I judged a book by its cover. I should run and hide. I looked at the cover and it was so gorgeous I had to see if the inside was just as good. Rarely am I confused on how to rate a book… this is one of those times. But first a synopsis.
The Paper Swan is the story of Skye. A rich girl who lives in a plush neighbourhood in Mexico. Skye’s dad is wealthy, but her mom died right after Skye’s birth, so Skye was raised by her nanny – MamaLu. Those days are long gone and now Skye finds herself in her early 20s, back in the US, without a care in the world. Until she’s kidnapped. She scoffs at the idea of Stockholm Syndrome, can’t happen, not to her. Until something else starts happening… Something akin to Stockholm Syndrome..
“I knew better than to romanticise my carpet, but there it was -sick and twisted and disgusting as it was. And it scared me.
Yup. That’s as much as I’m giving you because you really do want to experience this one for yourself. But what a story. I read some reviews online… something I rarely do. 5 stars and rave reviews galore. But I have to say, the first half of the book was…. not bad… just not good either. I’ll clarify. I once read that an author should show not tell. And this felt like a lot of telling to me. There was a lot happening because the story itself is incredible. Just wasn’t told the way I would have wanted it. When someone’s death is described, I want to feel the pain. When some action is happening, I want my heart to be in my mouth. All that happened. I just felt like someone was narrating it me. Without injecting much emotion to the storytelling.
It didn’t help that I solved the mysetery way before it was revealed to us. I just knew. My reading experience felt weird. I looked at the cover three times to confirm that I did indeed get the right book. It was all story, this first half, an amazing storyline, but without much feels.
Then the second half happened and I thought whoa, now we’re talking! It was like a different author had taken over. Or maybe I just got that much invested in the story. I felt the pain these two characters went through. Because it’s that kind of epic read. Epic as in spanning years… but also the second half was just epic.. as in amazing.
So Skye falls for her captor, not as easily as I put it, because that’s a journey you have to travel by yourself, but she does…
“I tried to keep afloat, clutching at him, but I didn’t stand a chance. My hurt, my anger, my tears were tossed aside by something vast and true and powerful and endless.
But their story can’t last, he captured her… Eventually their story would come to a end… right?
“I wondered when my heart would stop aching for him, when my body would stop reacting to him, when my soul would stop humming around him. Why do we fall for people who are no good for us? Why, when we’ve been there, down that, and know better?
Let me tell you, the feels that I thought were missing in the first half were there in spades in the second half. I felt and felt and felt!
The way he said it damn near broke me. Damian might be all steel on the outside, but his emotions ran deep. he never did anything halfway. When he hated, he hated with every cell in his body, and when he loved… God, when he loved, he said your name like that -like a sigh from his soul, wrapped around his tongue.
So yes. A dark read. One that had it all: love, pain, angst, regret, joy… and everything in between. Years and years of a love unfulfilled… and an epilogue so beautiful I just wanted to scream for joy!
A first half that was 2 star for me. A second half that was damn near 5… So..
Amazon Buy Link -> The Paper Swan by Leylah Attar