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3.7 out of 5 stars
15
3.7 out of 5 stars


on 24 January 2015
I’m pretty sure that anyone who saw me Starbucks this afternoon thought I was insane. I could not stop giggling or grinning while I read this book. The narrator, Dante, is just so snarky in a way I rarely see in male protagonists.

Dante collects Souls for the Big Man down in Hell. He’s good at his job – and wants a promotion to the next level. So when the devil assigns him to Charlie’s soul, he doesn’t hesitate. But how does someone lure a girl who rivals Mother Teresa into hell?

Victoria Scott has developed a fantastic voice for Dante, which really makes the story. He’s a total jerk, there is no denying it. He hates cats and old people. He relishes in his own badness, his suave, confident charm and ability to tell lies. Yet, Charlie gets under his skin.

I loved that Charlie herself wasn’t a typical romantic heroine. She’s a geek. And not the hot-girl-wearing-hipster-glasses type of geek. The cool kids make fun of her, she has no idea how to dress or what to say. As a character she was a great mix of naive innocence, fierce protectiveness and genuine desire to help other people. I loved the contrast between her and Dante and that he fell for her, despite the fact she represents everything good he’s struggled to leave behind.

Unfortunately, the pace did start to drag a little bit towards the middle and I was disappointed that Charlie made so many physical alterations once Satan gave her the choice. Still, this book was a quirky, fun read and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a entertaining YA that will make you laugh (and make others around you look away).
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I'm not a girl easily wooed. I'm "Queen of the Eye-Roll" and arched brow as guys try to make their play so when I issued a challenge to this dude called Dante to "woo me, I dare ya" I expected him to fail, brutally. Now if you'd just be so kind as to ignore my unkempt looks as I brush the dust from my clothes and get back onto my feet (I may have fallen over from swooning...) I will admit I came out the loser in that challenge (or am I the winner??)!
This book charmed me from page one. I'll admit I usually would never go for a book like this and the online marketing of it was a bit of a turn-off (Queen of the Eye-Roll remember) but some of my trusted book-bestie's were dropping like flies after been hit with a Dante shaped cupid's arrow so I decided to give it a shot. Boy, am I glad I did!

Victoria Scott created a brilliant cast of characters so gloriously realised I just want to squeeze each one and beg to be BFF's with them. Dante was just hilarious. His swagger and arrogance at the start of the book was at times a bit much but it brought me right back to being a teenager and being around that guy who is just impossibly confident and makes you feel like you will never be "cool" enough to exist in his world. As the book progresses though we understand more about who Dante really is and he "grows" literally from page to page. His barriers are chipped away and the darkness inside him is gently dispersed by a cool breeze he never saw coming, Ms Charlie Cooper!

How much do I adore this girl? Let me count the ways. Charlie just encompasses every beautiful part of a teenage girl that is dismissed as lame or dorky at the time until you grow up and look back at old photos and think wistfully "Huh, I really was beautiful..." She's not classically gorgeous, she wears unfashionable clothes and shock horror she puts her backpack on over both arms! Gasp! Remember being her? Remember knowing someone like her? I do. The beauty of Charlie is her soul. Her inner beauty, her willingness to put others first, her faith in humanity and her love for her friends, she's not the girl who will ditch them to hang out with the cool crowd. When Dante comes along to collect her soul piece by piece by convincing her to modify her appearance to a more classical idea of beauty I found myself pleading "NO Charlie, don't change! You don't need to, you're perfect just the way you are!"

Life smacks Charlie in the face too many times for even a strong character like her to not let it effect her which made the possibility that she would lose her soul all the more heartbreaking. Her friendship with Dante despite the odds was so charming to read I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. As it deepens and Dante loses the swagger and embraces the vulnerability, Scott really makes you care for these characters. The secondary characters of Annabelle, Max and Blue are equally memorable and added to the overall richness of the story. Scott does well to encapsulate the teenage voice with the slang and drawl we expect from "slouch-monsters"...I meant teenagers.

The storyline was equal parts hilarity, romance, heart-warming cheer and gut-wrenching sadness. There were so many moments where I sniggered, cried and swooned within pages of each other. There were a couple of shocks along the way and while the plot wasn't wholly predictable it did end up as I expected however with one disappointment which I won't give away. There were a few loose ends but since its part one of a trilogy I'm hoping more light will be shed on those. I honestly didn't think I would enjoy this book as much as I did and I'm equally astonished that The Liberator will be an auto-buy but The Collector was definitely a joy to read!
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on 14 April 2013
I feel like such a hype killer right now. Lately I haven't been reading any books that majorly impressed me, and with the hype surrounding The Collector, and how many people have been recommending it, I was super excited for this one. I thought it would help me break out of my reading funk. Instead it was average, and kind of boring towards the end, with the main character being the only person who goes through any development at all.

