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Boyfriend from Hell by Jamie Quaid
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Boyfriend from Hell

by Jamie Quaid

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This book is bonkers in quite a unique way :D

First of all there are no your average monsters, no vamps or werewolves, no magic... Instead there is a chemical spill once upon a time, and a certain area called The Zone is quarantined and forgotten.

Strange things are happening in the Zone, statues stalk you and posters on the walls have a mind of their own, and if you really really want something, Zone will grant you your wish. Literally. So be careful what you wish for if you've lived in the Zone long enough.

Justine is an accountant with a leg crippled years ago in uni when she was protesting against some sort of discrimination against students. A policeman pushed her down the stairs and now she has a criminal record, can't find a decent job and re-graduating from the university as a criminal lawyer.

The only job Justine can find is for Andre, a seedy bar owner in the Zone, and her boyfriend Max as of late is more and more unreliable, until one day she believes he tries to run her over with her own car. Enraged, Justy screams "Damn you to hell, Max!" and Zone grants her wish...

Now, Max talks to her through the mirrors, she tries to find a corrupt politician who crashed into kids in his car the same time her boyfriend died and some corporate spooks are after her and her new abilities.

Not only the Zone protects its own, but Justine finds out that she is Saturn's daughter whose goal is to dispense justice with a side perk of correcting her appearance with each kill...

I can't even go further into the plot. It's mad, fun, messy and pretty bizarre. I certainly think that fans of Nancy Holzner, Vicki Pettersson and Kelly Meding will appreciate this type of insanity.

( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
3 ½ Stars ( )
  BookaholicCat | Mar 4, 2015 |
This book was entertaining as long as I read very quickly. The premise - that in this alternate universe, chemical pollution had caused mutations of the super/supernatural kind in those who live or work in "the Zone," where chemicals had spilled - is interesting and allows for many potential characters and events, exciting and/or funny. The protagonist is a fairly appealing woman in her mid-twenties who is self-reliant and mouthy. If the writing were better - a lot better - I would have happily given this book 3 1/2 stars. Unfortunately, despite the fact that the "Jamie Quaid" is apparently the pen-name of a New York Times "bestselling author," the writing is pretty bad and I give it 2, maybe 2 1/2 - reading at a fast clip. ( )
  NatalieSW | Jan 1, 2015 |
Goodreads Teaser:
"They say justice is blind. But Justine isn’t.

Justine (Tina) Clancy is just an ordinary law student with a faulty arrest record, a part-time job in Baltimore’s radioactive Zone, and a family secret so bizarre even she doesn’t believe it. That is, until in a fit of fury she damns her boyfriend to hell—and it’s exactly where he ends up.

Much to her surprise, Tina is apparently one of Saturn’s daughters, with the power to wield vigilante justice. But poor Max didn’t deserve to go up in flames, even if he did almost run her over with her own car. Tina’s convinced someone cut the brakes—and now a relentless nemesis is stalking her through the Zone’s back alleys, where buildings glow, statues move, and chemical waste exposure comes with interesting consequences. Tina’s usually a loner, but now she needs a posse like no other: a shape-shifting kitten, an invisible thief, a biker gang, a snake-charming private detective, a well-meaning cop, and her sleazy, sexy boss. But in between freeing Max from hell, saving her own neck, and solving a mystery that threatens the Zone and her new-found friends, how is she ever going to study for finals?"

With a creative premise, this book provides interesting character development - focused on a strong female protagonist, as well as several of the secondary characters, though to a lesser degree for them. All of the characters, Andre, Max, Sarah, Cora, Jane, Lance, Tim, etc., are just that - characters. But in a good way. They reveal the very creative mind of Ms. Quaid, who puts each of them to good use.

The unique use of the antagonist(s) is fascinating, especially as we never did get a solid answer as to who is the "mastermind" behind all the terrible things happening, to Tina and to the Zone and it's inhabitants.

Though this book offers a solid storyline, while interesting it ran a tad slow overall. Yet I feel that can be excused as this first book in the 'Saturn's Daughters' series was used as the vehicle to set the scene for the larger story.

