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The Compulsive Reader: Swoon by Nina Malkin

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Swoon by Nina Malkin


I'm really torn when it comes to this book...Read ahead to see why.

The small town of Swoon, Connecticut is a far cry from New York City, where Dice grew up. But that's where her parents plop her, in a restored farmhouse across the street from her aunt and uncle, the summer before Dice’s senior year. The only way Dice factors into the (tiny) social scene in Swoon is Pen, her beautiful and popular cousin, who is the epitome of sweet and innocent. So when Pen begins to act strangely after a tumble out of an old oak tree, Dice is instantly suspicious. Something has taken control over her cousin, and it's not something good.

Dice soon learns that that something is the ghost of Sinclair Youngblood Powers, and he's out to exact vengeance on the people of Swoon. Concerned for Pen's safety, Dice attempts to perform an exorcism—and unwittingly sets his spirit loose. Now Sin is a living, breathing human guy, determined to wreak havoc on all of Swoon' prominent families. Dice knows she has to stop the madness, but there's just one problem—she's in love with him.

Swoon is an electrifying read. The premise is unique and very appealing to the teenage set, and Malkin's confident and full-of-attitude style is catchy and entertaining. Dice is a strong narrator, and her tolerance for Swoon will hit home with any teen who struggles with being "stuck" in a small town. Her self-assurance and smarts make the book easy to get into, and her inexplicable love for Sin makes her a genuine character that is easy to relate to.

Malkin's presentation of Swoon and the people who live there is very detailed and memorable, from information about the town's history to the teens' tendencies for one syllable names, even if it may be a little confusing at first keeping the large cast of characters straight. However, cautious readers should be warned that there are copious amounts of underage drinking, many scenes with drug use, and quite a few sexual scenes (though for the most part, they’re not very graphic). Most of this behavior is chalked up to "teenagers just being teenagers", and these elements go hand in hand with the "sin" that is ravaging the town (brought on by the character Sin). Malkin doesn't pass judgment on these acts, a gesture which some teens can appreciate. Though some readers may be bothered by these elements, they don't detract from the fact that Malkin is an amazingly talented writer with an absolutely stellar vocabulary, and Swoon is a very well thought-out and imaginative read with a lively and witty protagonist that will leave you laughing and breathless and a lead man that will make you swoon.

Cover Comments: I like the general idea of this cover, with the tree (the tree is very important in the book!), the dark colors, and the girl "swooning". The only thing I didn't care for (and this is not just me, a few friends remarked upon this as well) is that the girl's bangs and the amount of hair being shown just looks awkward. But other than that, I think this is a very eye-catching cover that will definitely urge readers to pick up the book.

Swoon will be available from Simon Pulse on May 19th, 2009!

17 comments:

Alea said...

The blurb I originally read was rather cheesy I thought. I liked your review though, maybe I will end up reading it. I'm not to fond of the cover though.

Senfaye said...

Swoon is on the top of my wish list! I want a copy so badly.

-Senfaye :)
http://amazeofbooks.blogspot.com/

Mari said...

I hadn't noticed the bangs, but now that you mention it they do look a little strange. The cover got my attention and now your review has made me add it to my To Read list.

BookChic said...

I loved the cover and I was expecting a bad review- didn't you write on GMail that you didn't really like it?

Insert Book Title Here said...

I don't know why no one else likes the cover...I love it! I can't wait to read this book. Great review!

Alea said...

I think another reason I don't like the cover is it's basically a knock off of the Black Dahlia, and that's all I can think about when I see it, I didn't add it to this lookalike yet but it definitely fits.

http://aleapopculture.blogspot.com/2008/11/lookalikes-22.html

Thao said...

I want to read this book. I like the plot and how the characters are named.

rhi.hart said...

That sounds pretty good! Quite like the cover too. I'm pre-ordering now...

The Compulsive Reader said...

I guess I should clarify: I love the premise, I love Nina Malkin's style.

However, I hated all of the sex, drugs, and drinking. To me, it was just way too much, and it grated on my nerves after a while.

Please don't allow my preferences to deter you from reading this book, but that is my opinion.

Just Blinded Book Reviews said...

I got this in the mail the other day and, even if you didn't love the book, your review made me so much more excited to read it.

Bookgeek said...

Funnily enough I've been wondering who this book was for since starting to read it. I actually really like the cover - and have just finished and enjoyed the book. The writing is very very good. It's compulsive and addictive and simply great storytelling. I just wonder if this should have been aimed at an adult market where the drinking, drugs, and sex would not stand out so much. I do think the author handled all this well - it's not lurid nor exploitative nor judged much at all. But I wonder if she - and the publisher - misjudged their market. That said, I read this book in a gulp and what an amazing character she's created in Sin.

Tor Hershman said...

Indeed, the cover art is worth the cost of the book.

J. Kaye said...

I felt totally opposite about Malkin's style of writing. Felt it weighed down the story. Great review though. I'll add it to mine so that others can see a different point of view.

gabo3 said...

At first I thought it was going to be a bit over the top but after reading it I really enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

you HAVE to read books by Richelle Mead. she has three different series out with more books still being added to each series. I'm keeping up with all three and i love them to death!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful descriptions in this book =]

Anonymous said...

i didnt understand the ending at all. and there was too much alchol and drugs. the ending was vague. over all the plot was good. but slow.