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Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Review: Dante's Girl by Courtney Cole

Dante's Girl by Courntey Cole
Series: The Paradise Diaries #1
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: June 22, 2012
Publisher: Lakehouse Press
Format: eBook
Pages: 356
Source: Received for blog tour

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.

Dante's Girl by Courtney Cole isn't a particularly stellar novel, but for some reason the characters and their stories resounded with me. This is a very cute and light summer read with a gorgeous setting, hot foreign guys, and a secret scheme occurring right behind the Prime Minister's back! Courtney Cole has included all the components for the perfect summer read, and yet I still had a few issues with it that prevented me from really falling in love with it.

My biggest problem is the whole cliche, "He so purrrfect and I so ordinary OMG!" Like, I'm sixteen, okay? I get it. Teenage girls can be insecure. But I am so sick of reading about how amazing, perfect, and completely gorgeous the guy is and how boring, ordinary, and plain the girl is. And seriously, every scene that Dante is in, Reece mentions how gorgeous he is at least once. I know it sounds stupid, but this small factor really did interfere with my enjoyment of the novel. However annoying her gushing got, though, I did like that Dante's actions provide support to how much Reece admires him. He proves himself to be sweet and a genuinely good guy that truly cares for Reece. The other characters were great entertainment--Gavin's flirtacious confidence, and Mia's need to rebel against her father--though Elena felt stereotypical and the drama with Becca was entirely unnecessary.

Despite all the fluff and Dante-gushing, there was a bit more depth to the plot than I had suspected going into the novel. It may be a little predictable in some ways, but in other ways I was shocked. Nate, Dante's "friend", is definitely up to something sketchy, but it's not overly emphasized throughout the book, which is good because it contributes to the shocked factor and keeps the mystery in the back of your mind.

Overall, this book was an okay read. This is the first I've read by Courtney Cole, and I'd probably read more from her.

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~ Gabbi