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Nina Malkin's Swoon lives up to its name with a Panty Melter named Sin.


BOOK REPORT for Swoon by Nina Malkin

BFF Charm: Yay!
Swoonworthy Scale: 9
Talky Talk: One of the Cool Kids?
Bonus Factor: Mysterious Loner Dude, Golem
Relationship Status: An Affair to Remember

The Deal:

SOMETHING has happened to Candice (Dice), which causes her parents to move her from her native NYC to finish school in the "perfect" little town of Swoon, Connecticut- the preppy, privileged sort of town where everyone has a one-syllable nickname, perfect tans and wear their sweaters tied in a knot around their shoulders. The upside is that Dice gets to live across the street from her favorite cousin Penelope (Pen).

One day while Pen is climbing a tree in a park in the middle of town, Dice has a vision that takes her back to the 18th a trial for murder, on the exact spot she's sitting. And there's something about the young man on trial... Dice is brought back to the present when Pen falls out of the tree, and over the course of the next few days, although Pen swears she's fine, Dice knows something is NOT RIGHT. Pen's acting weird. Where she used to be adorable and flirty, Pen is downright lascivious, and hellbent on... something. Through her intuition, deductive skills, and the fact that he actually decides to talk to her, Dice realizes her cousin is possessed. By Sinclair. Youngblood. Powers. ( okay, and I'm back.) And he wants one thing: revenge on the fair folk of Swoon.

Determined to get her cousin back, Dice decides to perform an exorcism. Her mistake is taking pointers from Sinclair. So she does manage to get the spirit out of her cousin, but, ooops, she gives him corporeal form of his own. Now Sin (as he's wont to call himself) is reeking havoc on the town of Swoon. It seems he's cast a sort of a lusty spell on everyone he meets, and the whole town's dirty little secrets are coming out. Of course, Dice is the only one who can stop him.

There's only one little problem. She's fallen in love with him.

BFF Charm: Yay!

Candice (I can't bring myself to type 'Dice' anymore, sorry) is pretty much everything I'd want in a bff: she's self-confident, intuitive, wry, and sweet. And she's dealt with some STUFF. The story is told from her perspective, and you get little tidbits throughout the book of her life before she moved to Swoon. Candice holds herself together and makes some tough decisions, when I was like, 'really, is Sinclair's revenge thing so bad? Do you HAVE to stop him?' And the girl's ability to function on heartbreak deserves applause. Seriously, you know when you've met THAT boy, and you're totally crazy about him, and you're pretty sure he likes you, too, and you've been on a love buzz ever since you saw him last and he held your hand or something like, and then your BEST FRIEND calls you up, and says 'guess what? I just made out with him!'? And you have to be at least sort of supportive, because she's your friend, meanwhile your heart is stirring up leftover breakfast in your stomach... yeah, that kind of stuff. I still get heart palpitations thinking about it. Give that girl a hug.

Swoonworthy Scale: 9

It's not for nothing this book is called Swoon, y'all. The chemistry between Sinclair and Candice is PER-FECT! And while Sinclair casts his spell over everyone else in the town, turning them into hedonistic crazy heads, Candice is actually IN LOVE with him, and still keeps her cool, determined to stop his plans for revenge. Okay, so this is a book for the older teens, if you catch my drift. There's some smutty goodness, and one scene that I don't want to spoil, that I was like, 'did that ACTUALLY just happen???' You'll know it when you read it.

Talky Talk: One of the Cool Kids?

Okay, so I REALLY enjoyed this book. I read it in a day. Nina Malkin's writing is compelling and her story is well crafted. Her characters are lush, and the ending is pretty perfect. This is no fairytale prince and princess go off in a carriage into the sunset type of story. But it is a story about a strong young woman, and first love, and it made me feel good. However, there were a few detractors, so I have to give you fair warning. Obviously the whole one-syllable nickname thing is pretty awful. And in Candice's flashbacks to NYC, she and her friend say things like 'she so crazy' a lot. It felt to me that Ms. Malkin was trying hard to capture the voice of the youth. Maybe too hard. Or who knows, maybe they do all talk like that these days, and I'm totally out of touch? But I don't think so.

Bonus Factor: Mysterious Loner Dude

Okay, Sinclair Youngblood Powers had me from the moment he walked onto those pages, and I continued to fall in love with him, nefarious plot be damned. The boy is HOTT. I might even venture to say he is the hottest boy I've ever read. Throughout the book, just like Candice, I was questioning whether or not Sinclair was actually evil, or if he was justified in his plans, wrong though they might be. He was once a young man who was terribly, terribly wronged, and really, can we deny him his justice? Did I mention he was hot? Oh, and also part Native American...

Bonus Factor: Golem

I had to mention this because I loved that it was in the story, but I'm not going to actually explain what a golem is. You need to read the book, or if you're up on your Jewish folklore, you may already know about this little bonus. This is not to be confused with the creature in Lord of The Rings. The spelling's different.

Casting Call:

Nina Dobrev as Candice

I never watched Degrassi, but I like this girl. She could handle Candice's sass and her depth.

Ben Barnes as Sinclair Youngblood Powers

Without a doubt, this is who I had in mind while I was reading the book. Just. Like. This. Yeah, I know: Panty. Melter.

Relationship Status: An Affair to Remember

I read this book obsessively from start to finish. It was a whirlwind romance, and I got totally caught up in it. I saw the warning signs that it wasn't the kind of book to stick around and make things last, so I paid no real attention to the things about it that got on my nerves a little bit. When it came to an end, I was sad, but I knew it was time to move on. One day I might pull out an old photo of it and think longingly of our time together, but it never would have worked for us, in the end.

Jenny Bird's photo About the Author: Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.