April 8, 2013

The Collector by Victoria Scott

Now Playing: Make It Home - Thenewno2

Review possible thanks to Netgalley

Goodreads says: 
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.

The Collector has been something that's been sweeping YA blogs and twitter feeds for quite sometime now. The hype before the first ARC reviews came out had people skeptical because everyone knows that in the realm of YA, things that get a lot of buzz are bound to be masking a layer of suck. So, when I finally got a copy, I let it sit for two hours because I was worried about how it'd turn out for me. Like any person worried, I used those two hours to watch the episode with the hunkalicious bad boy Jake Berkeley

Priorities. I totally have them.

However, The Collector was a great surprise. Many blogs beforehand were gushing about how Scott's Collector was something to be enjoyed greatly; it was something and totally unashamedly what a novel with teenage protagonists are; hilarious, dramatic, hormonal, rude and sometimes unexpectedly inspire hope. 

The Collector's kind of like an 80s teen movie would be if you added paranormal elements and a slightly (hah!) egotistical male protagonist.

The Collector starts off with an intriguing note at the beginning that Dante tells the reader he allowed Victoria to tell his story, and right off the bat, you get the strongest voice I've read in 2013 that is totally distinguishable from its author. Dante is hilarious and rude (at times) with a sailor's mouth. And he's an unapologetic douche-bro that you can't help but be entertained by. By that, he's like the teenage boy that is popular but acts like a douche and says words like 'swag' unironically because he can.

When Dante meets Charlie, he's so assured of his abilities to seduce his way in and out of the assignment to collect her assignment. And in the beginning, he's mean. His internal thought are that "she's nice but she should try a little harder to be desirable" and I know that I wanted to slap that out of him because don't talk about Charlie like that, she's my precious nerdy princess girl. 

Later on, Dante grows to be less judgmental of Charlie and develops a fondness for her during the ten days he has to collect her soul. However, he still has ulterior movements that involve manipulating Charlie's emotions for him into getting her to (unknowingly) damn her own soul because Dante realizes that despite being a Collector/half-alive he still has a conscience. 

Now Charlie is a sweet girl to Dante's cockiness. She's sweet but underneath it all, she's got the goldest of hearts. Life's been rough to her as her parents died and she's adopted by an "Aunt" who isn't really related to her. Charlie tries to make the most of what's been given to her. This is later emphasized in the novel that Charlie's perseverance of goodness might be what leads Heaven to win against Hell.

What works for the Collector is that it embraces it's cheesiness and then surprises you with the character change within Dante's character as his conscience pops out and smacks him repeatedly. Which is awesome. 

I adored Charlie's 2-person circle of friends; Annabeth and Blue who were so damn swell, and definitely people that you'd love to chill with. Annabeth was hilarious, snarky and a big sister-esque figure to Charlie, as well as having some of the most hysterically funny lines when talking with Dante. Blue was your typical boy in love with best friend (Charlie), a sweet person, fiercely protective of his friends. However, I am still sad with what Blue's fate was at the end of Collector; those of you who've read it, what were your thoughts?

However, there were *some* cons; Some people might not be a fan of the swearing that goes on in here, that I personally didn't mind until I believe one of Dante's friends (or I think Dante himself) using the word "pussy" and I just went like this:

There was also some stereotypical high school cliches, with the queen bee of the school either called a slut and is totally out to torment Charlie, which I overlooked because I didn't really expect much on that front.  There were mostly parts throughout the middle that were mainly filler and that dragged on for a little. But besides that, it was solid.

Do I recommend this book: Yeah. Though you might get some stares because of the cover. 

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