Perfect Days is about a medical student named Teo Avelar. Teo lives with his paraplegic mother, her dog, has no friends, and only feels any presence of human emotion when he is in the presence of his medical school cadaver....that is until Clarice. She is exotic, spontaneous, unafraid to speak her mind, and an aspiring screenwriter. Her current work is called Perfect Days and revolves around three women, friends, who go on a road trip across Brazil in a quest for love.
Teo is obsessed. He stalks her and when she rejects him, well...Teo doesn't talk no for an answer. He kidnaps her and embarks on a disturbing odyssey across Brazil, taking the same route outlined in her screenplay. Teo is determined that both he and Clarice are meant to be together, even if Clarice doesn't believe it. As the journey continues, Teo digs himself deeper and deeper, and he will stop at nothing until they are both together.
Perfect Days is suspenseful, creepy, and absolutely chilling.....and weirdly funny in a dark sort of way (i.e. dark humour). Chapter one had to be one of the weirdest chapters I have ever read before. Seriously. In chapter one we are basically introduced to Teo and his "relationship" - notice the quotations - with the cadaver at his school that he names Gertrude. Yep, the creeper named the corpse. I have to admit even though that was weirdly funny, it also gave me the creeps.
As the novel progressed, we got to see how messed up Teo truly is. Especially when he meets, falls for, and "takes" Clarice. I seriously hated Teo, he is not a loveable character - people can be loveable even if they are slightly insane - nor is he a character that you will give your heart to. As for Clarice, I felt truly horrible for her and rooted for her to escape but Teo is clever...too clever.
In the end I would recommend this novel to anyone that enjoys reading suspense-filled, creepy, disturbing, cringe-worthy novels.
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
ARC was kindly provided by publisher, Penguin Press, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.
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