Title: Dead Romantic
Author: C.J. Skuse
Release date: February 4th 2013
Publisher: The Chicken House
Source: Review copy from author
Camille wants to find the perfect boy, with an athlete's body and a poet's brain. But when she's mocked at a college party, she kows there isn't a boy alive who'll ever measure up. Enter Zoe, her brilliant but strange best friend, who takes biology homework to a whole new level. She can create Camille's dream boy, Frankenstein-style. But can she make him love her?
Dead Romantic is a fun and light read, but beware of the gore! It's very Frankenstein-like, complete with a mad genius doctor (who never actually makes an appearance in the book, considering he's dead) and, of course, a toned-down version of Frankenstein (who also doesn't make much of an appearance). So you must be wondering, what exactly is this book about? Well, Camille's sick of her friends and their complete lack of care for her, so she finds a new friend - Zoe. Little does she know that Zoe is the daughter of the crazy scientist everyone knows about. When she finds out, she's intrigued. And immediately wants Zoe to build her the perfect boyfriend!
I've read Pretty Bad Things by C.J. Skuse, so I was expecting quite a bit from this book. Even though Dead Romantic didn't meet those expectations, I nevertheless did enjoy reading it. It was humourous throughout, and even the bloody and gory parts weren't too bad. I just tried not to imagine them in my head. The developing romance between Camille and Louis was sweet to see, and I liked that C.J. Skuse took it slow with that.
I can't say I really liked Camille, though. Her narrative voice annoyed me, since she abbreviated pretty much every word she could. For example - totes, awsies, ridic, delish. I think she just seemed pretty shallow in the book. Her humongous crush on Damian, a guy who doesn't care at all about her, made her seem kind of pathetic. She did some really crazy things and completely embarrassed herself just to get his attention. But she did have some awesome moments, and I've got to admit that I found her extremely funny. She's also a very loyal person, and would never leave any of her friends to fend for themselves no matter how they treat her.
Zoe is my favourite character from this book. She's smart, she's driven, and her determination to continue her father's work is admirable. Zoe decides to use Camille as her opportunity to show the world that her father wasn't crazy, but somewhere along the way they end up becoming really close. Zoe's not used to having a best friend, but she does try to adjust to having Camille around. Zoe does start acting quite suspicious, but she has a good sense of right and wrong, and I knew she wasn't doing anything stupid.
Louis is Damian's best friend, and the one guy Camille manages to make friends with. I liked that he saw past the surface and really got to know Camille, even though she never noticed it until a lot later. He - unknowingly - helps her out a lot during her search for, um, body parts, and she knows she can count on him. Even after he finds out, it doesn't change how he feels about her. That just shows how much he cares for her, and how lucky Camille is to have him. I mean, seriously, this quote -
My heart was going beserk. "So you actually like... love me?" He nodded.
I frowned. "Like Splodge loves Poppy love me?" He nodded again. "Like Jack loves Rose? Like Peeta loves Katniss? Like Edward loves Bella?"
"Yes," he said. "I can't believe you didn't get the hint.''
I quite liked Damian, even though he was a huge jerk throughout most of the novel. He was funny and sarcastic, and he seemed more real to me than any of the other characters. He grew to become passably nice by the end, and it was sweet to see his attempts to get Zoe's attention. In my opinion Damian and Zoe make a really cute couple!
I went into this novel expecting it to be a standalone, but with the way it ended, I'm pretty sure there's going to be a sequel. I will, of course, read it if there is one, but Dead Romantic wasn't really for me. Though I'm sure a lot of people will love it! This book has some really strong friendships, and on the whole it's an amusing and enjoyable read.
*Thank you to C.J. Skuse for providing a copy for review*