Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood
To start off, I'd like to thank NetGalley for providing me with yet another lovely novel. I went into this book thinking it was basically about some family curse where the women die young and talented. I was wrong. This is a contemporary novel that, in my opinion, centers around family issues, finding your voice, and acceptance. Boy did I eat it up.
I found our main character, Ivy, to be smart, strong-willed, but also a tad whiny. I understand her issues, believe me, you will too. But sometimes I just wanted to scream at her for not speaking up when she truly needed to. It was one of the most frustrating things and often it had to do with her grandad. I absolutely adored Grace and Ella. I hope you will as well. These two, while young, can really teach you something.
On to my least favorite characters. I wasn't a huge fan of Alex, he seemed quite possessive, but maybe if there is a future book, he can redeem himself. My most hated character was Erica. However, you are made to hate her. She's the villain of this story and I think Spotswood did a fantastic job at creating her. At the end of the novel I really wanted more so I could know how her story turns out.
While I love the not-so-perfect family aspect of this novel, there is one thing that I love even more. Spotswood added a transgender character and delicately touched on all the emotions of the people around her. This person is in no way a focus of the story. I love that such a minor character has such an important lesson to teach the reader. While talking about lessons, I might as well mention Claire. I didn't plan on talking about her, hence her not being mentioned above. But Claire has some great outlooks on life. I would just like you to pay attention to some of the things that she says.
All in all, this was quite the enjoyable read for me. My family is not perfect in any way and I really love reading about other families and their issues. Especially ones that cause huge rifts. Another thing I appreciate is how while there is a romance, it's not at the forefront. The focus remains on this family the entire time. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good Summer read that isn't super lovey. Wild Swans is not some fluffy read and it's not some divine mystery like I initially assumed. Wild Swans will be out on May 3, 2016 for those of you who are interested. Be sure to come back and discuss it once you've read it.