Release date: 2009
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Target audience: 16+ Not suitable for younger readers
Sin is Coming...Prepare to Swoon!
Torn from her native New York City and dumped in the land of cookie-cutter preps, Candice is resigned to accept her posh, dull fate. Nothing ever happens in Swoon, Connecticut...until Dice's perfect, privileged cousin Penelope nearly dies in a fall from an old tree, and her spirit intertwines with that of a ghost. His name? Sinclair Youngblood Powers. His mission? Revenge. And while Pen is oblivious to the possession, Dice is all too aware of Sin. She's intensely drawn to him—but not at all crazy about the havoc he's wreaking. Determined to exorcise the demon, Dice accidentally sets Sin loose, gives him flesh, makes him formidable. Now she must destroy an even more potent—and irresistible—adversary, before the whole town succumbs to Sin's will. Only trouble is, she's in love with him.
Swoon is the story of Dice who falls in love with Sin, a ghost for want of a better word, who inhabits her cousin Pen's body. It sounds like a simple concept but personally I found Swoon such a difficult book to read. I would even go so far as to say that this is close to being the worst book I have read all year. I bought my copy from the Book Depository as I had read a really interesting review on a blog but I can't remember which one. I certainly do not blame the blogger who recommended this book but I think perhaps they weren't as up front about the content as I am about to be. So hold on to your hats!
Dice is a sincerely irritating main character. Half the time I was reading, I had no idea of what she was talking about. She fell in love with Sin within what appeared to be minutes but we're not not talking about love at first sight here. We're talking about a presence who is haunting her friend. I found the connection between them completely false and could not see why she was attracted to him at all. Perhaps it was all the cannabis she'd been smoking...
Sin's character completely baffled me. He had an insane affect on the whole town which caused them to become highly sexually aroused. Let me give an example - chapter 5 - the teens of Swoon go for a swim in the lake and all have erotic feelings of one kind or another. These feelings happened whenever someone came into contact with him but even by the end of the book, I still hadn't worked out why. Yes, his name is sin but you can't justify a character's actions through their name. Sin wants to avenge a murder but how does this equate to heightened sexual desire? I'm at a loss.
I cannot leave out the most repulsive scene in the book which will most certainly be a spoiler so skip this paragraph if you want to read the book in all its debased glory. I'll just set the scene: Dice visits a country maze with Pen and her two young brothers. Inside the maze is a tiny jail. The boys pretend to lock Dice in because she has been very naughty. Sin shows up and effectively gives her a good spanking. It was described in DETAIL. The result? Dice has an orgasmic experience. I actually couldn't believe this scene when I read it. Maybe this makes me a complete prude, but I really don't care. It was vile to read and nearly made me put the book down. I had to force myself to finish it because I wanted to write this review from the perspective of someone who had read Swoon in its entirety.
The plot was confusing and very slow moving. I guess it didn't help that I just wanted to get to the end. On a more positive note, the ending did tie up many of the loose ends and questions that I had. At last Ruby's character made sense as prior to the end I didn't understand a single scene that she was in. The only likeable character in the whole book was Marsh. Her story was sad but more believeable and she had a personality that I could relate to.
At this point I think it relevant to mention that Simon and Schuster are no longer publishing Swoon in the UK. Perhaps they agree with me that the place for this isn't on a teen bookshelf. Certainly as a School Librarian I wouldn't stock this or ever recommend it to a student. I also have to wonder if Malkin set out to include as much sexual content in Swoon as possible. I won't spoil the content for you but the book was riddled with it. My main issue being that it wasn't the exploration of a developing relationship. It was just Sin's influence that drove the town's people to a complete unleashing of desire.
Overall, I could rant about the hideousness that is this book all day long. But I'll stop there. As long as you know by now that I really didn't like this book then this review is complete. I'm going to link to a positive review below because some people have actually enjoyed this. It just wasn't for me.
Positive review @ The Book Butterfly