Thursday, February 14, 2013

REVIEW: Dead Romantic by CJ Skuse

Oh boy.  Dead Romantic by CJ Skuse is one of the books that I most highly anticipated reading this year.  CJ Skuse's previous book, Rockoholic, is one of my favourite books ever and I love the wit and humour that seems apparent in Skuse's writing.  Plus, I was just really excited because of the cool-looking cover and the weird premise.  The idea of two girls creating the perfect boy, Frankenstein-like, using dead body parts? It shouldn't work really.  It should be horrific and ghastly to read about in actuality.  But this a story that is in parts funny AND romantic AND contains many severed limbs.  In short, it is awesome and completely lived up to all of my very high expectations. 

The two main characters, Camille and Zoe and their friendship to each other are my favourite things about this book.  I really love how clueless but sweet Camille is.  She's just started college and she really wants to fit in and make some friends, find a cute boyfriend.  Instead, she's humiliated at her first college party, the boy she's crushing on starts going out with her friend and Camille finds herself drifting away from her old friendship circle. 

Traipsing through the cemetary at night, Camille runs into the weird and sort of mysterious loner-girl, Zoe, and the two strike up this odd pairing.  I found myself falling for likeable Camille straight off with her mistakes using big words (athletic/aesthetic always made me LOL) but Zoe is a very different story.  I was actually worried that Zoe was a psychopath for much of the book and would cause untold harm to poor Camille.  Because Zoe holds all the scientific knowledge that the girls need in order to reanimate and join together different dead body parts to make this perfect boy and she has no qualms about hacking off feet and hands and decapitating heads.  Zoe is all about the science and new discovery and Camille wants soft hair and dashboard abs and a boy who will fall madly in love with her, unlike fellow college boys Damien de Jager or his strange friend, Louis. 

Dead Romantic is one of the weirdest books I've read in awhile.  There are monster hamsters and a reanimated dog and dead boys aplenty.  It's really funny in places, especially when the girls break into a funeral parlour, but also a little twisted which goes hand in hand with the high body count.  There's also a kind of sadness to it when you stop to really think about the reasons behind these two girls trying to create a boy.

I loved the sweet romances that do occur and especially the friendships between Camille and Zoe and also Damien and Louis.  One of the things that I loved most about the book is how Camille goes off her diet and starts eating exactly what she wants thinking that the boy who will be perfect for her will love her for who she is and not because she's stick thin.  I love that she finds both love and friendship despite her bizarre fashion sense and her strange ways. 

Dead Romantic is a wonderful and darkly funny novel - it made me really care about these characters and their relationships to each other.  I really recommend it!


  1. I am dying to read this, fantastic review :)

    1. Thanks, Jesse! Scour the bookshops, I say, and buy and read it immediately :)

  2. Eeek! I love C.J's books and can't wait to read this one hopefully this month. Fab review!


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