Publisher: Chicken House
Release Date: 7th February 2013
Edition: UK paperback, review copy
He was made for love!
Camille wants the perfect boy, with an athlete’s body and a poet’s brain. But when she’s rejected again, she decides there isn’t a boy alive who’ll ever measure up.
Enter Zoe, her brilliant best friend, who takes biology to a whole new level. Together they create Camille’s dream boy, Frankenstein-stylee.
But can they make him love her?
CJ Skuse’s writing sparks with wit, sarcasm and biting humour that I love so there was no way I wasn’t going to love Dead Romantic.
Camille is so awesome. Her fascination with death, crime and morbidity is rather unusual and sets her apart nicely from other heroines. And it gets her in to a rather interesting situation in Dead Romantic. But it was Camille’s imperfections that made me like her so much, as strange as that sounds. The way she mispronounced some words and used completely the wrong ones at other times was endearing and real and it may be a simple device, but it was a bloody good one. I also found her voicing her qualms about her body comforting. She mentioned something that I’ve often thought about me and when I told my friend, she thought I was crazy: wondering if a person touching me might be put off because I don't have a perfect body. That line of thought wasn’t something I’ve come across before and I was so, so grateful to CJ for putting it in to her novel.
I didn’t have the same connection to Zoe however. I liked her at random moments throughout the novel, but I never fully connected to her. In a way I’m pleased about that because, you know, she’s basically Victor Frankenstein and I thought he was a tad crazy too. Lonely, sad and ridiculously clever, but crazy as well. Her home, Clairmont House, was suitably creepy and there was a rather fantastic plot twist surrounding the mysterious Zoe which I genuinely didn’t expect. Fantastic! I didn't really warm to Lynx or Poppy either, though I really began to like Damian by the end of Dead Romantic. Louis, though, I like him. Such a bumbling sweetheart.
One of my favourite elements of Dead Romantic was the film references throughout. I especially loved that they weren’t directly named. I’m pretty sure I identified all but one which made me feel very smug and pleased with myself. I realise this is a strange thing to really love about a book, but whatever, I did!
I’ve loved all three of CJ Skuse’s novels and I think they get better each time. They’re unique, funny and brilliantly written. I can’t wait for whatever she brings out next.
Thank you to Chicken House for providing me with a review copy.