Monday, November 1, 2010

Swoon [Review]

Title: Swoon by Nina Malkin
Series: Swoon, #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
What They Say:
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 I Say:
I was drawn to this book because of the idea of someone falling in love with the person possessing someone else’s body. Especially when it’s their cousin’s body. Risqué! That said…

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Plot: ooh
So Dice has lived in the town of Swoon, CT, for a good six months, and she’s just starting to fit into suburban life with her popular cousin (Pen) when said cousin falls out of a tree from a bunch feet up. Pen should be dead, but she walks away without a scratch. Except now she’s acting a little odd. And a lot slutty. It doesn’t take long for Dice to realize that someone’s ghost is inhabiting her body (because she’s psychic, forgot to mention…) But not just any ghost, the ultra-sexy ghost of a man hanged in the 1760s for a murder he didn’t commit. So now that he’s back, he’s going to get revenge on the descendents of those who wronged him all those years ago. Well, first he’s going to fool around with the young girls of Swoon, then he’ll get revenge…

As far as the story, despite the dull parts, I was definitely pleased. It maintained a certain tone of apathy throughout, in Dice’s lack of real sympathy or pity for the residents of Swoon as Sin effs things up exacts his revenge on the town. This could be a sign of a weak and slightly heartless protag (though she does care sometimes!), but I liked it. It’s edgy in a good way (some good plot twists, fresh narrative, etc.) for the most part, but then it’s also edgy in a forced, awkward way. Imagine, if you will, a porky 14-year-old girl in a miniskirt and hooker heels trying to look sexy but just looking sad and. Yeahhh, Swoon goes there.

Characters: ooh
First of all, Dice is a great nickname. Second of all, aside from how Dice is given the inner thoughts of an English teacher (you know: flowery language and all that), she’s a pretty genuine teenager. In that I-didn’t-want-to-shoot-her kind of way. Hardly a Mary Sue, but not a jerkass either. She’s a teensy bit melodramatic, but what girl isn’t? (Yay for sweeping generalizations!) Also, she’s a New Yorker, so cool points.

The best friend aka supporting character is supposed to drive the story at least a little bit. Besides auditioning for the girl on the Girls Gone Wild DVD cover, Pen doesn’t do much for the plot. I heard this might be a series, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some character development later on?

Relationships: ooh
Dice and Sin - If it weren’t for the revenge thing and the sleeping around thing and the killing people thing and the lack of redeeming qualities thing, I’d totally understand why these two are together. I mean, sometimes I get it, like Ooh, he’s mysterious and funny in an eighteenth century kind of way. But then it’s like, what…? Sin earns a few points near the end of the book, but for the most part he’s just lucky he’s got a way with words.

Special Features: ooh
So, like most cliquey teens in small towns, the youth of Swoon all go by one-syllable nicknames (Candice becomes Dice, Penelope is Pen, etc). And even though I found them to be really annoying at first, they actually added something special to the story. The little nicknames gave even the rigid, snobby, rich kids a teeny bit of personality, which fleshed them out a bit. Good move, Malkin.

Parting Quotes:

In my head, I screamed at her Not without an army of ninjas am I letting you into my house. Out loud I managed, “Oh…sorry…can’t…” before darting from the car and through the front door of 12 Daisy Lane. Which I locked. Resoundingly.
 Ahh, this book reads like running water.

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