Here's another list for you guys because YAY, lists!

Things I Liked:

- Dante's character development. There is no denying that Dante Walker is a prat, at least in the beginning. He's basically a demon from Hell, so what do you expect? I full on hated him in the beginning, because he was just plain malicious. But as the novel progressed, Dante started to improve as a person. You should all know by now that I love development and progression, so this was great by itself. Even if I didn't like him personally.

- The pacing. The Collector was a quick and easy read. It took no time at all to get into the story, and the majority of the book is really well paced. There were a couple of issues that I had when it came to the love story's pacing, but the main plot itself moved quickly.

- The ending. I kind of knew it was coming, but I was still a bit excited about the last chapter. I'm not sure if I will be reading the second book, however the ending did make me curious. I want to find out what happens! It left me intrigued, and there wasn't a huge cliffhanger. Points for that!

Things I Didn't:

- Charlie's character development. Or lack thereof. Her character was basically a cardboard cut out. We knew that she was a nice person, who eventually decided that she wanted to improve herself, but we didn't really delve that much into WHY she was a nice person. Her parents are dead, and she's been adopted, so I was hoping for a bit more backstory or some drama... or just something. She didn't change all that much from beginning to end, she and Dante didn't really have any meaningful conversations... She was a terrible character in terms of development.

- Stretched out insta-love. Okay, so it's not insta-love, because Dante definitely doesn't love Charlie to begin with. But it was a rushed relationship, and like I said above, there are no meaningful conversations between Charlie and Dante. None that really mattered, anyway. Then, far too early on, they were telling one another that they loved each other. Because apparently they were in love. After a week.

- Dante's use of "baby" and "my girl". Okay, it all comes down to personal opinions (doesn't everything, though), but I despise this. I can't stand it when guys call their girlfriends "baby"! It's the worst. And it's also horrible when they refer to them as "my girl". Charlie isn't your possession, bitch. "Your girl" was also used a lot.

My feelings are all over the place for this one. On the one hand, it was quite good since I wasn't all that bored, but on the other it lacked that special something that should have made me enjoy it. I was very disappointed by Charlie's character, as well as the love plot. No me gusta.
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on 16 August 2013
I enjoyed this book, yet I had several issues with it.

I liked the main character. Honestly, when I started reading I thought he would get on my nerves, yet he held sold and grew on me a little.

While the writing is mostly good, far too many sentences begin with the words And or But. We all know this is a grammatical no-no, yet this author, and her editor, ignored that rule. In all seriousness, you cannot get through a few paragraphs without it happening. The story is told in the first person, present, yet the author avoided the over use of the word "I." Major bonus points for the creativity.

The book very very detailed. By that I mean that clues were given to the characters mind state (show) and then we were told his thoughts for reinforcement. This made the story far too long and it got rather tedious.

The last 10% of the book seemed to go off kilter. I held on, even though it was wordy, but the end went off into left field. Suddenly I was smacked with characters I thought I was supposed to now but they were actually new. The story then took a very unrealistic turn and basically all worked out, as if by magic. I was very disappointed in this, and now I question if I will read the sequel.
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on 2 June 2013
Hmm this was an odd one. On the one hand, Dante's character is an obnoxious twit, well and truly vile. His self congratulatory tone, his chauvinistic attitude - both grated on me enormously. But on the other hand, that's the point. He's meant to be a git, and he does go through some believable character growth throughout the novel - not losing his character, but softening, becoming nicer.

I've seen a lot of people swooning over Dante on various blogs, but for me there was nothing attractive about him, even when he started being nicer. I get what the writer was trying to do, having him say that Charlie wasn't attractive, having her change and become more beautiful, but less like herself, and therefore less attractive. But, I felt there was a little too much emphasis on how 'ugly' she was in the beginning, which just sent out a bit of a horrible message and I couldn't really get over that. Don't get me wrong, I love a bad boy, but being inside Dante's head and his thought processes was just a little too much - the allure of a bad boy is in his mystery, in suspecting there's a soft inner core that you can bring out. When they're horrible it's because they have to be to protect their fragile little hearts, and I never really got that sense with Dante.

The plot took its time at the beginning, then seemed to rush to a bungled end that introduced several new characters and gave us no reason to care about their fates. There was some emotional punch involving an established character, but otherwise it just didn't quite work.

That said, it was a fairly entertaining read, and a great premise, with plenty of opportunity to develop it further in the next books. And now that Dante's not such an odious character, perhaps his narrative won't be so difficult to digest.

Rating: 3/5
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on 13 February 2014
I honestly cannot believe it's taken me this long to read The Collector - I blame a ridiculously long TBR list! By the time I read The Collector it had already built up a huge amount of hype which I was interested to see if it would live up to.