The arc of the story worked well, and the action and character development were smoothly entwined into the arc. With a quirky ending this could have possibly been a stand alone book with a few tweaks, yet as the beginning of a saga it was very well designed. We got both a relatively complete wrap to the story, as well as some choice morsels left dangling in the breeze, just begging to be (devoured by a pack of hungry dogs, each unearthing just a little bit more of the overall picture in their seething, snarling, frantic quest for dominion over the bloodiest, prime pieces of meat) explored and answered. All told it is an eventful start to what looks to be a solid series. ( )
  Isisunit | Nov 20, 2014 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick & Dirty: An interesting book with a great concept, but just was not for me.

Opening Sentence: Over the door, the tin scales of Lady Justice dipped ominously to the wrong side as Andre Legrande strolled into Bill’s Biker Bar and Grill.

The Review:

Boyfriend from Hell by Jamie Quaid was an interesting book. Urban fantasy and Paranormal romance has a 50% chance of a make-it or break-it moment in my mental library. With so many stories in the genres, it’s difficult to completely stand out and make a mark. Plus, my personal reading preferences sometimes prevent me from liking a story. With Boyfriend from Hell, I couldn’t make a decision after finishing the book. But let me talk it out and we can come to a conclusion in the end.

Justina “Tina” Clancy has a few goals in life. Pass her law school finals to then pass the bar. When she becomes a lawyer, she will no longer have a need to be in the “Zone.” The Zone is a toxic radioactive area in an alternate Baltimore, altered by chemical spills and pollution. The Zone changes people, giving them strange powers, different characteristics and mutations. Tina works for Andre Legrande, keeping the books for his many businesses around the Zone. On a normal deposit run, she witnesses a government car run over children crossing the street, only to then witness her boyfriend attempt to run her over and crash into the bank, which resulted in instant death. Tina and her boyfriend had issues, but she never truly intended him to be sent to hell.

Tina and I had a slow start to connect. She is a determined young woman, set on her goals to graduate and move on to a better career. Once she witnessed the accidents, she brought it upon herself to investigate. She is this straight-arrow type of girl, except she has this temper that reveals her different oddities a la the Zone. At times, I felt she was a walking contradiction. I couldn’t pinpoint her actual personality nor could I understand what she wanted. One moment she hated Max, only to miss him the next. She had this tension with her boss, Andre, only to bicker with him the next.

But maybe it was Quaid’s world that I couldn’t connect to, and the characters were just an extension. The Zone was something I couldn’t understand until the end of the book. To me, it wasn’t clear exactly what the Zone was. It was a part of Baltimore that became this paranormal oddity filled place due to a chemical spill several years ago. Quaid didn’t explain that complete train of thought, so I couldn’t understand it. I felt there were gaps in the world, the history, the culture and it was hard for me to connect.

I wanted to love this book. The concept was great. But there were holes in the plot that I didn’t relate to or understand. Maybe it wasn’t my time to read a book like Boyfriend from Hell. Mixed with conspiracy theories, Boyfriend from Hell spoke about secrets covered by the privileged and powerful corporations. But I found that a few highlighted aspects of the story (boyfriend hauntings, oddities turned superpowers) were more favorable than others (arrest records hindering her law career).

Boyfriend from Hell was interesting enough. I enjoyed the overall story, even if I wasn’t a big fan of several key elements. But that could be me and my reading preferences. Give it a go, and let me know what you thought of it.

Notable Scene:

He flashed a wicked white grin. “Yeah, and that, too.”

Damn, even though I knew he was a lying cheat, he rattled my hormones when he smiled like that. I had always been a sucker for a bad-boy smile. And we all know how well that had worked out.

Max had been fun, but Andre was just plain toxic.

FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books provided me with a copy of Boyfriend from Hell. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | May 12, 2013 |
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Justine (Tina) Clancy is just an ordinary law student in Baltimore's radioactive Zone until, in a fit of fury, she damns her boyfriend to hell--and that's exactly where he ends up. Turns out, Tina is one of Saturn's daughters, with the power to wield vigilante justice. But poor Max didn't deserve to go up in flames; now Tina needs a posse like no other to free Max from hell, save her own neck, and solve a mystery that threatens the Zone and her newfound friends, all while finding time to study for finals.… (more)

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