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Book Rating: 3 Stars
GraphicAudio Rating: 5 Stars
* For this review I decided to have different ratings for the story and the GraphicAudio narration.
I'll start this review by saying that the GraphicAudio book saved this story for me. This novel started off very interesting and exciting. Halfway through it, I was starting to question whether I truly wanted to finish reading it or not.
Dante Valentine is presented as this kick*ss heroine who does what she has to do and doesn't take any sh*t from anyone. That was only in theory. In actuality, she couldn't even get her friends to respect her decisions. She let people drag her around and play her like a puppet. At first, I thought it was strategic planning on her part. It later turned out that I was wrong.
I love to hate Jaf. He's mysterious in just the right way. He's one of the few things that kept me coming back to this novel again and again. The level of deceit from his part in this story is very believable but I'm still holding onto hope that it's all a farce. Though what he did to Dante makes me question whether he knows/cares about consent.
Am I the only one who absolutely hated Dante's ex-boyfriend. He got on my nerves SO much. He included himself in situations he had no reason to be in. He's left her once what's to stop him from doing it again? I don't care that he had a perfectly valid reason. It can't and won't erase the past. It also made the ending that much more horrendous.
There were a few things that got under my skin a few hours into this novel/audio book. The number one being the word "portugeso" (I listened to the audio book, so this word is probably spelled wrong). It was never made clear if it's supposed to mean portuguese even though Dante was in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Also, there was a line of a brazilian woman saying "gracias" even though the official language in Brazil is portuguese, not spanish. Some terminologies that were used throughout the story were confusing because the explanation was either glossed over or nowhere to be found. At one point, it felt like I was missing something important. Eventually, it felt like there was a novel that I should have read before this book.
Overall it was a nice story, but it isn't something I'd be lining up to reread any time in the future. I will probably try and make myself at least start the next novel in this series. The ending has me vexed to an alarming level. Why the heck did it end like that?!
GraphicAudio did an amazing job on this audio book. It's the main reason I ended up finishing the novel in the first place. This is one of the best things I've discovered in the last few years and I'm very impressed. I always wanted to know what it'd be like if the audible audio books I usually listen to would get more narrators and special effects. GraphicAudio did that and so much more and I love it! The one criticism I have for this audio book, in particular, is that there were times that the narrator would get drowned out by the background music/effects.
P.S. The characters were in Brazil. Where was the stereotypical samba music when they were on the streets? :)