Friday, May 6, 2016

WILD SWANS BY JESSICA SPOTSWOOD - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

This week's review is on Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood! Thanks so much to Raincoast Books for sending me an eARC of this book for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


This was such a great book. It dealt with a loss so tragic, having your mother walk away, leaving you're behind, never to be heard from again for 15 years. I can't even imagine what that would be like.

Following a family line of gifted artists and writers, this book shows that you don't have to have an outward talent to be extraordinary. For all intents and purposes, Ivy is ordinary. She's good at poetry and swimming, but not medal worthy.

Living under the shadow of her great grandmother and grandmother and their iconic deaths, her own mother, Erica has struggles of her own. Erica was a fascinating character, she tried to be a good mother to some of her daughters, but her tongue was lethal and she had a mean, negative outlook on life. If she hadn't been born into the life of extraordinary, would she have turned out differently? Who knows. For most of the book, I wanted to hate Erica. But I use couldn't get past the sadness I felt for her. Her mother was depressed and committed suicide when she was a teenager, and that really messed with her own ability to be a mother.

Ivy's granddad was another interesting character. He tries to push his granddaughters into the typical life of their family, finding their talent. Even though Erica makes som good points about his motives, deep down he still just wants what's best for his girls.

I also loved how, even though there was a romance in this story, it didn't take over the plot line. The story was still about Ivy reconciling her past with her mother and living with her new sisters, and her quest for the her granddad's approval. The romance was there to add a little lightness, to show that even in the darkest of times, when nothing is going right, love can prevail.

Ivy's friends were fantastic, Claire, a very clear feminist makes some really great points and made me think. Plus she's hilarious. Abby is a little more reserved, but she is dealing with her own issues, the possibility of her six year old brother being transgender. And in a small beach town, where conservative values rule, this book tackles the topic with tact.

In fact, this book deals with a lot of heavy issues, especially for a small town, including bisexuality and being transgendered, alcoholism, depression and suicide, and racism and multiracial relationships.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It taught me a lot of things about myself, how you don't need to be perfect, how no matter how bad life seems, you can still make it.

And that may just be the longest review I have ever written! See you next week for another post!