Saturday, October 27, 2012

Book Review: Dante's Girl by Courtney Cole

Dante’s Girl by Courtney Cole
Series: The Paradise Diaries #1
Published: June 24th, 2012
Publisher: Lakehouse Press
265 pages (ebook)
Genre: Contemporary young adult
Acquired this book: From NetGalley
Warning: May contain spoilers
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I have spent every summer since I was ten years old with my father in London. Every summer, since I was ten years old, has been uneventful and boring.
Until this year.

And this year, after a freak volcanic eruption strands me far from home, I have learned these things:

1. I can make do with one outfit for three days before I buy new clothes.
2. If I hear the phrase, “You’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto,” even one more time, I might become a homicidal maniac.
3. I am horribly and embarrassingly allergic to jellyfish.
4. I am in love with Dante Giliberti, who just happens to be the beautiful, sophisticated son of the Prime Minister of a Mediterranean paradise.
5. See number four above. Because it brings with it a whole slew of problems and I’ve learned something from every one of them.

Let’s start with the fact that Dante’s world is five light-years away from mine. He goes to black-tie functions and knows the Prime Minister of England on a first name basis. I was born and raised on a farm in Kansas and wear cut-off jeans paired with cowboy boots. See the difference?

But hearts don’t care about differences. Hearts want what they want. And mine just wants to be Dante’s girl.

My heart just might be crazy.

I’m kind of torn about Dante’s Girl. First - and of course this has nothing to do with the actual book - I adore the cover. I think it’s one of my favourites, and the minute I saw it, I wanted to read this book. As for the book itself…I loved the beginning and the end. I thought it was cute how Reece and Dante met, and how things were tied up. The book had its moments throughout - it did make me laugh quite a bit in the beginning - and I loved the setting. I think a lot of girls dream about meeting a hot guy with a sexy accent from a foreign country, and spending time with said hot boy in Paradise.

I liked Reece at first, but the further the book went…well, it’s not that I disliked her, I just found her annoying at times. She was whiny and overly dramatic. Like the story itself, she had her moments, but overall I couldn’t relate to her, and ended up rolling my eyes at a lot of the things she thought and did. However, she did have a very authentic voice - I felt like I was actually hearing a teenager’s thoughts.

I read the ARC of this book, so I can’t comment on the finished product, I can only judge based on what I read, but it definitely needed work. It was repetitive, a few words were used incorrectly, it changed tenses several times (it was told in the present tense, but sometimes it slipped into past tense), and it just needed a lot of polishing. I realize ARCs generally do need polishing, but like I said I can only judge based on what I read. About a quarter of the way through, I wanted to stop and count the number of times Reece used the word ‘beautiful’ - everything from people to places to things was described as beautiful. In almost every single scene with Dante, Reece went on and on about how beautiful and perfect he was. I can understand being dazzled by his awesomeness, but from beginning to end, Reece was constantly mentioning how good-looking he was, and it was annoying.

The romance in the book was so-so. I guess if I had to pick a favourite character it would be Dante. It was nice to see a teenaged boy who had manners and acted like a gentleman instead of a horndog, but he was a little too perfect. The whole cultural difference made things interesting and added tension, but overall it didn’t do a whole lot for me. It could have been the fact that Reece raved about Dante so much but we didn’t actually get to see much depth from him, or the fact that she overreacted to every little perceived slight.

Overall, Dante’s Girl was a cute, quick read with fun moments, humour, romance, a bit of interesting tension, and a setting that made me wish I could be there. If you're looking for something fast and light, and you enjoy contemporary YA romance, give it a shot.

In accordance with FTC guidelines, I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No money or compensation of any sort exchanged hands. I review books to share my love of reading, and I'm always completely honest in my reviews, good or bad.
*Thank you to Lakehouse Prerss and NetGalley for sending me an ARC of this book for review.*

Have you read Dante's Girl? What did you think? Do you enjoy books about travel and foreign countries?

1 comment:

  1. A friend of mine just read this one...I think it was this one and she said it was pretty silly. I might have to read it. I need something light and silly.


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