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The Cure for Crushes

by Karen Rivers

The sequel to The Healing Time of Hickeys chronicles the misadventures of 16-year-old Haley Harmony in Bridget Jones-style diary form. Haley is now in the second term of her senior high school year, which, like the first term, is recorded in terms of bad hair days, JT sightings (glimpses of the guy she has a crush on), and various manifestations of hypochondria. What’s new is that Haley’s sixtysomething hippie father has finally got a girlfriend, and in addition to dealing with this new relationship, Haley has to face the cluster of torturous activities she’s gotten mixed up in: senior prom committee, bungee jumping, pre-dawn rowing, and marathon running. Not surprisingly, all these new endeavours quickly dissolve into farcical mishaps, keeping the novel true to the chick-lit comic tradition.

As a fan of the Bridget Jones novels, I wondered why I didn’t find The Cure for Crushes very funny, since the format and general approach are identical. Victoria-based author Karen Rivers sets up convincing scenes, and the narrative produces a few laughs, but on the whole, the novel seems merely relentless. One of the problems is its sheer length – 300 pages – and another is the narrator’s unremitting negativity. Haley has a loving relationship with her father, but she seems to dislike everyone else, including herself. The narrative keeps slipping into the problem-novel genre, only to return to clumsy gags, like the many incidents of vomiting and pet-bird-crapping-on-head – which, admittedly, might be a lot funnier to a teenage reader than they were to me.


Reviewer: Bridget Donald

Publisher: Polestar Books/Raincoast Books


Price: $11.95

Page Count: 304 pp

Format: Paper

ISBN: 1-55192-779-9

Released: Apr.

Issue Date: 2005-6


Age Range: 14+