Friday, November 18, 2011

Book Review: Swoon by Nina Malkin

Swoon by Nina Malkin

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (May 19, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416974342
ISBN-13: 978-1416974345
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?

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!



  1. I really need to read this one! So glad you enjoyed it--I trust your reviews :) I've been hesitant to start this one after seeing so many varied reviews, but I think you've convinced me!

  2. Wow, this book really sounds great! Book about teens but not necessarily for teens? Even better! looks like a book I would very much enjoy, just like I enjoyed reading your review :)

    I have an ARC of the second book in the series sitting on my shelf, but I didn't get to it yet and probably won't anytime soon, since I haven't read the first one yet.. After reading your review, though, I am definitely bumping it up my TBR pile :)

    Here's my review of Deadly Cool. I would love for you to stop by and tell me what you think! :)

  3. You created a great post with excellent information, i learn a lot of stuff from this article.

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  4. Great review! I read this one about two years ago and looooved it! I've read countless books since, but it's still one of my faves!

    As you said, there is a lot of drug use and sex in this novel, but that was one of the reasons why I liked it. I feel like a lot of YA books can sugar-coat teenage life, but I feel like Swoon showed the grittier, yet still true, side of being a teenager. Being one myself, I definitely feel like it was a relatively realistic portrayal of teenaged life (minus the paranormal aspect and a few other instances).

    I'm glad you enjoyed it! And sorry for the really long comment lol!

    Claire :)

  5. Oh! I remember seeing this around, but I had forgotten all about it. Thanks for reminding me! And it definitely sounds intriguing. o: Hearing you describe it, I think I could definitely enjoy it. Sounds interesting that it's about teens but not for them as well! Definitely makes a difference. Great review and thanks for piquing my interest!

    Rebecca @ Kindle Fever

  6. Wow this sounds great! And thanks for the heads up about the apparently Racy stuff which I would probably not have minded but still good to know it's not actually written for teens - this makes me want to rad the book even more! :) Wonderful review!

    Xpresso Reads

  7. Confession: I've already read this book. But, if I hadn't, this review would definitely make me want to! And I agree with your assessments.

  8. Have had this on my wishlist for awhile and can't wait to read it.

  9. You gave a perfect description I've been looking for and it will help me explain books so much better, "About teens not for teens". I completely get what you're saying. I've heard a lot of iffy comments on this one, but I would still like to judge for myself.
    Thanks for the great review.

  10. I remember not liking this one at all when I read it over two years ago, the whole thing just didn't work for me.
    I'm not a prude so the actions of the teens didn't bother me, it was more the storyline and the bland characters that bothered me. The story jumps around a lot from what I remember and I never liked any of the main or secondary characters. Plus the second book, Swear, is coming out a little late for me, I mean why go back years later and decide to write another part to the story.

  11. I ever really considered the about teens but not for teens angle but that makes a lot of sense based on the reviews I have read about it. Thanks for the new perspective!

  12. I have this book but I have yet to read it! I knew it was going to be an awesome book though :D Thanks for the insightful review!

  13. Wow! This book sounds interesting! I've been dying to read it, but never knew what I'd expect. Thanks for letting us know that its a book written about teens, but not actually meant for them! I love your review!(:

  14. wow awesome post this book ive been wainting tor eadforever now so much im going to have to order them both awesome review ty!

  15. I love this book soooo much!! Great review, I think you really covered every part of the story and you're right, it's definitely not a book for everyone, but it's worthwhile to those who will like it because it's an amazing read! :D
    melocin94 at aol dot com

  16. I absolutely loved this book. Nina Malkin is an amazing author and I was so engrossed I couldnt put it down. I loved reading your review of it! Thank you!

  17. I have been dying to read this book and your review makes me want to read it even more. I like that you stress it's about teens not necessarily for teens.
    I have no problem with shortened names what I really don't like is when a author uses the characters first and last name every time the character is mentioned. Now that can getting annoying.
    Thanks for the review!

  18. lol you had me at racy and naughty characters :) I must get my hands on this. I'm semi new to YA and I've discovered I really love it, but the adult in me sometimes wishes for a little more and this sounds like it would give it to me. Great review!

  19. Wow. I didn't know there was a trailer for this book. Thanks for posting it!

  20. I kept passing this book up because of the mixed reviews, you are totally right about people loving or hating it. After your review I think I am ready to give it a try and hope I am part of the group that loves it!

  21. Ive heard so much about this book! Ive been wanting to read it for a while now. Loved your review. Def made me want to read it more :)

  22. ah! I like the point u made about it being about teens NOT for teens! Ive heard a lot of complants about that.


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