The story is told from Dante's POV as he struggles to collect teenage girl Charlie's soul. The story is hysterical and Dante's POV really worked; his cynical, snarky and cocky attitude was fun to read. I was expecting him to be even snarkier (is that a word?). What I really enjoyed was how Dante isn't your average watered down bad boy, he's actually a real arse and kinda owns it! He's not dwelling on his bad actions because he's enjoying himself too much. It takes a real shift to alter his perception and so it makes sense that Charlie would be the antithesis of him.

I love Charlie in all her bumbling glory. She may not be pretty, she may not have much but she's happy and her goodness shines through. I was expecting her to be dull, but she's far to wacky to ever be dull. It was an interesting contrast to watch her metamorphosis alongside Dante's.

I'm still upset about one event, I wasn't sure it needed to happen. It made me both sad kinda pissed off but I guess there may be more of an explanation in the next book. I enjoyed Dante's story although would have liked a bit more grit.

4 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:

I glance in the mirror. Surprise, surprise—I look finger-lickin’ delicious.

Mr. Awkward rolls up between us, lights a cigarette, makes himself comfortable. It’s the same bastard who shows up after you’ve bumped uglies with a stranger.

"Dante. Oh, Dante. Seal me! Seal me so hard!" He grabs my hips and pumps his toward mine. "Oh, Dante! You're so hot when you seal souls!" I shove my idiot-of-a-best-friend off me and laugh.

How can someone be cruel to this chick? It’s like picking a fight with a chipmunk.
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on 1 March 2016
Warning: this review is going to be totally fangirl-ish.

I've been waiting for this book since forever. I've been dreaming it in my hands and now that I finally got to read, I want to explode. The Collector is SO good. Unique, full of romance, action. It was definitely worth the one year I had to wait for it to come out.

First of all, I adored Victoria's Scott writing. It's so funny. The story flows perfectly, making you hooked immediately. She has a gift of making the story really vivid, like you can actually watch it unravel before your eyes. Victoria Scott is definitely a new voice in YA who needs to be reckoned with.

And here's the good part. D A N T E W A L K E R. Swoon. This guy is the definition of swoon. Gawd, I just love him. He's... UGH! I'm fine, okay, I'm fine *exhales*. Dante Walker is the lead male of the book and we see the story from his point of view. I enjoyed reading the story from his POV. We get to see the real changes in him and also, the truth about who he is. Dante is a collector. He collects souls and brings them to Boss Man aka Lucifer. Yep, he's a demon, a villain. He's also the best collector out of the six of them. And he knows it. He's so totally aware he's flipping awesome, it just may annoy you in the beginning of the book. Let me tell you something. Dante's not your usual cocky, bad boy YA book character. He's the actual villain in the story. That's what's so unique about this story. Watching him change, or better yet, watching Charlie change him throughtout the book is just amazing. Yes, we can all see the good in him, even in the beginning. What we don't know is if the good side of him is enough for him to actually be good instead of a pawn of hell.

Then there's Charlie. Another totally unique character. Charlie's a sweet, good girl who lives her life peacefully in Peachville. She's not pretty - glasses, bad skin, limp and all. Thank God for Charlie! I'm so tired of book heroines being so damn perfect. I mean, c'mon, that's just stupid. But then, here comes Charlie, with all her nerdy-ness and unpretty-but-at-the-same-time-pretty face and rocks our world. I love her! She had had a lot of crap on her plate since she was young but instead of being moody and constantly cursing the world, she tries to make it better. She smiles and has hope. So many people have lost hope, nowadays, and so many girls try to be too damned awesome - it's disgusting! Charlie really is a heroine to look up to. I personally admire her so much. Because she's not a coward and she's good and she cares about her loved ones and she actually forgives. GO CHARLIE!

The Collector is definitely one of my favorite books of 2013 so far. Unique and full of romance with a boy who will rock your world and a girl who will make you feel confident again. Read it. The Collector is amazing!
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VINE VOICEon 7 April 2013
I have to be honest and tell you that when I first heard about The Collector, I was scared to read it because the plot sounded just like Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers (which by the way, is one of my favourite books). I mean, a hot, arrogant soul collector from hell who is the best at what he does is sent on an assignment to collect a good girl's soul (and she just happens to have some sort of significance) and guess what?! The more time Dante spends with Charlie, the more he starts to care for her. Yeah, that sounds like Personal Demons all right but you know what? Time and time again I think of something that Maggie Stiefvater (author of Shiver and The Scorpio Races) once said - that just because two people have the same idea, it doesn't mean that it's the same book and it's all down to the execution of it. She's a wise woman is Maggie. I am pleased to tell you that The Collector IS a different book to Personal Demons and definitely just as enjoyable if you give it a chance.

