Reviews

Dead Romantic by C.J. Skuse

michalice's review

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5.0

I have had Dead Romantic on my to read/wish list for a while, so I decided to snag myself a copy using my audible credit. After the first few minutes of listening I was hooked, and I wish I had picked up this book a lot sooner than I did, but after going to check a few details I am glad I got this when I did as it is no longer available on audible.
My review for Dead Romantic will be vague, as this isn't technically a review audiobook then I didn't really take any notes, so my review is based on a lot of what I remember. My first impressions of the characters are as follows...Camille is so ridiculously clueless you can't help but laugh at the mispronunciation of words, and even some of the sentences she manages to scramble together. Zoe is crazy, as in insane you REALLY don't want to mess with me crazy, yet she is the perfect person too become Camille's friend. As we get to know Zoe you find she isn't as crazy as you initially think she is, who am I kidding, the more we get to know her the more crazy we realise she really is. Yet everything she does has some reason and logic in her head, and while she enlists Camille's help in making Sexy Dead Boy, or SDB as he will be known from now on, we soon find out that making SDB has nothing really to do for Camille, and is more for Zoe's benefit.
Damian and Louis took me a while to actually like, and I think I liked Louis well before Damian. Louis I felt sorry for, he is left out of things and treated like he is just there for the extra body in the group and I felt like he didn't really have any ties with Damian or Splodge. Damian was just plain annoying, self centred and arrogant, and even though I did warm up to him in the end I still think there has to be a reason for his sudden change in personality.

I loved almost everything about Dead Romantic, and ill explain the almost part in a bit. The characters are hilarious, creepy, and just plain amazing. The story is ingenious and I loved how C.J has managed to make a creepy Frankenstein-esk book into one that is more fun and less serious through most of it. The part that I did not like was the ending. I didn't feel like there was closure in some things that occur near the end, and we don't get to find out what happened with SDB. I really hope that this means there will be another book to follow soon, I will keep my fingers and toes crossed for this.

As you know this is an audiobook review, so now we get to see my thoughts on the narrator Lisa Coleman. I have one word for Lisa, fantastic. She manages to get the right tone of the book and portrays this easily in the different 'voices' she uses for the characters. She makes an amazingly clueless Camille, and a fantastically creepy Zoe, which only adds to the characters personality. The attitude of Damian literally pours out of the ear phones, and it makes you dislike he so much more than reading the words on paper. She definitly kept me entertained whilst listening to Dead Romantic.

In the words of C.J. herself

I write books. The first book is quite offensive. The second book is an ode to rock music. The third book is batshit crazy. You may like them, you may not. Either is fine with me.


Dead Romantic is insane, hilarious, and sometimes a complete disaster, but you can't help fall in love with this book, I found myself laughing so much that I was scared to listen to this out side my house in case I laughed out loud in the middle of the bus or train and look like a laughing idiot sitting by myself. I wish I had picked up this book sooner than I did, and I intend to add a copy to my shelves as soon as funds allow.

kwil87's review

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3.0

I really enjoyed this book, it was witty and well written, the characters were likeable and in particular I loved Camille and her awkwardness! I don't often read YA Fiction but the subject matter piqued my interest and I'm glad I read it, however I am a must know person! I must know everyone's story, I must know if they all live happily ever after and I have absolutely no bloody idea what happened to Sexy Dead Boy! So that spoiled it a bit for me, if another book was on its way it would be forgivable but I don't see anything online. Disappointing.

minorasimulator's review

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2.0

2.5 Stars

Frankenstein? Yes.
Best friends? Yes please.
Scienceing the shit out of something? All for it.

But there's only so much disbelief one can suspend. So while I could agree with the slightly kooky science, the idea that a teenage girl, when approached by somebody, who by all accounts is a goddamned psycho and asked "Do you want to help me build a boy out of dead people and he can be your boyfriend?", would reply with "Yeah, okay, that sounds like fun." Are you kidding me? What the fuck is wrong with you?

Not only that, but we don't even see Frankenstein's bloody monster. It's all about getting the parts, figuring out how to bring it to life, and then
Spoiler Zoe just tells us that he got up and walked away, and then we have our three not psycho characters deciding whether or not to kill it.
. In the end, Camille has absolutely no reason to continue helping Zoe out. And while I totally knew it would happen, I'm still pretty miffed that in the end, Camille ended up with the guy I didn't want her to end up with. Even though the other guy's a tosser.

Moving on from the ridiculous plot, the editing was sloppy, Camille is a complete idiot, the characters were unrelatable and the fact that Camille never actually mentioned anything pop culture by name - just by describing it - drove me up the fucking wall. I just didn't enjoy it very much. I only gave it more than two stars because I was actually surprised by some of the twists. I had 150 pages left this morning when I started reading, and I had to keep putting it down because it was a complete drag to read.

chrissireads's review

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4.0

I thought Dead Romantic was an amazing book. It’s a book that I didn’t expect to like as much as I did. I was totally drawn into the world, loved the pacing of the story and adored the characters!

Dead Romantic centres around a girl called Camille. One night after an awful experience at a freshers event, Camille runs into Zoe at a graveyard. Zoe appeas to be digging up a grave. Camille is immediately intrigued by Zoe and they strike up an unusual friendship. Zoe and Camille decide to make the perfect boy for Camille to take to a party. Zoe is fascinated with biology and bringing things to life. She shows Camille (and the rest of her science class whilst the teacher is locked in a cupboard) how she can bring a hamster to life. Zoe decides that the perfect boy will be made of different dead body parts. So the hunt for dead bodies is on.

