review: “swoon” September 14, 2009Posted by Katie in reviews.
Swoon by Nina Malkin.
Simon Pulse // Hardcover // 432 pages.
Reviewed from library copy.
Dice has just moved to Swoon, Connecticut — hometown of her cousin Pen’s. When Pen has a near-death experience, Dice begins to notice that things have changed with her cousin and not for the better. Through her psychic abilities, Dice determines that Pen is being possessed by a wronged spirit, Sinclair Youngblood Powers. Sin, as he’s called, is the very embodiment of his name. Soon, Dice’s town is being controlled by Sin, by the spirit that Dice is falling for.
I waited for this book from the library and I was glad that I did. The cover art is beautiful, and the plot intriguing. But I had a lot of problems with the execution of the novel. I didn’t understand what Dice saw in Sin and I sure as heck didn’t understand why she began falling for him, why she justified his actions and took nearly the entire course of the novel to realize just how far he had gone. In the same vein, I couldn’t like Sin. Even though he had a tragic past, it didn’t excuse his actions.
The supporting characters are flat. Pen is annoying and I didn’t care that Sin was wrecking her reputation. I didn’t care that she was in danger. Dice’s other friends are stereotypical and difficult to relate to. I also had a big problem with the one-syllable names. I kept getting them confused with each other. Particularly with “El” and “Em.”
(Side rant: A lot of people are complaining about the sexual and drug content of this book. It is definitely a book for mature teens, but I don’t agree that this novel isn’t YA. This is a mature YA title, meant for upper high school. Just because there’s sex doesn’t make this an adult novel.)
I liked the mythology, and the back story. That’s what kept me reading until the end. The ending left me feeling unsatisfied again, even though it’s the ending that I wanted in a way.
I will have a hard time selling this in my library. Both to my director (because of the content) and to my teens (because of the characters). This novel will probably be one that is only read by my teens through inter-library loan.