Thursday, January 14, 2016

PERFECT DAYS by Raphael Montes

(I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher)

Teo Avelar is a young medical student who lives with his paraplegic mother. As the book begins, he is exploring the newfound emotions he is feeling about a woman in life. This seems natural enough until the reader discovers that the woman is the corpse he works on in his anatomy class. At a party, Teo is distracted from his corpse when he meets vivacious Clarice. Clarice is an aspiring screenwriter working on a screenplay called "Perfect Days." Teo becomes obssessed with Clarice and begins to stalk her. When he discovers that she is getting ready to leave town to work on her screenplay at a remote resort, he takes drastic measures. Convinced that he can persuade Clarice to love him, Teo takes more and more extreme measures to maintain control and try to win her love.

This book was creepy and disturbing in the way that King's "Misery" made us fear obssession. Teo is such a damaged and sick person. His complete lack of true emotion and empathy are chilling.  The story definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat as you wait to find out how Teo will manage to continue to control and hide Clarice. I think the marketing department over at Penguin were absolutely geniuses when they put a sticker on the cover of the galley encouraging readers to let them know on social media when they arrived at a certain page. As I got closer to that page, I got more and more excited. And it was definitely chilling!  It reminded me of a certain movie but I can't tell you the title without giving away a major plot point.  (Scroll down to the bottom of the review for a spoiler)

While I found the premise fascinating and the story was definitely creepy, I wouldn't say it was enjoyable. Teo is definitely a very creepy character and I think the ending will be disturbing and/or unsatisfying for some readers. However, this would make a great vacation read. Especially if you are headed someplace tropical. Or, since much of the action in this creepy book takes place on beaches, perhaps it would be better to read in a snowbound cabin.

BOTTOM LINE: Recommended for fans of suspense and psychological thrillers. The content may be difficult for some people. There are many hair-raising moments within the book and I often find stories of obsession to be particularly frightening. Teo is definitely a frightening character and this could make a very interesting movie.

See a book trailer for PERFECT DAYS here.


(This book reminded me of "Misery" meets "Boxing Helena."  That's all I am going to say.)