So, I read The Collector *said all casual-like*.
And I kinda loved it *still all casual-like*.
Okay, that ain’t the whole truth, because the whole truth is that I kinda loved Dante—right from the off.
You know those kind of tales where the hot male is arrogant and full of his own s*** and conceited and exactly the sort of guy every parent out there would never want to have date their daughter?
But every now and again, when you come across a character like this, you just sort of know that beneath the surface there are some redeeming qualities (or you seriously want there to be), and so you read on because you just have to see how they can become a better person than they appear.
Again: Meet Dante.
But the great thing about Dante is that during his discriminatory and egotistical and even somewhat sexist opening, the dude manages to be freakin’ hilarious. I mean, if I knew him? I’d want to plant my fist in his face. Yet, somehow, Victoria Scott manages to make this appealing!!!!! Because I couldn’t stop laughing as he insulted one person after another. And then when he meets Charlie for the first time, using phrases like ‘ugly stick’ in there, I’m still laughing my head off even when I bloody well shouldn’t be. That’s how much this dude suckered me in.
And the more I read, the more suckered I became.
Because there is such a curvature of character development, it’s like I’ve travelled over top of the globe from City of Assholery to Town of Wanna Hug Him Tight & Bring Him Home To Mama.
Yes, guys, Dante IS. THAT. REDEEMABLE. I loved him.
The only complaint I have in here is that I didn’t think he needed to lose every ounce of arrogance to become good, because I kinda missed his snark a little the further it vanished from his wardrobe (coz the dude wore it like a favourite outfit, trust me).
Oh, and his ‘voice’. *swoon*
Now I have to give great kudos to Ms Scott for Dante’s voice alone. The character’s voice is a great determining factor in whether or not I connect with created peeps. And Dante’s voice was just awesome. Seriously awesome. I ‘felt’ it.
Again, one teeny tiny complaint, and it’s a generic one that spans right across whoever’s writing I’m reading: I don’t like hearing young lads use terms of endearment like ‘sweetheart’. I don’t know if this is an irritation caused by my home country being different in certain lingo to that of the authors’ who’ve used it, but it bugs me, because I’ve never heard any young guys in the UK use it—so it may be just me.
Anyway, onto Charlie. Man, this gal is as awesome as Dante is. She’s totally not what you expect as a female counterpart in today’s YA. I mean, he goes on about how ugly she is in the beginning until he begins to realise how inner beauty can outshine outer beauty tenfold and I found it refreshing that she wasn’t ‘Ms Perfect that all the guys lust after’, or a ‘I think I’m ugly and then all the guys seem to suddenly notice me’. And I loved her gentle and generous personality. I also loved that she saw exactly the same possibility of redemption in Dante as I did—girl’s got taste.
Now, I don’t want to delve into the plot because I hate spoilers and think the blurb gives you enough to go on as to what this book is about. Just know that Dante is so much more than first appearance will lead you to believe. Charlie is so much more, too. And the supporting cast is somewhat great to get to know alongside them—especially Max. ‘Cause I loved Max. Then I didn’t. Then I did. Then I didn’t. Not sure if the author intended to have me red flagging the dude and my suspicionometer blaring a good un but it was—and I laughed out loud at how the story progressed re: him near the end because I so didn’t see that coming.
So, do I think you should read it? Don’t ask me. Make up your own mind. Just know that I have been waiting for this one since I show-cased it in a WOW post—and it did not disappoint.
Plus … pssssst, I also now get the title of book 2.