Shannon's Reviews > Swoon

Swoon by Nina Malkin
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's review
May 24, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: my-reviews, read-in-2011, home-library-read

** spoiler alert ** Read #1
Started on March 19, 2011
Finished on March 22, 2011
3.5 stars

I am really, really confused by this book, lol. I went into "Swoon" thinking it was easily going to be a big one-star dud by the time I finally finished it, but by the end, decided I might actually check out the sequel...?

As you will quickly learn from the first few pages in "Swoon," this book is not for everyone. I'll admit, I really was expecting something totally different, and the style of writing threw me completely. When I started out reading the book, I thought there would be no way I'd get through it as quickly as I did. But there's something about Nina Malkin's writing that is very smooth-going.

There were times where Nina Malkin's prose was too cutesy for me -- like she was inadvertently trying to use "cool speak," or imitate the way she thinks teenagers speak today. The nicknaming was... annoying after a while. I also found it a little off-putting when Dice was talking about doing something in the near future (e.g.; going to a party) and then all of a sudden within the next few sentences, she was at that place doing it. It was almost like, "Oh, okay. So now we're going here." It could make things confusing.

At the same time, I found myself being swept into Nina's way with words. A lot of the book reads like poetry, or even stream-of-conscious writing. I think the scenes that shine most with her writing are when Dice is talking about Ruby and when she describes the setting of Sin's past life in Swoon. And actually, I was mostly interested in the scenes with Dice and Ruby, and totally perked up near the end when we finally get an explanation of the circumstances surrounding Ruby's presence in Dice's life.

I honestly wonder if I had read this book when I was younger if I would have appreciated Nina Malkin's style of writing as much, and I wonder if maybe that's why some people didn't like the book. Maybe they've never read that style of writing, and were simply put off by it. True, at first, I was irritated with having to decipher every single sentence written in the book -- there we many times I would stop reading long enough to say out loud, “This is so weird!” But as I delved deeper into the book, it was like my enjoyment of Nina's strange style of writing grew subconsciously. I literally kept coming back to the book whenever I could.

Still, I can't get past the fact that I think the plot is shoved to the background for the random scenes where Dice is living her day-to-day life in Swoon. Though I think the story picks up when Sin is introduced into the community, the plot following is just this mishmash of disarray and weirdness -- a lot of the plot doesn't really seem to connect properly. The scenes are just a roller-coaster of not fully-formed ideas.

I felt there just simply wasn't enough detail given to what truly mattered in the story -- so many of the scenes were written in as just filler. And then I think I would've liked to see something different happen with the story. I kept imagining Sin wasn't going to be who he said he was, or that maybe Ruby would have some bigger role in the story. I liked the whole "Sin's-a-gollem" idea, but I wanted... something else. More characterization? More...? I can't say what. And though, again, I really loved Ruby's chapter at the end, I think I was hoping Ruby was going to be this other malevolent manifestation trying to do Dice harm or something. (Don't get me wrong, in her way, she was... but I think I was hoping it would be less Dice's mind performing the wacky manifestations and more Ruby being an actual "Dice-is-not-suffering-from-guilty-hallucinations" spirit haunting Dice.) I hate when I go through books thinking much of what the author has written is such an interesting concept, but then it doesn't quite reach my expectations.

I won't say the sex scenes and drug usage turned me off (I've read worse, honestly). I personally think I was indifferent to it all. I didn't even really get what people were saying by describing the book or Sin and Dice's relationship "steamy." Mostly, I didn't find anything in the book all that "cheek-flush-inducing," lol.

I didn't feel particularly attached to any of the characters either, or I just didn't really know who they were as characters. Even at the end of the book, I still don't feel like I really know who Dice is. Again, I think I was really indifferent to most of the characters. There were times I liked Dice, and times I liked Sin. Most of the other characters were just... there to me. And then I didn't even feel like Dice and Sin had this great romance. Dice kept saying she loved Sin, and Sin eventually said he loved her, but I didn't see why. A lot of time, there was just no spark or fire in the characters.

Still, minus the negatives, there was still something about the story I liked. It's an unexplainable feeling; all I know is I came away from the book with a little bit of a fluttery feeling of enjoyment and knowing I'd probably check out the sequel. I'm hoping maybe Nina Malkin will put her way with words to better use in "Swear," and that the story will live up to my expectations a little more than "Swoon" did.

I would recommend anybody to not the take the description of the book at face value. Check it out from your library, or read a chapter or two in your bookstore before you buy it.

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Reading Progress

May 24, 2009 – Shelved
March 19, 2011 – Started Reading
March 19, 2011 –
page 57
13.54% "Oh, my lord, this book is incredibly odd. I'm trying my hardest to have an open mind, but it's not at all how I expected."
March 19, 2011 –
page 113
March 20, 2011 –
page 207
March 21, 2011 –
page 301
March 22, 2011 –
page 425
March 22, 2011 – Finished Reading
October 14, 2011 – Shelved as: my-reviews
May 6, 2014 – Shelved as: read-in-2011
September 14, 2017 – Shelved as: home-library-read

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