Now it's time for confession number two. When I first started reading the book, I HATED Dante. I thought he was an arrogant, selfish jerk and the way he talked? Who talks like that?! I almost stopped reading as I thought this was not the book for me. And then something magical happened. Slowly but surely, as I got to know him better through his interactions with Charlie and Grams, I saw that beneath the shiny exterior, he's actually a somewhat decent guy and I actually grew to like him. I have the utmost respect and appreciation for books that can make me change my mind and that my friends, is purely down to the talent of the writer.

Dante is the main protagonist in the book but most of the focus is on Charlie, a sixteen year old girl who lives with her Grams. At first, I thought she sounded a lot younger than her character but I'm going to put that down to the fact that she's led a somewhat sheltered life and never goes out to parties or socialises with "the cool kids". She's not the prettiest of girls on the outside but she has an inner beauty that makes her a really decent person and she has two loyal best friends in the form of Annabelle and Blue, the latter being a boy who secretly holds a candle for Charlie. I liked the fact that Blue was the only one who saw the inner beauty Charlie had and as she became more beautiful on the outside, it sort of didn't matter as much to Dante at that point as he'd already fallen for her. They seemed like such an unlikely partnership in the beginning and you'll just have to read the book to find out if they can make it work.

I will say that there is one particular question (not the one above) that isn't answered fully at the end of the book, an unresolved plot point if you will and this niggled me a little BUT it paves the way quite nicely for a sequel. I really enjoyed the book, it was fun and laugh out loud funny at times but there were also heartfelt moments that will touch even the coldest soul. A fantastic debut from Victoria Scott, my pre-ordered copy should be arriving any day now and all I have to leave you with is...POW ;)
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on 26 April 2013
What a fun and dare I say, refreshing read. Those who follow my reviews will know that I am in love with books written from the male point of view and that is initially what drew me to The Collector. It is rare to find a Young Adult book that is written solely from the guy's perspective, without it being a retelling.

"I glance in the mirror. Surprise, surprise--I look finger-lickin' delicious."

Why did I say this was a fun read? Because Dante makes it fun. He is one snarky and up himself character, and that just made this so much fun to read. Honestly, has there ever been a more conceited character? He is selfish, conceited, a womaniser... and at times a plain and simple jerk. But trust me, you will still love him.

You will want to rip his head off more than once but behind the whole façade that is Dante, you know he has a heart. And as the story unfolds you see more and more of his true character breaking through the walls he has put up.

"Because I see you. Even though you try so hard to hide, I see you, anyway."

And why is it a refreshing read? I haven't been a teenager, or even a young adult for many, many years but Victoria Scott has managed to hit the nail on the head when it comes to how I would believe a teenager would act and how they would speak.

There are so many young adult books out there where the characters act so much older than they actually are. They go to high school, and you are told that they are of a certain age but you can't wrap your head around it sometimes. That is not the case here. Dante, Charlie, Annabelle and Blue all act like teenagers. They all speak as I would assume teenagers would speak and that made it refreshing.

"Annabelle laughs. "Oh, so you think you're hot, do you?"

"Girl, I got swag for days."

Charlie is a great character and you can easily see how much she grows as the story goes on. It was great to see this change through the eyes of Dante, rather than directly from Charlie.

You can't see how there is ever going to be any sparks between Charlie and Dante because honestly at first he can't stand her. Well, he thinks she is a sweet enough girl but he is not attracted to her at all.

Slowly Charlie starts to change. I will be honest and say I was scared that when she started to change her appearance that it would be that to draw Dante closer and it would make him look even more shallow. Thankfully this is not the case. Dante is the first to say that it is not the changes that has made him start looking at Charlie differently... yet another reason why this is best told from his point of view. We can be in his head and know exactly what he is thinking.

"It's not strange seeing her now, even knowing the things I know. I thought maybe it would be, but it's not. To me, she's still just Charlie--lover of Skittles and bed bouncing and scandalous raccoons."

I am looking forward to The Liberator which is currently due to be released in August 2013. There was a major twist at the end of The Collector and I am quite excited to see how this is going to play out. I wouldn't say there is a massive cliffhanger though so don't worry about that. Just a nice big twist to get you excited for the next in the series.

"My lips move against hers, and the kiss says everything I'd hoped to hear. It tells me she loves me, and that she's in this forever."

Christine
Rainy Day Reads
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on 2 April 2015
Dante is the reason 'bad boy' exists. He is THE bad boy with a heart... or not since he's dead.

He feels so real. As if you've met him in reality and your best friends etc. If. Only.

Actually, I think I'd be terrified in a way. No way do I want to collect my soul to take to Hell.

Victoria Scott I want to thank you for bringing Dante into this world. (I'm making it sound as if you gave birth to him... well in a way you did by writing him 😉)

To all the people hesitating to buy this, FEAR NOT. You will be glad to have come across a dude like him. He is hotness and although he's a dead soul collector, he's more close to reality by his way of thinking than any other character I've read.
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