Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Paper Swan by Leylah Attar ~ Review

The Paper SwanSource: Purchased.

The Paper Swan by Leylah Attar

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit.
They lie.
For 21 days she held on.
But on Day 22, she would have given anything for the sweet slumber of death.
Because on Day 22, she realizes that her only way out means certain death for one of the two men she loves.

A haunting tale of passion, loss, and redemption, The Paper Swan is a darkly intense yet heartwarming love story, textured with grit, intrigue, and suspense. Please note: This is NOT a love triangle.

A full-length, standalone novel, intended for mature audiences due to violence, sex and language. Subject matter may be disturbing for some readers.


When The Paper Swan released, there was all kinds of hype. I saw it all over the place--on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, EVERYWHERE. And the book looked really good. So I bought it on my Kindle. I was looking forward to reading it, because so many people have loved it, but I didn't get around to picking the book up. Then I got a paperback copy in my Bookworm Box. At that point, I was like, "Okay. CLEARLY I need to pick this book up SOON." So I did. And...meh. This book was not for me.

The synopsis for The Paper Swan is so vague. Which is obviously pretty intriguing. But it also leaves a lot of room for picking up a book that is so NOT FOR ME thinking it's something I could love. As it turns out for this particular novel, however, I just ended up sorely disappointed.

Before I wade into the waters of WHY I wasn't a fan of this book, I want to mention the things I liked about it first. Because this book wasn't a total waste. The writing was actually great. Leylah Attar clearly has talent. I got pulled in quickly, and even after I got to a point where I hated what was happening I could not bring myself to put the book down. And there was a twist in there that I was completely caught off guard by. Also, I want to take a moment and admire that beautiful cover. It's so PRETTY. Sigh.

Okay. So that's what I liked about The Paper Swan. What I didn't like is kind of hard to explain (without spoiling, at least), so bear with me while I try to outline my issues without giving away the twists.

My biggest problem with this book is that I don't think the hero is redeemable. Not with this particular girl, anyway. He treated her terribly, like SUPER terribly, and then all of a sudden he's forgiven. I have two issues with that: 1) There is a fine line between what is redeemable and what is not, and this guy DEFINITELY crossed it. For sure. It was so bad that I was HOPING for a love triangle so I could root against this dude. 2) He never did anything to redeem himself. I honestly do not understand what he did to make up for how bad he was to her. Say sorry a few times? Because that's basically all he did before the girl was forgiving him.

I feel like a lot of things in this book are waved off because of the past. Like, "THIS happened before, so I understand why THIS happened now." Or, "I understand why you did THAT because of THIS in the past." (Am I making any sense? It's hard to do this without spoiling! Ha.) It got to the point where the girl apologized to the GUY for things. Which she should not have had to do. It was so messed up.

Then there's the fact that there isn't really romance in this novel. There is smexy times. There are declarations of love. But there isn't much seeing them together being a couple. Which is ANOTHER thing that seemed to just be justified by the past. Just because people knew each other years ago and were close doesn't mean there's no relationship building to happen now. Especially after everything that happened.

While the writing was great, the plot itself was pretty weak. There's one big issue driving the entire novel, but it gets to the point where it feels like the hero should be over it. The fact that he couldn't let it go actually got annoying. Then there were a time jump or two which were just odd. I get why they happened, but when I was reading and flipped the page only to find out it was years later, it was confusing.

As I mentioned, there was one twist that caught me off guard, but then the rest of what was supposed to be surprising only made me roll my eyes. That may just be me, though, because I was kind of done with the story by that point. The hero wasn't redeemable and the heroine had Stockholm Syndrome or something and I didn't get how this was a love story and just blah.

Overall, The Paper Swan was disappointing. The writing was well done, and I'd definitely be willing to pick up another book by her someday, but the contest of this novel didn't work for me. If you like suspense, this one might work for you, but if you need great romance to enjoy a book, I recommend passing on this one.

2 stars - The writing was great, but the story itself was sadly disappointing.

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