The Collector: Victoria Scott

General Summary: Dante Walker is the type of guy that usually I get my reviewer gun out for.  But surprisingly, he actually has a heart beneath that obnoxious YA bad boy exterior of his and becomes a pretty likable character when he gets sent on his latest job: to corrupt Charlie.

Review:

I really liked this one.  It made for perfect I’m too tired to do anything else reading and that’s what I needed this week.

It might seem cliche from the summary-typical story of paranormal jerkwad meets naive girl, but I really like the take Scott took on it.  It reminded me of She’s All That.  You know, if the devil was somehow involved.

Seriously, I kept thinking of Freddie Printze JR as Dante even though Dante is way cooler than Freddie.  But this book is sort of like that movie.  You don’t think it’s going to be as good as it is.

And I think, like with that movie, the strength of this book resided in its characters.

I loved both Dante and Charlie for completely different reasons.  Dante because he’s a realistic character and he’s actually a decent “bad guy”.  Charlie because she’s so painstakingly relatable.

Charlie reminds me of myself in high school (though she’s probably nicer and a lot more perfect).  Painfully awkward, sort of shy, but has big dreams.  And she gets shitted on because, well, she’s not like most kids.  And what I really appreciate about her is she accepts her flaws…or does she?  Dante soon has her wishing for a makeover, but you question her reasons for the perfect hair, eyesight, and boobs (yes, Charlie gets a magical boob job in this book too…however, unlike other YA books its not heinous).  It’s an actual part of the story, and Scott does have Dante admit it’s wrong.

Another thing I liked about this book was the world it created.  Grant it, there wasn’t much world building in this one, but with what I saw I’m intrigued.  I want more.

Admittedly, it took me awhile to get into this book because Dante was such an ass in the beginning.  I was at first going to say that it might’ve helped the story had there been alternative points of view, but after finishing it I realized it wouldn’t have been as good if it hadn’t been in Dante’s POV.  As much as I’d love to read what was going on in Charlie’s head, the heart of the story is Dante’s redemption.  I guess that’s why I was able to get past some of Charlie’s dumb choices (seriously, she’s naive enough to believe Dante).

This probably wasn’t the most original idea I’ve read, but I liked it a lot.  I think the execution was great.  And I liked how Scott took a lot of these cliches we’re seeing in YA and make them seem new again.  It’s a fun read.

Best Feature: Bad boy POV.  I am really glad that this book was told from Dante’s POV.  I think it would’ve failed otherwise.  I know that sounds harsh, but I really don’t mean it to be.  What I mean is, we actually got to see more character development because the book took place in his POV and a lot of the stuff other bad boys in YA get away with…well, Dante’s held accountable for and he does reform.  And yes, its a real reformation unlike a lot of these YA book where the only reformation seems that the guy is no longer trying to steal the girl, in this book Dante actually regrets what he is doing to Charlie.  And I like how he admits that he was wrong in the beginning.

Worst Feature: Naivety.  Honestly, I get Charlie is suppose to be this pure character, but even I didn’t buy Dante’s whole soul contract is for heaven thing.  Maybe it’s because I watched too many bad Disney movies where hockey players sell their souls for the Stanley cup or whatever.  But dude, don’t sign anything even if it’s supposedly from an “angel”.

Appropriateness:  There are quite a few f bombs dropped and more than one scene involving teen drinking, as well as some violence at the end.

Blockbuster Worthy: I would enjoy seeing this on the small screen I think.  It actually would make a pretty great TV show.  CW I’m thinking just as long as they don’t get that 7th Heaven woman in charge we’re in business.  I’m not going to cast though, mainly because if you’ve seen She’s All That you’ve seen my cast.

Overall Rating: I’m giving this one an eight out of ten.  It really was close to getting a nine but a slow beginning and some logic issues lowered it.  Still, I highly recommend for anyone who wants a decent YA book with a bad boy staring in it.

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