I have a confession to make; I had never read a CJ Skuse book before Dead Romantic. I’d heard fantastic things about her writing and even got Rockoholic for Christmas, but I expected great things from her based on what I had heard. Dead Romantic did not disappoint me.
After being humiliated at her sixth form freshers’ party, Camille ends up in a graveyard where she meets Zoe. Zoe is the daughter of a slightly mad man who was arrested for his horror-moviesque experiments but Camille thinks she is brilliant. Especially after Zoe brings a load of dead hamsters back to life after a science lesson.
Together the two form a plan; build the ultimate dead boyfriend for Camille. However as the body parts begin to stack up, Camille has to ask herself if a dead boyfriend can really love her, and just where are all the parts coming from?
Zany, hilarious and highly readable, Dead Romantic is a book I just devoured in one sitting. C J Skuse creates a really relatable and true-to-life narrator with Camille and I really found myself rooting for her throughout the book. The many pop-culture references throughout the book as well made her feel like a real teenager. One of my favourite moments was a reference to the Hunger Games (I may have mumbled something like, ‘Hunger Games reference for the win’ but the less said about that the better)
I really liked the secondary characters that Skuse wrote as well, particularly Louis, a potential romantic interest for Camille. The evolution of popular-boy Damian from a what could have been a two-dimensional character to someone much more substantial was another treat within the book too.
One of my favourite things about this book however was how it was genre-savvy. I don’t mean this necessarily in terms of YA, though it does reference several popular YA books as previously mentioned, but in terms of horror film stereotypes. As a horror fan, I noticed several twists and angles where I thought the plot was going to one way like a traditional horror film, but instead it totally surprised me and a lot of this was down to the brilliant character development.
If you’re looking for a fun, unusual and horror-influenced read then Dead Romantic should definitely appeal to you! This may have been my first C J Skuse book but it won’t be last. I received a free copy of Dead Romantic for review from Chicken House publishers, which as ever, does not affect my review in any way. Dead Romantic is available to buy now and don’t forget to check out the blog-tour. My post was on Saturday and is here!