You’d think that this sounds utterly disgusting, but C.J. Skuse writes in such a way that it isn’t so disgusting. Yes, there are severed limbs aplenty, but there’s also incredibly funny elements to this story. There’s romance and friendship. It’s not just about the Frankenstein-stylee boy.

I really enjoyed reading about the main characters Camille and Zoe. I loved how they both were different to the rest. Camille was more about fitting in, but as soon as she met Zoe she began to drift away from her old friends. I loved Zoe’s uniqueness although I did find her a little unreliable and I wasn’t sure what she might do next! I do like that about a character though and I think C.J. Skuse created a wonderful character in Zoe.

This story is a little ridiculous in parts, but it’s so wonderful at the same time. There are some real laugh out loud moments which I really appreciated. It may have some gory parts and some reincarnated animals but it’s also a story with a great friendship and sweet romance at the heart of it.

neenor's review

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3.0

Reading the synopsis, I didn't imagine Dead Romantic would be a serious novel. And I was right - it wasn't. But it was amazingly hilarious, and had such an interesting and fun storyline that I just couldn't put it down.
Camille is your average teenage girl - obsessed with boys! Unfortunately, boys aren't exactly as obsessed back. After humiliating herself at a party she becomes friends with Zoe, the local weirdo, who comes up with an idea to create the ultimate boyfriend, Frankenstein-style. So they set out to find the body parts to create the hottest guy alive - or dead.

I loved the energy this book had! Camille, although a bit ditzy and not the brightest bulb in the box, was so full of life and realistic. I think she's possibly one of the best characterised teenage girls I have ever read about - I could just imagine her being a friend and saying all this stuff to me. She was just so normal, and it was refreshing.

Zoe was the complete opposite of Camille, and I think they worked to balance each other out. At times, I did think Skuse had characterised her to be overly weird - just pushing the boundaries a bit too far. The secondary characters were also pretty good - again, they felt as if they were real teenagers and not just characters in a book. They also made me laugh crazily - especially Damien and Louis at the end! They had me tearing up!

The storyline was pretty good. It wasn't as zombie-based as I had hoped, but it was intriguing and held my attention. I loved the way that as it was told from Camille's point of view and she didn't know the spelling or the meaning of certain words, Skuse would put in the word she thought it was, again adding to the realism (and the laughter!)

Overall, it wasn't a serious book, but I loved it anyway! It was funny and incredibly relateable and Skuse just had a good time with it, meaning that the reader did, too. I think if you want a light summer read, then this is the book for you.

makexbelieve's review

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2.0

I was really disappointed with Dead Romantic. The reading group I run at school is taking part in the Booktrust book awards and when we read the blurbs of the novels last month, I thought this sounded like the best. My main issue with it came from the constant use of slang, which never felt very authentic to me and just made Camille sound incredibly dim. It really grated as I was reading (although maybe this is just a sign that I'm getting old? The kids at school definitely don't speak like Camille though...)

slammy90's review

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1.0

Ma cosa ho appena letto?!

serendipity_viv's review

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4.0

Originally published on www.serendipityreviews.co.uk
This is one of the funniest books I have read in a long time. The author has an excellent knack of writing extremely comical one liners that appeal to my dark side. The following line had me in tears.
‘I was dripping with the poo of a thousand cows.’ Childish I know, but just so funny.
This book has a serious tone to it, but the author has managed to turn a dark Gothic tale into a hilarious, entertaining comedy of errors. Zoe is determined to make her own boy out of the parts of others. Camille is naïve, gullible and shallow enough to go along with it – anything for a perfect date who won’t make snide remarks about her ability to consume large amounts of food and still be considered hot. Zoe comes across as being rather dark and disturbed and I loved her for it. She was one of my favourite characters within the book. What she needed was someone to take an interest in her; loyal friends and family to put her on the right pathway. Camille could be a little too innocent at times, but I think that was due to her older parents. She wasn’t as experienced with life as her peers. The only character I didn’t like was Damian. He goes through a major transformation within the story and I did find it difficult to imagine such a prat becoming that lovely in a short space of time. Saying that I did prefer him at the end of the book to the beginning.
I loved the secondary character names too. From Josie With The Humungous Handbag to Hindu Josh With The Headphones – completely ingenious, allowing you to easily imagine what type of person they would be.
I know the abbreviated words bothered some readers, but they didn’t even hit my radar. I live with teenage girls who talk like that all the time, so I’m used to that kind of language.
The ending was a bit of a surprise and was left quite open ended, so now I am wondering whether there will be a sequel to it. The ending was lot more serious than the beginning which changed the tone of the story quite a bit.
This book reeks with dark humour as you watch Camille and Zoe dash from one body to another. The whole scene involving extra feet was the most side splitting thing I had read in ages.
A mad cap, hilarious body snatching book that will appeal to fans of Six Feet Under and The Pie Maker. If you like your humour a little on the dark side, then step right up for this modern twist on Frankenstein.

megan_lynch's review

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3.0

This book is witty and light-hearted with a dark twisted sense of humour. I really like the characters. It may not have been as rememberable and strong as I would have liked, but I still enjoyed it all the same.

monicabrotherton's review

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4.0

I genuinely enjoyed reading this book and it's very different and interesting storyline. I grew to like and to a certain extent understand the characters and their motives however this book ridiculously needs a sequel. Things were just getting juicy and then the book stops. It just stops. It needs a sequel.