Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Swoon by Nina Malkin (1/5 stars)

I got this book through Amazon Vine. I was excited to get it because I actually had this book on my wish list. Boy was I disappointed.

The concept is interesting. Dice has some psychic ability. When her friend Pen falls from a tree and dies for a moment; Pen's body is entered by the spirit of Sinclair (Sin). Sin was wrongly murdered many, many years ago and wants revenge against the town of Swoon (where they all live). Sins presence makes Pen act out and Dice tries to exorcise Sin; instead she ends up giving him a physical body that allows him to wreck havoc in person instead of through Pen.

Okay if the premise sounds interesting, it is. Unfortunately the execution of the story left a lot to be desired. All of the characters come across as stereotypical and flat. The story itself is inconsistent and disjointed; chapters end in the middle of a scene only to have new chapters start in a completely different setting. It leaves wondering if some pages fell out of the book or something. An example of this: a big deal is made about how Dice need to hitchhike to get someone to drive her back to New York city, she meets a psychic there. In the middle of their meeting the chapter ends. In the next chapter Dice is suddenly back in Swoon getting ready for a Halloween party. How did she get back to Swoon? A big deal was made about how she got out of Swoon, so how did she suddenly get back? What happened to her meeting with the psychic? I mean really would it hurt to have some consistency?

I also had a bit of a problem with this being dubbed a young adult novel. Throughout the novel drug use runs rampant. We are talking use of every kind of drug you can think of; it is casual use with no real purpose to the story. The drug use is such that every single character in the book casually uses drugs; it really gives the message that all young teens casually use drugs and I found it kind of disturbing. Which leads to the problem of the casual sexuality in this book too. I am all for liberal sex (big fan of the Anita Blake books here); but when you have young adults having loads of casual sex among themselves, trying to seduce teachers, and descriptions of casual sex between senior citizens...it was all just a bit weird for me. I would have been uncomfortable reading this as a "young adult".

Now let's briefly discuss Sin and Dice's "relationship". There is no relationship. Dice loves Sin (for no reason) and Sin constantly abuses her emotionally and occasionally physically. Still somehow Dice and Sin are supposed to be the ultimate star-crossed couple...ummm no, they are just dysfunctional. I found many of the characters' relationships with each other to be equally disturbing and unhealthy. I also never really got the point of the story.

Some of the above could be excused if the story was fast-paced, engaging, or fun to read. Unfortunately it is none of those. I had a lot of trouble getting through the book; believe it or not all of the sex and drug use was so prevalent it got very boring to read about. The whole time I read this book I was just counting down the pages, hoping that soon I would get to the end of it.

I usually try to find something positive to say about a book; but seriously I did not like this book and I have nothing positive to say about it.


  1. I'm so disappointed to learn that there's a good chance I might be disappointed reading Swoon. (Not your fault at all, in fact, it seems to be the general consensus at Amazon.)

    Thanks for the honest (and LOL funny) review! :)

  2. Glad you enjoyed the review. I was just so sad that this wasn't a better book :-(

    My husband was happy when I was finished with it though because I get bitching about it :-) He was like are finally done with that book! I get kind of crabby when I end up wasting my time on a sucky book.

    Hopefully if you decide to read it you will enjoy it more than I did!