Book Review: Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood

27015393Title: Wild Swans

Author: Jessica Spotswood

Publication Date: May 3rd 2016

Format: ARC 

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….


2 stars and a half

**I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions, as always, are my own.**

The Plot: Summarized

Ivy’s perfect summer-before-senior-year is ruined when her estranged mother comes back to town with two children that Ivy didn’t know existed in tow. Suddenly, Ivy has a mother who obviously has a drinking problem as well as two sisters who think Ivy’s their aunt (!!!), living with her and her very-high-expectations grandfather.


I’m hesitant when it comes to contemporary books. I never really liked them and I’ll admit it, even going as far as looking down on those who picked only them because why would you only want to read something set in the real world?

Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab.

George R.R. Martin

But after reading some Miranda Kenneally, Sarah Strohmeyer, and Liz Czukas books that I really enjoyed, I get it now. Or at least I get the people who read OTHER genres in addition to contemporary. I get that it’s relaxing and calm and that sometimes you need to chill for a bit.


Okay anyway so this is a contemporary book but that’s not why I didn’t really like it.

The beginning was solid. It was attention grabbing while calm and relaxed at the same time. I was 45% in when I caught a terrible flu and had to put down all my reading. Once I started to get better, I picked it up again. I read and I read but that spark was gone. The writing felt weird and there was something else niggling at the back of my mind. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I turned it over and over in my head and then it hit me and I couldn’t believe I had missed it. “Where is the plot? Where are the events moving towards?”, I thought to myself. There is no plot to this book. The mother comes in the picture really early on so I wasn’t holding my breath over any promised climax. It was…just moving forward. Ivy wakes up everyday, goes for a swim, fights with her mother, starts questioning her life and whining and complaining over everything, swoons over Connor’s tats, kisses Connor, fights with Alex, hangs out with her friends, goes to sleep, wakes up, goes swimming,….. and it went on and on. I was bored out of my mind.

The writing wasn’t my favorite thing in the world. It wasn’t bad but it was nothing special and with that no plot thing and the cardboard characters, it made the whole book a bland experience that while I was glad I took, not very excited to try again.

Character Analysis


Ivy was okay. I wasn’t really invested in her from the beginning and I thought that I’ll get to like her more as the story goes along but I didn’t. I didn’t hate her but I didn’t like her either. She spent most of her time whining instead of doing and that got on my nerves A LOT. You don’t like how things in your life are? Work to change them instead of complaining about them.


I started out liking Alex but he sorta went downhill for me. Around halfway through the book, he started acting like a complete bastard to Ivy and the book ended with no resolve about how his relationship with her is going to be from now on. That was really disappointing.


Another character I didn’t like. I didn’t see what Ivy saw in him and every time she was with him it left a bad taste in my mouth. I kept on waiting for him to turn out to be an asshole as well but he didn’t. I usually have a good intuition about characters and if they’re ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but I don’t know why I didn’t feel comfortable around Connor.

Bottom Line

Overall this book really disappointed me. I had high hopes for it and it didn’t live up to them at all. The writing was okay, but I hated the characters and I thought that the book had no plot whatsoever.

Recommended to: I can’t with a good conscience recommend this book to anyone. Sorry. Maybe for someone who wants a super fast read?


4 thoughts on “Book Review: Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood

  1. MsArdychan April 4, 2016 / 9:27 pm

    Wow, what do you really think of this book? Ha, joking! Thank you for writing this review. I know, for me, it is actually hard to write negative things about books. But we readers DO want honesty, so I’m glad you gave your unfiltered opinion.

    • Jinan April 10, 2016 / 11:11 am

      Sorry for the late reply!
      It’s hard for me to write negative reviews too, but it’s our job as reviewers to write them, right?

  2. Briana April 4, 2016 / 9:56 pm

    I’ve been eyeing this hesitantly. I loved Jessica Spotswood’s Cahill Witch Chronicles, but I don’t read much contemporary, and I wasn’t sure if Spotswood would be as good with it as she was with fantasy. Add to that the fact that the plot summary doesn’t appeal to me and…I’m thinking of passing on this one.

    • Jinan April 10, 2016 / 11:13 am

      Sorry for the late reply!

      The Cahill Witch Chronicles is on my TBR! I think I’m still going to give them a try since fantasy is my preferred genre as well.

Join the Discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s