Monday, July 23, 2012

Review: Dante's Girl

Author: Courtney Cole
Publisher: Lakehouse Press
Release Date: June 22, 2012
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Pages: 356
Source: Publisher and Kismet Book Tours
Summary from publisher:

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.

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My Thoughts:
I don't think I've ever read a more perfect summer romance than Dante's Girl. Courtney Cole did an amazing job of capturing teens at their best and worst in this novel. She hit on the perfect mixture of teen angst without over doing it and making the characters annoying or overly mature for kids about to be high school seniors.

The Characters:
The characters made this book for me. I loved how Courtney Cole wrote each and every one of them. Reece our main character had so many layers and like a real person I didn't love every layer. She had some great qualities and some that drove me crazy but that's why I loved her so much. Dante's major flaw was that he wanted to make everyone happy. If you've ever tried to do that then you know it's impossible. I was rooting for him to grow a pair and make himself happy for a change. Reece and Dante have such wonderful chemistry, they played off of each other so well throughout the entire book.

The Setting:
Cole did a great job painting a picture of Dante's beautiful homes and the island of Caberra where he lives. She really made me want to get up and travel except maybe not on a plane. That whole thing with the plane really freaked me out.

The Plot:
Parts of this book are your typical girl and boy meet, they fall in love, ect. However, there were definitely some twists that I never expected and never once did I think hey, this book reminds me of...

The Writing:
Cole's writing is easy to read and very engaging.

The Ending:
I knew how I wanted this book to end and I was pretty sure it was heading in that direction but then the direction changed. I think I was even happier with Cole's ending than I would have been with my own.

The Cover:
While the cover is cute and it really does capture the theme of the book it's just a little busy for me.

Mature Situations:
There is some teen drinking, though technically the legal age is lower in Caberra. Some mentions of sex and some making out, but nothing over the top.

I think it's pretty obvious that I really enjoyed this book. I'm happy to recommend this book, especially to those who enjoy a good young adult romance.

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