Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (May 19, 2009)
Series: Swoon #1
Source: Purchased from Borders
Cover: I really like this cover. It's not the most swoon-worthy out there but it definitely draws my eye to it. I think it's the dark purples and blues mixed with the pink lettering and lips.
First Sentence: "Love at first sight must be glorious."
Mini-Review: A steamy and sexy physiological thrill ride that will have its reader blushing and swooning in equal parts!
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.
What do you do when the boy of your dreams is too bad to be true?Review:
Swoon illicits some very strong reactions in people. There are very few novels I know where people generally either really hate it or really love it. I've figured out why. The material is most definitely racy and people can't believe it's a teen book. I understand that reaction. But Swoon isn't a teen book. It's one of those novels that is written about teens, not for teens. Looking at Swoon from this perspective allowed me to enjoy every guilty pleasure moment of it!
I think Candice "Dice" is such a fascinating lead and not someone you see often. She sort of does her own thing no matter what's going on and I really enjoyed how intelligent she was. She knew that the things Sin was doing were bad but she also could understand the reasoning behind them. I wish she'd pushed a little harder to stop him, especially once things started getting really dangerous but it was interesting to have a main character look at it from both perspectives. Dice really is unlike any other character I've encountered before in YA and her view point is just so different. But it's different in a way that had me interested to read more.
And then there is Sinclair Youngblood Powers. He's, well, I'm not sure there is a word to describe what he is. When we first run across him as a ghost, he really don't seem like a bad guy. But then he starts forcing Pen (Dice's cousin Penelope) to do a lot of things really out of her character and I found it hard to figure out the divide between both of Sin's personalities. His story for wanting revenge made sense but I wish I'd known a little bit more about why he wanted to take revenge on a town that didn't even have the same people who hurt him. So I guess it comes down to this: Did I buy it? Not really. I didn't really understand how the over sexualized urges of people were really hindering the town. Did it make for an interesting story: Hell yes, it did. I had no idea what kind of mischief he was going to weave next and how it was going to effective the town.
I liked the overall feel of the small town of Swoon. I've heard complaints of all the shortened names: Dice, Sin, Pen, Marsh, No, Way-- but that's what was popular in the town. It's what this group of teenagers did and I felt like it added a lot of charm to the city. I also liked the juxtaposition of Ruby and Dice's old life sliding into her new one in Swoon to show that she is suppressing something. While the author made it pretty easy to figure what it was, it was still so chilling and sad when we finally found out what happened.
There is both drug use and sex scenes in this novel. I've seen both used in YA before because, let's face it, kids are doing both. But I haven't seen it used as much and as freely as in Swoon before. I guess since I knew about it before hand, I wasn't as surprised as others to see it in there. While some of the sex scenes are VERY erotic, it sort of felt like a guilty pleasure thing to me. Sure, there was a healthy amount of shock value there but it's the kind that should be there because it is serving a greater purpose. We've definitely seen characters as bad as Sin before but perhaps just not as naughty.
Malkin's writing is at times a little jolting. I'd find myself going back to re-read the ending of a chapter to make sure I didn't miss something then go back just to realize that the next chapter really did just skip to something completely different. But over all, Malkin masterfully weaves in a brand new kind of monster mythology into something steamy, sensual and all it's own.
Surprising, sexy and full of shockingly naughty characters, Swoon really was a guilty pleasure I couldn't put down. It's definitely not a novel for everyone but as long as you remember that it's about teens and not for them and you enjoy a good steamy romance, I'd say to give it a shot. I dare you not to swoon and you can bet Sin will love watching you squirm!