After looking at some of the reviews for Swoon by Nina Malkin, I was a little wary about launching into it. But I suppose that was a good thing since others' disappointments made me lower my expectations, leaving me very pleasantly surprised once I finished this very intriguing novel. Swoon is quite different from most young adult paranormals out there, thus making it new and enticing, filled with teens that might actually be more comfortable in Gossip Girl than sharing space with psychics and a golem.
Swoon begins with Dice (yes, the nicknames grate after a while) discovering that her best friend/cousin, Pen, is sharing her body with a spirit from 1769 following a mishap from the very tree where the spirit, Sinclair Youngblood Powers, was hanged. Realizing this is just the beginning of the predictament,however; after allowing Sin to tell her his tale, Dice decides she must exorcise him from Pen's body by following Sin's explicit instructions. Unfortunately, Sin uses the ritual to claim an actual body for himself, and sets forth to wreak havoc in the lives of the descendants of the people who hanged him.
Swoon is the name of the town where all this mayhem takes place; filled with lots of rich kids who dabble in sex and drugs, Swoon is an unlikely setting for a paranormal romp. The fact is, I liked Dice and her friends, and even the deceitful Sin. Even though the psychic aspect is a little random at times, I was just as caught up with wanting Sin to remain in Swoon due to his charm and yet knowing that he was a destructive force that needed to leave. There is quite a bit of sex and sexual tension going on, most of it a direct result of Sin's interventions, and there is a lot of casual drug use, too; something to think about before suggesting this book to younger teens. I absolutely never bought into the idea that Dice's parents would leave a seventeen year old on her own in a house in Connecticut all week, every week; that defied all logic (especially given what we learn about Dice's experiences in NYC later on), as well as several Children's Services laws. I also found the segment where Dice and Sin (Pen) time travel a bit unbelievable (Just show up in a tavern, get close, and boom! you're in 1769!). Likewise, I had to wonder at the addition of Dice's epilepsy into the story--honestly, what was the point? But setting that aside, Swoon is actually a good paranormal with interesting characters and a different storyline. Swoon actually garners 3.5 stars from me, but feeling generous, I'll round up to a solid 4.0. Recommended for older teens who enjoy all things paranormal.