I have seen Gabriel’s Inferno talked about a lot on Goodreads so when it was offered up for review I thought it would be a good time to final read it. From the blurb it seemed to be similar to 50 Shades, handsome, screwed up rich guy meets young, innocent female and they cannot stay away from each other. Unfortunately those descriptions only scratch the surface of how screwed up and innocent our H/h really are.
Julia and Gabriel. Julia is a student of Professor Emerson. He is a Dante specialist and she has long been fascinated by Dante. She attends his college only because she does not have the money to pay for Harvard. Julia is also his sister’s best friend but he does not know that. They have only met one time, something I will discuss later, so he doesn’t see her as anyone he would know. He is still drawn to her and we soon find out why.
Now for my rant….
Julia was disgustingly innocent and not in an appealing way. I wanted to reach through the pages and choke her. Or maybe smack her. Do something to her that would just make her go away. I got so sick of reading about her crying when someone raised their voice to her. I mean, really? Who cries when someone uses strong language around you? Who? There are several references to the song “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails. Julia was mortally offended when an ex of hers sang this song to her. She said she didn’t want to be like that, she wanted to be loved. Ugh. And if I had a nickel for every time she bit her lip and looked down at her shoes I would be a gazillionare now. I would be retired to my private island. As you can tell, I had strong feelings of dislike for her character.
But not everyone had strong feelings of dislike. Every 30 pages or so Julia had a man falling over her. She was so beautiful, so perfect, so ethereal, so innocent. Blech. I never saw her appeal. From page 1 she was a timid, little mouse with no personality except that of a crybaby. Why were all these men falling at her feet? Why? How was I supposed to believe she was so incredible when she never did an original or interesting thing? And Paul. One of the men who is after her. He is creepy in a stalker-I-like-young-kids way. He calls her Rabbit and wants to take things slow and sweet. Double Blech.
Then we have Gabriel. Talk about an anti-hero. He is a former addict and current alcoholic. There is nothing redeeming about him. Julia is so in love with him because of a scene from their past. She came over for a family dinner to find everything in shambles. Coffee tables broken, his brother in the hospital because of a fight with Gabriel, father was punched, and mother was hit all because Gabriel needed money for drugs. He hit his mother! In a weird twist Gabriel and Julia leave the house for a walk where he gives her the first kiss but because he is drunk he never remembers the incident. If this story had been 15 years in the past I might have been more understanding but it had only been 6 years. 6 years isn’t that long of a time.
Gabriel is referred to as The Professor. There are times when the book is confusing because Gabriel will be thinking to himself and he will revert to the third person. It made him come off even more as a self-important jackass.
The whole book I felt like I was on the cusp of something. There was tension. It could have been good tension but it never materialized. Gabriel and Julia do not have sex until the last pages of the book. So all this tension, all this buildup just went pzzzzz for me. I don’t get it. I wanted, so badly, for whatever it was I was waiting for to happen, but it never did. I never liked either of the characters but because I was waiting for something to happen I read through all 500+ pages of the book. The blurb says “but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure”. I never saw that! I never got any good stuff. I waited and waited but nothing!
As you can tell, I did not like this book. I can’t remember being so frustrated with a book in a long time. Final grade- D