Perfect Days by Raphael Montes

Perfect Days by Raphael MontesPerfect Days: A Novel by Raphael Montes
Published by Penguin Press on February 16, 2016
Pages: 272
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.
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three-half-stars

A twisted young medical student kidnaps the girl of his dreams and embarks on a dark and delirious road trip across Brazil in the English-language debut of Brazil's most celebrated young crime writer.   Teo Avelar is a loner. He lives with his paraplegic mother and her dog in Rio de Janeiro, he doesn't have many friends, and the only time he feels honest human emotion is in the presence of his medical school cadaver—that is, until he meets Clarice. She's almost his exact opposite: exotic, spontaneous, unafraid to speak her mind. An aspiring screenwriter, she's working on a screenplay called Perfect Days about three friends who go on a road trip across Brazil in search of romance. Teo is obsessed. He begins to stalk her, first following her to her university, then to her home, and when she ultimately rejects him, he kidnaps her and they embark upon their very own twisted odyssey across Brazil, tracing the same route outlined in her screenplay. Through it all, Teo is certain that time is all he needs to prove to Clarice that they are made for each other, that time is all he needs to make her fall in love with him. But as the journey progresses, he digs himself deeper and deeper into a pit that he can't get out of, stopping at nothing to ensure that no one gets in the way of their life together. Both tense and lurid, and brimming with suspense from the very first page, Perfect Days is a psychological thriller in the vein of Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley—a chilling journey in the passenger seat with a psychopath, and the English language debut of one of Brazil's most deliciously dark young writers.

 

Teo Avilar is the antihero of Perfect Days. He’s a completely delusional psychopath who kidnaps a girl he falls in instalove with, thinking he’ll be able to win her over in order to spend “perfect days” together.

“Better to feel unrequited love than not to love at all.”

What is this book? A thriller? A dark comedy? Both? The blurb says Montes is a celebrated “crime writer.” His style here is unique, but it felt too divided. It’s hard to reconcile this book’s horrific, gruesome passages with the parts that feel almost…silly.

But you know, mad props to the author, because I sure did turn those pages! I’m equally ticked off and super impressed.

I think I enjoyed this book in the way I used to like watching soap operas. The plot was super predictable and the characters lean simplistic. Twists only surprised me momentarily, they quickly fizzled out into predictability. The last several chapters went off the deep end and honestly, I wanted to throw the book in disgust when I finished.

Yet, I couldn’t stop reading. As much as the ending makes me want to rate it lower than 3 1/2 stars, I can’t deny that I really enjoyed reading this book. I think Picard perfectly sums up my feelings:

three-half-stars
  • Haha!! Were you hate-reading?! I get it, I’ve felt the same way….frantically turning the pages while listing in my notes all the things about the book that bother me (The Gates of Evangeline for one).

    • HAHA, I’ve never heard the term, “hate-reading” before! I love it (and I did hate-read this one).

    • hahahaha actually, it didn’t feel like a hate read! EVEN THOUGH I was ticked off, I literally couldn’t stop reading because it was fascinating and entertaining. Very odd!

  • When we initially talked about this book, I didn’t really get the soap opera connection. In reading this, I see what you mean now. Maybe that’s why I hated it so much, because I didn’t have a soap opera period in my past (just reruns of X-Files over and over again). And don’t get me started on the ending. I kinda wish someone had photographed my scowl (but also kinda glad, because it was an ugly scowl). 😉

    Also, that’s the best meme I’ve seen in ages!!

    • Picard always comes through. 🙂

      I think I was in the perfect mood for this. I wouldn’t read it again, but I’m glad I did.

      But yeah, that ending. NO.

  • I’m SO CURIOUS now. I’ve had this on my shelf for a while, but just havent gotten to it yet. And, honestly, your review made me want to because I need a book that will suck me in!

    • I was TOTALLY sucked in and all the while thinking whyyyyyy… but I couldn’t help myself! It was crazy!

  • Serious LOL at the Picard GIF. I know that feeling all too well.