He makes good girls…bad.
I knew. Immediately, I knew this was my kind of book. Just a take a sec to admire the awesome cover/title/book design. I'm just going to say it: Whoever thought up that "He makes good girls…bad" deserves a dozen cupcakes, a batch of double chocolate chip cookies and an I ROCK HARD button b/c it is snappy and fresh and heck yeah!!!
Phew. The Collector by Victoria Scott was a fun, fast-pasted paranormal read with one very naughty lead male and a nerdy heroine you can't help but love.
Dante Walker (props on the name as well) isn't your average mix of hot and cocky bad boy. He's from hell. Literally. Dante is a soul collector for the Big Bad, and if he catches you doing something naughty, he'll mark you with one of his seals. As the summary says, "Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag."
Collect enough seals, and that's it. Your soul is officially marked for hell. No take backs. It's about the choices you make--or at least it used to be.
For some reason, Dante's boss wants a specific soul. A girl named Charlie Cooper who is Dante's opposite in every way. She's good, as in really good. Her soul is brighter than bright, hardly no seals at all--which means Dante has his work cut out for him. But as he leads nice n' nerdy Charlie down the pathway to sin, Dante finds himself becoming her reluctant protector and discovering that maybe, just maybe, he's not all bad.
So okay, what really made this book stand out?
Yes, that's Voice with a capital "V." The whole book is first person POV from Dante's perspective. His head is a strange (and wonderful) place to be b/c seriously the guy has no shame. None. His thoughts were surprisingly hilarious and unapologetic and frequently a-hole-ish. But even if I had the urge to smack him--like when he was mean to or tricked Charlie--Dante remained true to himself. He was the guy you should hate. He was also the guy you wish would get over himself already and just be nice. In Dante, we find a character who needs to go from D-bag to good guy without losing his edge--which is hard to pull off. But Scott did it quite nicely. She didn't rush. He didn't all of a sudden grow a heart of gold. Dante was still Dante at the end of the book just slightly redeemed--and that's good since there is a book 2 :-).
Loved the idea of the seals. The soul collectors have the power to use and see them with a flick of their wrist--which basically gives us the visual of a person's sins. Very cool idea. I also loved the pairing of bada** Dante with nerdy Charlie. They had good chemistry. One of my favorite scenes involved hide and seek, kissing, the mean kids playing a cruel joke on Charlie, and Dante who comes to the rescue. Sigh.
The only things I didn't like were when Dante made Charlie feel bad about herself, particularly her looks. And I didn't like that she let him make her feel that way. These character flaws were believable, but I just wished that Charlie would've stood up and been like: I love myself the way I am!
(channeling Penelope here; btw if you haven't seen the movie I definitely recommend lol)
Anyway, loved the concept and Dante's voice. The Collector would be good for anyone looking for a YA paranormal with humor, romance, and a voice that's undeniable J.