Monday, March 25, 2013

Review: The Collector by Victoria Scott

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The Collector
Victoria Scott
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Publication date: April 2nd 2013
by Entangled Teen

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.

A copy was provided by Victoria Scott for review

Gah! I’m torn on this one and is probably more of a 3.5. On one hand, it’s endlessly entertaining with great humor and character dynamics. On the other hand, Dante’s conceited personality was sometimes a little to close to the “jerks we’re supposed to swoon over” line to which most know by now I’m not a fan of. He’s also the type who I could see talk about himself in 3rd person (he doesn’t in the book though thank goodness, but… you know the type)–though this side of him is mostly amusing. Yes he does grow and change throughout the story where we see he has a heart underneath his shallowness but… too little too late, maybe? I wasn’t going to fall for him by that point. Plus it happens after Charlie is well near perfect so I’m not sure how much credit to give him in the end. I saw a few comparing him to Daemon from Obsidian but I’m not so sure. Daemon loves to push buttons for sure, and he is a jerk, yes, but Dante talks about girls’ looks sometimes that, I don’t know, it got under my skin. I mean, the whole plot surrounds him trying to get Charlie to change until she is “finally” pretty and in turn he gets her soul. Don’t get me wrong though, I do not hate on Dante–please stop throwing those tomatoes!–I just like him differently than I was meant to: I like him as someone who makes you laugh because he says and does things that shock you in hilarity (who doesn’t love a good dose of political incorrectness?), not as someone to swoon over romantically. I also loved his voice throughout this story, I loved that it was his POV and not Charlie’s–great change of pace–though what I loved the most was his humor; while some of it does come close to being offensive, his ability to make me laugh out loud deserves some props!

Besides Dante, we have a great cast, here, who are all charming in their own ways. Charlie is neither pretty nor popular, and the friends that she has are real; caring and loyal. I found this refreshing. These side characters are just as vibrant as the main supporting role. Blue is especially intriguing with a personality you can’t quite decipher at first. He surprised me in a lot of ways and I came to care about him a lot. As for Charlie herself, I found her quite sympathetic as she’s faced with an opportunity that most girls would die for at her age, where self esteem hangs low and looks seem to be the most important thing. I also liked how she was just a normal girl; not the most popular nor a complete loser, she was simply average. Sure she has a quirky habit or two (Skittles FTW), but overall Charlie is an every day kind of girl that I found much easier to relate to.

The book is also incredibly fun as well as fast paced. I was not bored once. However, I did find some of the story building belonged on the “things you should look over” side. Like how there is only 6 collectors for the whole world (and they all seem to hang close to each other, location wise), or the explanation behind Charlie’s importance which, as it stands, I’m not convinced would result in such monumental effects. As for the romance, it was very sweet although a little fast–not insta-love fast but not so far off either.

With that said, I really did enjoy myself completely while reading this book even if I was expecting more from all the rave reviews thus far. Mostly I feel like it’s a story we have all heard many times before: Someone goes to do a job, but is unable to because he falls for the person who should be his victim/prey/target. *shrugs* Will I recommend this to friends? Sure! Will I still remember what I read in this book in a year’s time above all others? Not so sure. Either way, if you want to be amused and charmed by a hot dude who’s full of himself, by all means this one is not to be missed! 😉

3 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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31 Responses to “Review: The Collector by Victoria Scott”

  1. Nick

    I had a very similar reaction to this book as you did, Giselle. I thought the book was very entertaining, but it was nothing more than that for me. I was also uncomfortable by some of things Dante said or did.
    The romance wasn’t exactly insta-love, but didn’t you think they said their “I love yous” a little too fast?
    Anyways, I had a fun time reading it though. I agree that the rave reviews had me expecting so much more too.
    Fabulous review, Giselle! 🙂

  2. Sirtsu

    I saw your rant on GR yesterday and I’m kind of disappointed. I’ll see what I think of it once I read it and three (3.5) stars isn’t bad if you actually consider it, but I feel like it’s.. Umm.. I don’t know. There are so many reviews that absolutely adore this book and my expectations are pretty high. I’m somewhat glad that you brought me out of the clouds and lowered my expectations so that once I read it, I’ll hopefully like it more. I love your thoughts though. PS. I don’t think it’s easy to fill Daemon Black’s shoes so it’s no surprise Dante didn’t quite handle them;)

  3. Faye M.

    Ugh! I wanted to read this so much, since I saw somewhere that the internal narration was very funny and amusing, but now I’m having second thoughts. Especially if it’s going to be another Daemon wannabe. I hate that guy so much that I DNF-ed the whole Obsidian series. 😐 I’m torn now, to be honest. :))

    Thanks so much for the honest review, nonetheless, Giselle. More power!

    Faye @ The Social Potato

  4. Megan K.

    I’ve been seeing THE COLLECTOR around a lot lately, so I’m glad this one sort of lived up all the hype. “…endlessly entertaining with great humor and character dynamics” sounds promising, but I’m agree that the part where Dante acts like that jerk we’re supposed to fall for. I guess that’s one part you have to be careful of when writing about bad boys. The colorful and developed characters (especially REAL friends) would kind of make up for that part, though! I’m torn as to whether I should get this book or not…

    Wonderful review as always, Giselle. 🙂

  5. Kelley (Another Novel Read)

    Sigh, see, I knew from the description that I wouldn’t like this Dante guy. And after reading your review, I’m pretty sure I still won’t like him. Will that stop me from reading The Collector? I don’t know. Maybe. It does sound really entertaining despite (or because of?) his arrogance. Hmmm.

