The Blonde Bookworm: Perfect Days by Raphael Montes -- Review

Perfect Days by Raphael Montes -- Review

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Title: Perfect Days
Author: Raphael Montes
Pages: 272
ISBN: 1594206406
Publisher:  February 16th 2016 by Penguin Press


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.


From the first chapter to the last, Perfect Days had me hooked. The reader follows Teo on his mission to win over Clarice, the self proclaimed love of his life. Teo seems like a nice enough med student, but he gets creepier and creepier with every turn of the page. One minute you're picking your jaw up off the floor, and the next minute... well, you're picking it up off the floor again. 

There are several moments where you just find yourself laughing because the characters are so down right ridiculous and crazy. But I think that is what makes the story excellent. I don't know about you guys, but when it comes to thriller novels, the more unbelievable the better for me. Montes is an excellent writer and he makes the reader feel as if they are on a road trip with Clarice and Teo. I constantly found myself tensing up or reading faster and faster to see what the next page held. 

All in all, Perfect Days is a tense, chilling, and exciting thriller that will have you hooked. I would definitely recommend this book to readers who enjoyed Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, and other psychological thrillers. Good until the last drop, Perfect Days will keep you on your toes until the very last word. 

*Rating 4/5

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Penguin Press!  


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