Thank you to the Kismet Book Tour for the ARC of Dante’s Girl by Courtney Cole. The following review is my own personal opinions, and is in no way influenced by the author or publishing house.
Dante’s Girl is by one of my favorite authors, and I’ve been waiting for the release of this book ever since I read about it on Cole’s blog. When I finally received it, I couldn’t wait! I knew it would be completely different from anything she’d published before. Dante’s Girl is told from the point of view of Reece, a country girl who spends her summers with her dad overseas, as she encounters some roadblocks in her travel plans at the airport after quite the scary ordeal and finds herself detoured with a handsome fella she literally ran into in the airport. Dante, the son of the Prime Minister of Caberra, takes Reece under his wings when disaster strikes the airport as they’re about to take off.
Without giving the plot away, lets just say that Reece develops a bit of a crush on Dante, and well…he does the same and the story that follows is so light hearted and full of fun that it is truly hard not to love every single minute of it. Reece, who’s invited to stay the summer and work at the olive fields and stay as a guest of the prime minister, is in many ways a fish out of water. But she’s adorable the entire time. The friends she makes along the way are fun, diverse and actually the type of people I would want to be friends with (rare in recent novels I’ve read.)
Dante’s Girl isn’t with out it’s drama though. As Dante and Reece are developing their friendship and getting to know one another, quite innocently, I might add, we meet Elena, who is in a way, betrothed to Dante. Of course, she’s hot stuff and Reece can’t help but feel a little not-so-hot compared to her, but that’s okay. Because Elena is essentially, a hot bag of air, and she definitely comes across as such. I personally can’t imagine Dante and Elena even being friends, and as the story progresses, we learn a bit more about the basics of their relationship, which in the end really seems to help Reece adjust to her feelings for Dante, even though she would probably disagree.
Plot wise, I find Dante’s girl to be just the perfect combination of ups and downs to suit a fun, light hearted read. There was enough drama to keep it from being over the top happy, but not so much that the characters and story line got bogged down with negativity and angst. I found Reece to be absolutely adorable and I’ve already found a few ways to utilize the phrase “sweet baby monkeys” in every day life. Dante…Dante was wonderful. Can I just say how unbelievably ecstatic that in a YA novel that does deal with quite a few YA issues, Dante is a breath of fresh air. He is actually a decent human being. He’s not trying to control Reece, he’s not demanding things of her, he’s not sneaking into her bedroom to watch her sleep or stalking her when she goes shopping, he’s actually concerned for her welfare, but not in a way that makes him into an overbearing ass. He’s actually a good guy. I would totally approve him if I had a daughter who brought him home one day.
As I’ve mentioned, I find the characters to be wonderful. The drama that ensues with the character fits their personalities, it isn’t so heavy that you find yourself wanting to punch everyone in the face and tell them to grow up and it isn’t so cliched that you roll your eyes at everything they say. Combine the plot, the characters, and of course, Cole’s enchanting writing style, and it’s a perfect summer read, in my humble opinion! I can’t wait for the next installment from this series and to see where other characters are taken on an adventure too!