Monday, August 26, 2013


About the Book

"Once upon a time – better known as 'now' - Gabriel Pritz reigns as king of his high school. Easy grades, perfect baseball season, a pretty date for prom—he's coasting into a golden future. Until his parents demand he cook dinner once a week. Caught between kitchen fires and ballpark withdrawal, Gabe is thrown into Tam Swann's orbit. Hostile, friendless, and stubborn, she's exactly the sort of person he'd prefer to avoid.

Tam's sphere of influence expands beyond Gabe's sad domestic skills, rapidly invading everything from his favorite game to parts of his soul he didn't know existed. It's uncomfortable, it's hard work, it's...making him a better man. And that's just what she does to people she doesn't like. The better he gets to know her, the more he has to face the truth: this sharp, heart-breaking outcast is worth fighting for. How many families, fairy tales, and felons will he go through to ride to the rescue of the bravest person he's ever met?"

Amber's Review

The Silent Swan is an intriguing and refreshing fairytale retelling, albeit a story that I didn't completely "get." The tale begins with a senior boy who is very much caught up in his own world of baseball games and student government and girls. Unsurprisingly, his point of view is a bit annoying at first, but it truly made his character growth that much more enjoyable to witness. Having the whole story told from his perspective was an interesting twist - one that I applaud, but also one that might have kept me from being completely connected.

A lot of the dialogue between the brothers (and even between all of the characters at different times, really) felt like an "inside joke" I just wasn't comprehending - so there's one strike. The strange and at times disrespectful parent-children relationships constitutes strike two. And the book is quite long...a quality which did allow for some great character exploration, but alas, it just felt too unnecessarily dragged out at times, especially toward the end when scene after scene revolved around the same activity. Combined with my confusion over certain plot elements (again, it felt like some things were going over my head and just not "clicking"), there's strike three.

Does that mean the book is "out"? Nope - it just means that there were some obstacles that kept this from reaching "favorite" status for me, despite its promising moments.

I did love the mystery at the beginning. I loved Gabe's moral wrestling - his struggling with his conscience. I loved the camaraderie between brothers (both Gabe's and Tam's)...the fun cooking scenes...the sympathetic peek into a young man's mind (a tad bit frightening, but enlightening, LOL)...and even the baseball references and scenes did win me over with how they were portrayed, even though I'm not a huge fan of the game.

All in all, The Silent Swan was fascinating, although it didn't impress me as much as I thought it might and was hoping it would after being initially hooked by the story. It's certainly a unique retelling - entirely contemporary, no magic in sight. If you like generally clean YA (the male fixation on the physical is portrayed to some degree, and there are a few instances of minor crude language), and if you're looking for a different sort of story to lose yourself in for a while, you might want to check this one out!

*With thanks to the author and IFB Tours for providing me with an e-ARC of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

About the Author

"Lex Keating has been engaged in a passionate affair with books ever since the Velveteen Rabbit wanted to be real. She graduated from a liberal arts college with a BA in literature, and currently resides near Charleston, South Carolina, in a swamp full of barbarians and all their cats. She has been a teacher, a paralegal, a computer programmer, and a hospice caregiver. She currently divides her time between studying old fairy tales and making up new ones." You can connect with the author on Facebook.

Extras
  • Check out the other blog tour post links HERE (or by clicking the image at the top of the post).
  • Enter the blog tour giveaway for a paperback copy of the book (U.S. only) via the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

10 comments :

  1. Sounds like it may be worth a try!!
    Nice giveaway, as always! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beth,

    Depending on your tastes, yes! :) While I had a few issues with it, it was a very interesting/unique read.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    ~Amber

    ReplyDelete
  3. Shane,

    You're welcome! Thank you for the chance to read and review this book. :)

    ~Amber

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, that male POV is actually pretty accurate--at least, that's what I'm told by my 22 yo son who also read and reviewed this one. :-) Alarming it may be, but there you have it. :-D

    ReplyDelete
  5. Shannon,

    Oh, dear! Haha.

    That's cool that your son read and reviewed it. Would be interesting to compare reviews, as I'm 22, as well. :)

    I appreciated the chance to get a peek at the male mind - which is probably just as mysterious to me as the female mind supposedly is to guys. ;)

    ~Amber

    ReplyDelete
  6. Amber, his name is Alistair McNear and I know he's posted at least on Goodreads. :-) He and I had the privilege of being Lex's first readers on this story ... she and I have been writing friends and occasional crit partners for 6-7 years now. She's a very "thinky" person, and this is a very "thinky" story--I'd call her brilliant, but she doesn't allow me to say that word in her presence, LOL!

    I've refrained from posting a review of the story myself because I haven't had a chance to re-read the in-print version, but overall I love, love her writing and stories. So thrilled to see God opening this door for her!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Shannon,

    Found his review - very nice! :) The story really did have a fun cast of characters and a good amount of depth and thoughtfulness. There is a lot to think about, for sure! Unfortunately, I waited too long to start reading the book, especially considering its length, so I had to push through to get my review ready in time for the tour, and that probably didn't help my opinion on the length and ending... However, I thought it was a unique and interesting story, and I think it's awesome that she's writing more of these types of books (from what I hear!).

    And that's very cool that you and she are crit partners. :) Such a blessing to have dear writer friends!

    ~Amber

    ReplyDelete
  8. Amber, thanks for the honest review!

    Shannon, I do know where to find a switch. Or a wet noodle, if I were cutting you slack. But, really... ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lex,

    You're welcome! I'm glad I had a chance to be on the blog tour. :) Congrats on this new release, and keep writing unique stories with great characters!

    ~Amber

    ReplyDelete

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