Dante's Girl by Courtney Cole
Publisher: Lakehouse Press
Pub Date: June 24, 2012
The Paradise Diaries #1
Dante's Girl is a delightful, fun, cute and yet still serious in a way book. I read this on my recent vacation and it was the perfect feel-good book to while away the afternoon in the hammock. It took me away to a different country, to a different life and reminded me of that first love as a teenager.
Reece is a very endearing main character. I think almost any girl can relate to her. She's off to her father's for the summer, somewhere she really doesn't want to be when the crazy volcanic ash thing happens and so does Dante and her whole summer changes. Her life also goes crazy back home. But she copes, she's strong and even though she hasn't really been in love before, I really admired the way she handled the relationship. She is very typical teenage girl, but I think she also shows girls a strength they can have also. I like that. She's spunky, she's fun, and she's not too in-your-face I can do it all. She has weaknesses and needs help too. Reece is just a great character who grows through the book. And Dante. Dante is amazing as well. At times I found him a little wishy-washy, but I realize he needed to be that way to have growth in his character. But what I really love about him was the romance he had in him. And before everyone jumps and says no teenage boy is that romantic, my husband who was my boyfriend at the end of high school was romantic, so teenagers can be romantic. In fact take away the money and royalty and Dante reminded me a bit of my husband back then. So that made this read even more fun on a vacation away with my husband of almost 15 years (and we have been together 20). But back to Dante, he's handsome, sweet, and he grows up a lot in this book.
The plot is driven mainly by the characters then by romance and finally by a small suspense plot. Added all together and it makes this a very quick and enjoyable read. I found it to be well put-together, and enjoyed everything that made up the book as a whole. The romance was my favorite of course, but Ms. Cole does everything well. I was very impressed by this novel and how situations are handled in it.
Dante's Girl is a great summer or anytime read for teens 14+ (some sexual situations/discussions, fade to black but they are there, handled very nicely I thought, age recommendation is just my opinion). It has a great storyline, wonderful characters, a heartfelt romance and an ending that ends just right, but leaves you ready for the next book in the series. Ms. Cole has captured first romance brilliantly in Dante's Girl. She had me remembering those days with happy thoughts as I read along with Reece and Dante's story. And she kept a smile on my face through the entire story (except for a few intense moments, but hey it's a romance, you have to have those). Dante's Girl is just one of those great feel-good reads that you need to read!
My Rating: 5.0/5.0
***I received this book from Kismet Book Touring for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free. ***