Published October 4th 2022 by Red Adept Publishing
Date read: October 3, 2022

The Characters: 


Buy it on | Amazon

The Plot (from Goodreads):

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 co-founder 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.

The Review: 

Thank you to the author for a complimentary ebook in exchange for an honest review.

I adored Casey’s previous novel When We’re Thirty, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on The Corey Effect! I read this book on October 3rd, which is the couple’s anniversary (and also Mean Girls Day). I’m curious if this is a fun coincidence, or if Casey chose the day before her pub day for their anniversary on purpose!

While I loved this author’s debut, I feel like she knocked it out of the park even further with her sophomore novel. These characters have so much depth, which we learn about through flashbacks to Andi’s past. We know Andi isn’t perfect: the novel opens with a scene where she is having sex with her separated-but-still-technically-married boss. I really enjoyed watching her grow throughout the book as the reason for her estrangement from her father is revealed, as well as her friends’ reasoning for accepting him back into their lives.

The split timeline was a great way to tell this story. Andi and Corey had such a sweet and interesting high school romance. I appreciated that not all the parents were absentee, that in fact Corey’s parents took it upon themselves to step in as would have been realistic.

I loved the nods to When We’re Thirty. For example, Andi’s favorite band is that of the MMC from the previous book. While these two books are complete stand-alones in the same universe, I believe the author mentioned that her third book will tie all of them together.

The Corey Effect features much heavier themes than When We’re Thirty, and I believe that led to an even stronger story. Casey is definitely an author to keep an eye on, and I can’t wait to read her next book!

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