Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Review: Boyfriend from Hell by Jamie Quaid

Title: Boyfriend from Hell
Author: Jamie Quaid
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Saturn's Daughter #1

Mass Market Paperback, 387 pages

Publication: September 25, 2012 by Pocket Books

Buy the book

Source: Bought, personal shelf 

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 newfound friends, how is she ever going to study for finals?
Boyfriend from Hell caught my attention back in 2012 with its kick-butt looking chick with a tire iron on the cover and a synopsis that promised a fun and interesting new world. I’m sad to say that Boyfriend from Hell didn’t meet my attention at all, and was nothing like I expected. I’ve read a lot of great reviews for the book, and some even said it was UF borderline comic-bookie which I totally can get into but I didn’t get that impression. Justine (Tina) is a 27 year-old law student who is in her last semester before she takes the bar, and as a side job she does the accounting for Andre’s many businesses (owns multiple, if not all of the businesses in the Zone). The Zone is a cornered off section of the city of Baltimore where most of the area was affected by a chemical spill. The Zone is a place where people and things aren’t as it seems…and the longer you’re there you’d start noticing strange phenomenon going on. That is precisely what happened to Tina after her boyfriend Max tries to run her over with her own car in the Zone, except right before he was about to hit her she muttered ‘Damn you to hell’ and Max and the car burst into a ball of flames. It turns out Tina’s car was rigged, and she accidently sent him to hell without knowing. Whoever killed Max is hoping to tie loose ends with Tina because she’s starting to figure out that there’s more to the story, herself and the people of the Zone. Tina will stop at nothing till Justice is served, because after all she’s the daughter of Saturn.

I thought the world building was fascinating, the Zone is full of different people with different abilities, I’m guessing this is where reviewers made the comparison to it being like a comic book…which I kind of get now but didn’t get that impression right away as I said before. The chemical spill obviously affected people after living in the Zone for so long, some examples are; a young guy with invisibility powers, a waitress that turns into a chimp every time she’s frighten, and a shape shifting kitty that turns into a bobcat-size cat whenever he sense danger just to name a few. Then we have our main heroine Tina, who I didn’t really warm up to right away nor did it get better throughout the book. She is the daughter of Saturn, someone who dishes out justice to those that deserve it. Whenever she does something to defend either herself/ or someone she is rewarded with personal improvements, which I found a little weird. What kind of personal improvements? Well, after accidently sending her boyfriend to hell, overnight Tina’s mousy limp hair is turned into this thick-luscious perfect shiny hair. Then after rescuing a co-worker from being rapped, Tina’s scarred leg discrepancy is no more…instead she grew 3-inches, had prefect legs and no more limping.

I mean I thought the whole serving justice thing is cool, but Tina’s overall attitude just kind of sucks. Tina is known to be friendless, and even though she begins to see the people in the Zone as friends she still comes off as snooty to everyone. For instance Andre her boss is known as a lying sleaze ball, but never once was he mean or nasty to Tina. He may joke here and there (nothing offensive) but he does A LOT to help her, he’s always there to save her from trouble, and seems to really like/care for her. What does Tina do? She mouths off at Andre every chance she gets, and at the same time says he’s so despicable but still comments on how hot she finds him. Talk about being ungrateful. When Tina discovered her new found ability, she thought herself as indestructible and can do whatever she waned which I found annoying. In the end Tina realizes it might be wise not to blow people/things up just because she could or to get new personal improvement...I don’t even know what to say. It’s kind of common sense to use your powers for the greater good, what Tina needed was a personality improvement.

Overall the ending felt rushed, and anticlimactic. The only thing that surprised me in the end was Max’s fate. Bottom line, Boyfriend from Hell was an okay plotted story with an unmemorable cast (except Andre) and an unlikeable-annoying heroine (a little fyi, Tina uses the word ‘hell’ a lot and every time she’s going after a bad guy she screams ‘Damn you to hell’…it got tiring/old quick). As I mentioned at the start of my review, a lot of people actually enjoyed this book, so while it isn’t for me…it might be for you. I suggest reading a chapter preview or except before reading/buying. The second book in the series, ‘DAMN HIM TO HELL’ (figures that would be the title LOL) hits stores June 2013. I will likely not be reading the second book, but am interested in knowing what Andre is or what his ability is. 


  1. Erg. Yeah the cover on this one caught my eye but doesn't sound like the read for me. The world does sound interesting though but Tina doesn't sound like my type of heroine.

    Thanks for the warning on this one!

    herding cats & burning soup

    1. Thanks for checking out the review Anna! I really wanted to like this book but yeah definitely had the opposite reaction and Tina isn't the type of heroine I like/or would root for.