Series: Dante Walker #1
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication Date: March 25, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Source: Received for review from publisher on NetGalley
He makes good girls...bad.
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. (Summary from Goodreads.com)
I am so glad that I got approved for this title on NetGalley because, despite how much I wanted to read this, I know I probably would not have bought it. And then I would be missing out on a worthy book! The Collector is a wildly entertaining and addictive read.
When the first line of a book's synopsis says that the main character is "flippin' awesome," there is a lot of pressure for the author to deliver such a promise. So is Dante flippin' awesome? Well, he's different, that's for sure. He's got a very distinct voice. A lot of people claim he borders on the "Bad Boy who is legitimately just a Big Fat Jerk." And he sort of does. He has some thoughts that toe the line of cruel, but such is life. People think mean things until they're proven otherwise. Sure he is arrogant a selfish, but he grows and becomes a better person and whatnot, so it's all good. What really got me about his character is that sometimes the slang and whatnot got really cheesy. Like, okay, you use the term "fo shizzle" jokingly--hah, you're quirky. You use the word "whatev" multiple times--yeah, no, that's not okay. He was an interesting mind to be inside of, but there were a few times when I was rolling my eyes. Other than that, he's pretty cool. He has a thing for his red Chuck Taylors and just the color red in general. He had a lot of quirks about him that made him seem pretty authentic. I wasn't necessarily swooning over him, but I did enjoy his character.
Then there is Charlie, who is not the most attractive thing the world has ever seen. But she is, like, super good. So good, that the Devil himself wants to stop her before she makes the entire world good and peaceful or whatever. She's overly trusting, very loyal, and endlessly kind. She is the kind of girl I was rooting for from the beginning. She's not my favorite character in the entire world, but she makes reading The Collector a more enjoyable experience. The romance between Charlie and Dante slowly builds up before Dante realizes what is happening and then explodes, and becomes a little much. Either way, it was cute because in the beginning Dante makes it clear that such an idea would be absolutely absurd. I was rooting for them the whole time and really liked them together. Beside Charlie, you can usually find Annabelle and Blue, her 2 best friends. I liked Annabelle from the beginning because, as Dante said when he met her, she has spunk. Blue was just kind of there to me for a while, but by the end, I respected, and even liked, his character. Max, Dante's best friend, is probz my favorite character. He's just weird, and a loyal companion to Dante. Finally, there is Valery, who fights for the good side. I know I don't dislike her, but whether I like her or not is still on the table.
I really liked the idea behind this book, but I don't feel like it was fleshed out as well as it could have been. I just didn't believe everything Scott was feeding us. The pacing was pretty stinkin' good. I mean, the book was always interesting. Like I said in the beginning, this book was majorly entertaining and addictive. I was never bored reading this, but there were parts where I would have liked a little more stuff to, I don't know, happen. I wanted more angst and dramatic emotional turmoil.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. I don't know necessarily that it will stay with me forever and that I'll be gushing about it for years to come, but it was a fun ride I'd highly suggest taking. I will definitely be awaiting more Dante Walker.