Swoon by Nina Malkin

Posted by Cobalt | Posted in , , | Posted on 7:04 AM

Rating: 3 / 5 stars

I can't say that I was comfortable with the romance component of this book -- which was pretty much all of it. First, there was the weirdness of our Leading Lady (Dice) falling for the Brooding Love Interest (Sin) -- while he happens to be possessing the body of her cousin. Because, you know, he's a ghost and all. Interesting premise, but it mostly played out like this...

DICE: So I am irresistibly attracted to a dead boy who is inhabiting the body of my bodacious blond cousin....sweet! Now I get to indulge my latent homoerotic tendencies while pursing the Boy of My Dreams!

SIN: Um....exorcism NOW, please.

The other problematic aspect of this lovefest is the slight detail that Sin is firmly on the vengeful side of the haunting spectrum. His target? The entire town of Swoon, of course, since the good townsfolk turned all angry mob and lynched him back in the 1700s -whenevers. His only crime? Being a little too friendly with the ladyfolk...and having his newly-pregnant girlfriend end up dead.


This at first seemed to be heading into the troublesome loves-me-or-wants-to-kill-me territory of many teen romances in the supernatural realm -- but I can report at least that Sin never deliberately harms Dice. Pretty much everyone else in the town is fair game, though.

So of course Dice is torn, since she kinda-sorta loves this angry little poltergeist, but she also doesn't really want to see the town go up in flames. Mostly. And of course she has her own reasons for coming to Swoon -- being a native of NYC, a little Connecticut backwater wasn't a natural choice for a getaway.

I liked Dice's snark and almost-brutal honesty, and she handles the tango of Love versus Better Judgment pretty well, but I couldn't really get into the romance with Sin. Mostly because of the above issues, but also because he seemed pretty one-dimensional. I know, maybe I should give the revenge-obsessed ghost a break, but I just didn't see the appeal beyond a tragic backstory and (of course) a smokin' bod.

The supernatural elements had a neat little twist, and the way Sin manipulates peoples' desires to cause their ruin had potential, if not fully realized. And the ending was a nice surprise, which at least steered it out of cliche territory.

But overall, I wouldn't go rushing out for this one. Not a painful read, but not a terribly gripping one either.

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