Review: Wild Swans

by Jessica Spotswood

wild swans


Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publish Date: 3rd of May

Title: Wild Swans
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Book: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary YA
Found: Netgalley
Rating: 5 Voodoos

Will Ivy fulfill her destiny as a dazzling Milbourn woman? Or will the pressure from her family cause her to crumble?

The summer before Ivy’s senior year is going to be golden—all bonfires, barbeques, and spending time with her best friends. For once, she will just get to be. No summer classes, none of Granddad’s intense expectations to live up to the family name. For generations, the Milbourn women have lead extraordinary lives—and died young and tragically. Granddad calls it a legacy, but Ivy considers it a curse. Why else would her mother have run off and abandoned her as a child?

But when her mother unexpectedly returns home with two young daughters in tow, all of the stories Ivy wove to protect her heart start to unravel. The very people she once trusted now speak in lies. And all of Ivy’s ambition and determination cannot defend her against the secrets of the Milbourn past…

- Netgalley

I thought this was a wonderfully touching story about family, the pressures we put upon ourselves and self-realization as we grow up.

Ivy has grown up in the shadow of her family legacy. Since her great-grandmother, every Milbourn woman has had an extraordinary talent. One that has made them famous but has also driven them to an early death. Ivy has grown up in the care of her grandfather because her mother couldn’t cope with the pressure of being a Milbourn. Ivy is determined to prove she’s different and make her grandfather proud but first she’s going to enjoy her pre-senior year summer. That is until her mother turns up with two other daughters in tow. As the only unwanted child of a selfish mother, Ivy must find a way to get through this summer without breaking down.

For me, this was perfect. It may have been short but it was packed full of character and the writing style was so beautiful, it made it very hard to put down!

I instantly loved Ivy. I felt I could completely understand her. She was always trying to please everyone and trying to make her grandfather proud, but always felt her efforts weren’t good enough. It was heart breaking to read. I just wanted to reach into the book and hug her and tell her that she’s amazing. I loved that her friends were very supportive and constantly tried to reassure her of her worth even if she didn’t believe them most of the time. Every time her mother said something terrible to her or her sisters I wanted to hit her. I was enraged by how horrible a mother she was. She was totally consumed with her self importance. I can see how she ended up a mother of three by three different dads but strangely I found myself hoping she would change, that she would admit her faults and make amends for everything she’d done and I was disappointed every time she didn’t.

The romance was enchanting. It was cute and sweet and developed realistically and without too much drama. It never felt like the romance was going to overpower the story which was lovely, it just complimented everything. I really think the balance of this book was completely spot on.

I’d recommend this to anyone who loves books like My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I can’t wait to read some of Jessica Spotswood’s other books.

Ps. not entirely sure why its called Wild Swans… could someone explain?

pam id pics ms4tune


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