Perfect Days: A Novel by Raphael Montes
Published by Penguin Press
Published on February 16th 2016
Genres: Adult, Crime, Thriller
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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.
I’m not sure if books about crazy-ass stalkers and obsessive lunatics are on the verge of becoming the next big thing or not, but I sincerely hope that is the case. After the gloriousness that was YOU by Caroline Kepenes, I have wanted more of that type of insanity. Perfect Days is definitely going on the list with YOU. I love things insane and twisted and bloody with a touch of humor. I don’t even care how dark and demented that makes me sound. It makes me happy.
I’m not going to replay the synopsis for you right now. I am also not going to tell the whole freaking story like so many reviews I read prior to reading the book. You’ll want to just give in and let this book surprise you.
Will you like Teo? Probably not! (For those of you who love Joe, Teo is no Joe! He is not a loveable crazy person!) I downright despised him at times, mostly for how completely oblivious and out of touch with reality he was. Which at times was also part of what makes this a bit funny. Will you like Clarice? Maybe. If you can find time to stop feeling terrible for her. I rooted for her – twice! But Teo is awfully clever in his ways.
Speaking of his ways, there is definitely some cringe-worthy moments throughout this book. I almost wished it was more… disgusting, just because it is actually really hard to make me cringe. I have a high tolerance for gore. But I appreciate the creativity behind all of it.
There were times when I questioned how far things would go and how much worse they would get, and I like that feeling of being unsure of what I might be getting myself into. It was exciting. I never knew when or if things were about to get better or worse. I couldn’t anticipate how the end went down at all! It was a strangely…. uhhhh…. happy? ending (depending on your perspective? Yes these are questions not statements?) despite the insanity that went down during the book. With this being Montes’ English language debut (Yay!), I hope this book catches on quickly and I hope that we can expect more like this from Montes in the future!