Written by: Victoria Scott
Published by: Entangled Teen
Release date: April 2nd 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Buy: B&N, Amazon
Add on: Goodreads
Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.
Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn't want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:
Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.
Dante doesn't know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.
I have to be honest – it took me a while to get into this book. And by “a while”, I mean like, weeks. Initially, I wasn’t going to even give it a chance. The tagline on the cover? The summary? Sorry, but this Dante guy did not sound like a character I wanted to read about. I mean, I enjoy a bad-boy book-boyfriend as much as the next person, but Dante just struck me as over-the-top, and not someone I wanted to read about, let alone have the story told from his POV. But then I saw all these reviews that convinced me I needed to give the book a chance – “Dante is awesome,” they said. “Don’t let his attitude fool you, this is a great book!” And so I believed, got the book, and started reading.
I was ready to give up after 20 pages. And I ended up doing just that. I put the book down, deciding that however good it got, it wasn’t worth putting up with Dante’s insufferable attitude.
Don’t ask me why I picked it back up. I have no. idea. But I’m actually really glad I did.
I still feel the same about early-chapters-Dante as I did when I first started the book. But for some reason in my second try reading, I was able to power through the Intensely Annoying Parts, and by the time I made it to page 50, I was starting to see glimmers of something else. Dante is insufferably arrogant and a total jerk most of the time. He doesn’t care that it’s his job to ruin people’s lives – in fact, he quite enjoys it. (And it did get to the point where I was laughing just because the things he said or did were so ridiculous.) But in the process of trying to collect the soul of his new assignment – Charlie – his personality slowly (very, very slowly) changes for the better. We also find out that he’s got some pretty big emotional baggage of his own, and maybe that’s why he’s gone to such an extreme of just enjoying being a jerk. But that’s how the book finally caught me. I actually really liked watching Dante as he slowly comes to realize that he might be on the wrong side.
I liked Charlie, Dante’s assignment-turned-love-interest, but she ended up feeling like a means to an end, to me – to get Dante to Change His Ways (which obviously I am a fan of, so idk why Charlie bothers me, but oh well). Also I wasn’t terribly happy with the way things ended for her… No spoilers, but I wish certain things hadn’t happened, or had at least been reversed, so we got the full effect of Dante’s transformation and acceptance of the “real” Charlie. Who knows, maybe this will happen in the sequel? My fingers are crossed.
Crazily enough, it was Dante who really made this book, for me. Charlie was okay, and I really did love her and Dante together – but it was Dante’s narration that ultimately was so refreshing – or maybe ‘refreshing’ isn’t the right word, but at least unique enough to make it feel like Something New and Different. It’s nothing terribly mind-blowing, and most of it is mindless fun (which is why the 3.5 stars), but Dante’s POV and more emotional story-arc made me finally decide that I am actually going to count myself a fan of this series, and I really am curious to find out what happens in Book 2. Bring it on!!