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Bookish Ames

She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.
~~Louisa May Alcott

Gabriel's Inferno - Sylvain Reynard I picked this book up because it was showing up on bestseller lists at all the ebook stores I like to browse at. And it did sound interesting. But oh my goodness, this book was bad. Bad bad bad. The writing was bad, the characters were awful. Hearing that it had been picked up by a Big 6 publisher just boggles my mind.

Julia is an American graduate student at the University of Toronto. She's focused her studies on Dante's Inferno. First day of class and Professor Emerson is a real asshole towards her. But Julia has been in love with Gabriel Emerson since she was 16 years old. He doesn't realize that Julia is his adopted younger sister's best friend from high school. But since this is a romance, Julia still loves him...and Emerson is drawn to her. But he still acts like an ass.

Eventually the truth comes out. Thanksgiving when Julia was 17, she met Gabriel for the first time. He was going through some heavy shit so he got into a fight with his family. He gets drunk and he's sitting on the back porch when Julia comes over for dinner. He's drawn to her, calling her Beatrice (literary stuff about Dante, meh) and they go off into the woods where they make out. When Julia wakes up, he's gone. She's been yearning for him ever since. WELLLLL, Gabriel figured the whole thing was a dream back in the day. But when he gets drunk again, Julia takes care of him and in his drunkenness he recognizes his Beatrice. Julia, in her stupidity, thinks this means he actually remembers her and thinks they'll be together forever and ever. Well Gabriel wakes up and he's pissed off to see a half naked Julia dancing around his apartment (I'm not lying). Julia freaks out and storms off. Gabriel slowly realizes Julia is Beatrice and goes after her with a vengeance. But now that Gabriel wants her, Julia is acting scared and trying to keep him at a distance. Ugh. Then his sexual past is a barrier between them, then a mysterious woman from his past. Also, the fact that Julia is his student. But when the term is over...

So this book sucked. Gabriel was an ass. He continues to be an ass even when he realizes Julia is his Beatrice. He keeps secrets from her. He doesn't want to tell her about his sordid sexual past because he wants to keep her innocent as long as possible.

Julia is the worst sort of character. She's innocent and everyone wants her, and wants to protect her. She's incredibly smart though! She got accepted to Harvard but couldn't afford tuition. I'm sorry but her character is unbelievable. To be 23 and be that naive and dumb about the world? But also worldly since she's traveled to Italy and can speak some Italian? Puh-leaze. I wanted to smack her when she thought Gabriel remembered her. Has she never been around drunk people before? And she didn't have any friends. Just Paul who called her a rabbit all the time. Even in his head, his internal dialog referred to her as Little Rabbit. Gag me.

This was a long book about crappy characters. And it was made worse by the writing. I'm going to give you a bunch of examples. It was over the top, it was repetitive, it was bad. And as a Goodreads friend stated, pretentious. My comments are bolded.

She was worried what a sudden strong realization might do to him, and fearful that his mind might shatter like Grace's glass coffee table, she chose to do nothing.

His mind would shatter, from remembering something? Really?

O gods of all graduate-students-trying-really-hard-to-do-a-good-thing-for-an-old-friend, help me pry that Emerson whore off his dick.

Oh gods of all over-protective and jealous (fill in appropriate description of Gabriel and our relationship here), please don't let him make a scene.

Oh gods of all really generous (boyfriends? friends?), thank you for steering him away from the really provocative items...for now.

Oh gods of all virgins who are planning to have sex with their sex-god (no blasphemy intended) boyfriends, please don't let me spontaneously combust when he finally takes me to bed. I really need a Gabriel-induced orgasm, especially after last night. Please. Please. Pretty please...

She silently thanked the gods of large bathtubs, handsome, sexy lovers, and rose-scented bubble bath. (Not necessarily in that order.) And she thanked the gods of virgins who were about to have sex with their sex-god (no blasphemy intended) boyfriends for the mother of all orgasms. Thrice over.

This is just a few of the oh gods. Blech.
She resisted the impulse to rummage through his underwear in search of a prize that she could take home (or sell on eBay) and grabbed the first pair of boxer shorts she could find.

Is someone hiding klepto tendencies? Where did that come from?
"I'm trying to explain this to you without tainting more of your innocence than is absolutely necessary. Do not require me to be explicit."

God forbid she know anything about sex.
Julia rolled her eyes so hard they nearly spiraled out of her head and dropped onto the floor.

Woah, that sounds serious.
Julia smiled at the screen of her iPhone in such a way that even the iPhone blushed.

The phone blushed?

Gabriel's Inferno gets an F from me. This is the worst book I've read this year.