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Sunday, 13 December 2009

Review: Swoon

Author: Nina Malkin
Release date: 2009
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Target audience: 16+ Not suitable for younger readers

Goodreads says:
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.
 
Review:
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

22 comments:

Lauren said...

Really interesting review, Becky. I read a review of this that made it sound like something I'd really like, because it seemed quirky and a little bit daring and I like those things. As I'm not a librarian for teens I guess I might see some of the content from a different perspective to you maybe... but I still doubt I'd enjoy it. It just sounds odd. Obviously I'm sorry to hear that you didn't like this because I was quite looking forward to it, but thank you for such an honest review.

The Book Bug said...

Great review! I dont really think that I would like it, either. From the many reviews I have read, it just seem that it was a lot of pages of nothing. Thanks for the honest review.

Nickles said...

I would see this book in the bookstore and thought the cover was interesting but never actually picked it up. Now that I know what it's about, it sounds incredibly odd and confusing. Huh, I can't decide if I'm intrigued or disturbed.

Emily said...

Oh man, tell it like it is! I'm really on the fence about whether I want to read this or not so your review will definitely have to factor into my decision. Also, "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," reminds of that scene in the movie Ghost where they're making pottery, but at the end Demi Moore is just getting hugged by Whoopi Goldberg.

Kath said...

Well, I'll be sure to skip this one. Thanks for the honest review. Very well written. =)

Kelsey said...

Sorry you didn't care for this one. The plot sounds interesting though, but I think I'll skip it.

Kirthi said...

Wow! One star!! I've heard a lot of great things about this book, and I'm sorry you didn't like this!
Love the honesty in the review!

I Want To Read That said...

Hmm - think I might skip this one then:)

The Book Owl said...

Wow, what a review. A good one at that. I almost want to read this just to see how bad it is. haha

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Yeah, I have to say I mostly agree. That maze experience was... disturbing. And I didn't really see how Dice and Sin's relationship developed. Seriously, I would kill him right there if he did any one of those things he did to Dice and her friends. Plot had potential, but I didn't really like where Nina Malkin took it. Great review though! :)

prophecygirl said...

Thanks for an honest review. I haven't read this one yet, though I do have it waiting. I think I might leave it for a bit longer!

J. Kaye said...

Bummer! I really enjoyed this one. So sorry that you didn't like it.

J. Kaye said...

Oh slap idiot on my forehead! I mixed this one up with THE GATHERING...or I think that was the title. I didn't care for SWOON that much...but my problem was the writing style.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great review. I love honesty.

LovesSam said...

I am strange that this review has made me really want to read this book, like even more so if it was a fab review. Bad reviews always intrigue me more for some reason, so it looks like Swoon is being bumped up my tbr pile. What a honest review, thanks :-)

Amy J - Book Addict said...

I couldn't get past the first chapter of this book! I loved the cover but the writing did nothing for me! Great review and excellent job at telling it like it is!

Nina said...

Thanks for your honest opinion about this book.
I don't think i am going to like this either, so this one is not going to be on my tbr list. :)

Becky said...

Wow! I can't believe how many comments this review has received. I should take a fierce dislike to books more often. LOL

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

Great honest review! Thanks so much. I'm happy to hear positive and negative reviews, I just like to know why, and you certainly spoke your mind. Well done.

Rebecca Herman said...

I am so glad I didn't read this book! I am pretty sure I'd hate it and want to burn it, lol.

Jo said...

Great review, Becky! I seem to have missed this review last year, and I'm commenting now because of your reviewing discussion post. I have this book sitting on my TBR pile, and I think it sounds great. I'm not sure I would completely understand your review without having read it, so although I'm wary, I'm not altogether put off. I will read it, but as someone who wants to enjoy the book, and to see if I get what you mean. Thanks for the honest review!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Thank you again for discussing these things. Your review helped me decide this novel is not for me.