  6. Amy

    I loved this one. At the time when I read it, it was exactly the type of book I was in the mood for. And OMG Dante is a tool!! I didn’t like him very much at first either, but as the story progressed and we saw his better side and learned some of his history I became a fan! I loved Charlie though and even though she does change herself, she knows that it’s not really her and that none of it really matters. She was very easy to relate to and I adored her character. This was super entertaining and I found myself laughing out loud a few times. Great review babe!! Sorry you didn’t like it more, but I’m glad that you got some enjoyment out of it!

  7. Silverlight

    I started this, but had to put it aside because of other books getting my full attention(like On Every Street & Sins & Needles(which I LOVE, btw)) 🙂
    I’m going to be reading this, this week though, and hopefully Dante will be everything for me.

  8. Micheline D

    I’m actually glad to see a more middle of the road review for this one. Every review I’d read so far had been 5-stars & I tend to get a bit skeptical in those cases. I hadn’t been too attracted to this one when it first came out but I kind of want to check it out now, even though I think like you, Dante might not be a swoon-worthy candidate for me. Guys who could ‘refer to themselves in the 3rd person’ really don’t do it for me hehe Loved your review!!

  9. Ashley

    I enjoyed this a bit more, but I can totally see why Dante put you off a little. I think, after a certain point, I just learned to laugh at his behaviour because it was so ridiculous and over the top. I know he was a jerk, but I think I was just able to laugh it off so I wasn’t really offended by it, even though he was a complete douche bag!

  10. Wendy Darling

    We discussed this already, but you know my reaction to this book was similar to yours. I enjoyed it just fine, but all the while I kept comparing to other books that were more fun. I can totally see why it has its share of fans, though! More than its share, judging by the plethora of 4s and 5s. 😉

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  11. Alexa Y.

    I’ve heard about this book, and after reading your review, something about it just doesn’t appeal to me. I’m very picky about the paranormal books I read, as that’s a genre I feel a bit burnt out on. I probably won’t be picking this up, but it sure was fascinating to hear about Dante!

  12. Christianna Marks

    People keep raving about this book! From what people are saying I can’t figure out if I would love of hate Dante? I mean he sounds like he’s funny, but also a jerk. I’m not always a fan of those kinda guys. Guess I’ll just have to read it at some point to figure it out!

  13. Ali Ginger-Read

    Fun and fast paced has me still wanting to read it, even if the guy is less than perfect. There is a fine line with ‘bad boys’, some work and some just don’t.

  14. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    Bleh I’m not so sure I would like this one. I totally get what you mean about someone who would talk about themselves in the third person *eyeroll* This sounds like maybe it’s trying too hard to be what it thinks everyone wants, and I think it’s one that would just blend into the pack for me and not really stand out. Fabulous review chickie!

  15. Ems

    Rave reviews sometimes scare me off, so I was glad to read your balanced review. I’ve got this one on my DAC list and I’ll try to get to it, but it’s not at the top of my priority list. Still, the whole bag-and-tag bit has me giggling. I’d like to see what that’s all about.

  16. Camille Picott

    This sounds like a fun book, although I can see where you’re coming from with an unlikeable protag. I’m with you — hard to like boy characters that are jerks, but I am glad his humor made up for it.

  17. Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed

    *holds on to tomatoes*
    I totally agree with you that Dante is not very likeable at first and this might turn people off but I liked him. He’s supposed to be a bad person, he’s a demon! The fun part for me was watching him change and turn into a better guy. Plus he was funny as hell.
    I’m nervous for book two. I want to read more but I don’t want Dante to lose his…Danteness 🙂
    *still holds on to tomatoes*
    Great review!

  18. Megan R

    Too bad Dante didn’t exactly do it for you. Bad boys are always hit or miss for me, so I expect I’d feel similar. Great review!

  19. Jennifer Bielman

    LOL I know those kind of guys that could easily talk about themselves in third person. I acutally just started this book. I am a bit scared now with your review though. At least it is fast paced and fun. That’s important. We shall see how I like Dante. I’m scared.

    Great review.

  20. Candace

    I’m not a fan of the mean guy, and actually had a much harder time with Daemon then I did with Dante. I think that because I was in Dante’s head he didn’t bother me so much. Or maybe I overlooked his meanness at first cause he made me laugh, I’m really not sure. But I felt like I felt that spark of good right away and that I just watched that flame ignite through the story. At the same time I felt wrong for liking him at all when he was saying (or thinking) such mean things at first. So I get where your coming from about that stuff. Either way it’s a fun book!

  21. Renae M.

    I’ve been a bit on the fence in regards to this book, personally, since Dante’s character does toe the line so closely. I’m the type of person who can’t stand even a whiff of jerkiness. On the other hand, I’ve been assured that it’s funny, and it really does seem like it would be.

  22. Lauren

    I totally understand what you mean about Dante being funny and entertaining, but not someone you would necessarily swoon over. He made me laugh, and that was my main draw to him, though I think I ended up a bit more charmed in the end (I’m big on antihero/bad boys—I’m also a huge Daemon fan, though they definitely have their differences).
    I really loved Charlie’s every girl character the most, though. I went into this expecting to have fun and while I definitely did a double take at a few worldbuilding/plot snags (many of which you discuss here), I just glossed over them and went with it. Glad you were able to have fun even if this didn’t rock your world or leave a long lasting impression. Thanks for this honest, thoughtful review, Giselle!

  23. Jesse Burgoyne

    I enjoyed The Collector. I thought it was fast paced and it kept me laughing through the whole thing, but it didn’t have as much substance as I would have liked. But with books like this, books that are all about getting the laughs, I find they don’t usually have a lot of depth. But still, I did enjoy this one. A lot. But I get your feelings about Dante. He was a J-E-R-K!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction