Review: Dante's Girl by Courtney Cole (The Paradise Diaries #1)

Title: Dante's Girl (The Paradise Diaries #1)
Author: Courtney Cole
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Travel
Publisher: Lakehouse Press
Synopsis/Summary: I have spent every summer since I was ten years old with my father in London. Every summer, since I was ten years old, has been uneventful and boring. Until this year.
And this year, after a freak volcanic eruption strands me far from home, I have learned these things:
1. I can make do with one outfit for three days before I buy new clothes.
2. If I hear the phrase, “You’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto,” even one more time, I might become a homicidal maniac.
3. I am horribly and embarrassingly allergic to jellyfish.
4. I am in love with Dante Giliberti, who just happens to be the beautiful, sophisticated son of the Prime Minister of a Mediterranean paradise.
5. See number four above. Because it brings with it a whole slew of problems and I’ve learned something from every one of them.
Let’s start with the fact that Dante’s world is five light-years away from mine. He goes to black-tie functions and knows the Prime Minister of England on a first name basis. I was born and raised on a farm in Kansas and wear cut-off jeans paired with cowboy boots. See the difference?
But hearts don’t care about differences. Hearts want what they want. And mine just wants to be Dante’s girl.
My heart just might be crazy.
Find the book on: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

     Dante's Girl is officially the chick-lit-liest YA book I've ever read.

     This story is mostly about how Dante and Reece's relationship grow as they fall in love. I'm not a super big fan of romance, but I do enjoy it, a little. However, I do feel bored at times, because Reece keeps telling me how blue Dante's eyes are, how much she loves Dante, and after you've read about 300 pages of that, it gets annoying. There are incidents here and there, and there's also a plot twist towards the end of the book, but the plot actually lacks epicness (okay, it's a love story without paranormals involved, I shouldn't hope for epicness, but still...) and is overall all mushy and soft because of all the love talk.

    I kept reading the book because I kept thinking that there will be some big accident that threatened Dante and Reece's lives, and I did get that, just not as great as I hoped. See, I knew they would end up together one way or the other, and since this is a series, I knew Courtney Cole wouldn't kill Dante or Reece, so every accident that happened to them didn't make me feel worried, because I know how it'll end eventually. Same goes for all arguments, they'll pull through.

     Back to the first sentence, why do I think it is a YA version of a chick-lit? Because this is a love story that you know will have a happily-ever-after ending even if you haven't read it yet. Chick-lits are like that, they are silly at times, but you read them anyway. They are somewhat funny, and are usually heart-warming love stories. They make you feel happy. That's what I felt when I read Dante's Girl, happy. It didn't matter that it basically had no plot at all, the setting with Dante and Reece's growing love made me happy, because it was all very sweet. (Okay, now I talk like a love-sick person, does chick-lit do that to you?)

    Oh, how I love Caberra! It's peaceful with it's sapphire ocean and sky, trees and century old buildings. It just seems like the perfect place for a love story. And it was, I enjoyed the beauty of Caberra while watching Reece fall in love. It was great, very relaxing too.

    Time to talk about characters. There were not many characters in this book, and most didn't appear often because this book was mostly about Reece and Dante. So let's talk about the lead characters.

     Reece is the most normal girl I've ever read in YA. She's insecure about herself. She doesn't react to shocking situations very good, she usually just stand there with her mouth open and kept repeating "Holy cow" and "Oh my word" in her head. You know, in some YA books, the female protagonist actually puts up with everything, there are actually vampires? Sure. Werewolves? Whatever you say. Reece isn't that kind of character. She is actually shocked that Dante is the PM's son, and that made her a very real character. That doesn't mean I can connect with her though, the girl uses "oh my word" way more often than my liking. I am more the hide-my-emotions-in-my-head kind, so I did NOT like Reece very much, I didn't hate her though. The feeling is neutral. I actually pictured her as a spoiled child at first, because of one line in the blurb: I can make do with one outfit for three days before I buy new clothes. Huh, sounds snobbish to me! Well, I was proven wrong, Reece is actually a farm girl and as Reece said, gulp.

    Dante. Oh Dante, what can we do about you? He's so sweet, and polite, and funny, and like Reece said, he's perfect. Seriously, the guy is too perfect. I thought he had some emotions hidden inside and would start to show when he started going out with Reece. But no, that guy has to be a gentleman in real life, not just as a front. Reece is one lucky girl. He ships a horse to Caberra just to make Reece happy, what!? How will I ever find a guy this perfect? Ugh!

Conclusion (yes, still no graphics):

    Overall, Dante's Girl is a very average YA book. It was a sweet and light read but wouldn't do very well if you like stories that give you a thrill. It's a sweet love story with about 150 pages worth of obstacles for the couple. I would check out the next book in the series, but would I be eagerly waiting in my seat? No. Would I be re-reading it soon? Double no. This book is a good pastime with a peaceful and relaxing backdrop to compliment the growing sweetness of love. If you're looking for a love story (not the tragic kind), Dante's Girl is for you. As for all paranormal, dystopian fans out there, this might not be your kind of book. I will give this book 3.5 stars. I like it, but I don't think it knock my socks off and I wouldn't be re-reading it soon.

Rating: 3.5 stars!

Are you guys a sucker for love stories? Do you like a happy or a sad ending for love stories? Tell me in the comments below ;)


  1. Anonymous06:21

    I liked Courtney Cole's Every Last Kiss. Maybe I should branch out to her other works.

    1. I have Every Last Kiss on my phone but haven't started it yet. From what I gathered, Courtney Cole usually writes paranormal books, so I'm sure Dante's Girl will be a refreshing change for Courtney's fans ;) And the book is okay, I think it's worth the read :)

  2. I read this one not too long ago and really enjoyed it! It was pretty predictable, but just so cute. ;)

    1. I agree, there's not much plot twist, but I like that the accidents didn't affect their relationship and I just love seeing them end up together :) Wondering how their could be a sequel though...