Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Silent Swan by Lex Keating

The Silent Swan by Lex Keating
Release Date: August 26, 2013
Publisher: AltWit Press

Once upon a time – better known as “now” - Gabriel Pritz reigns as king of his high school. Easy grades, perfect baseball season, a pretty date for prom—he's coasting into a golden future. Until his parents demand he cook dinner once a week. Caught between kitchen fires and ballpark withdrawal, Gabe is thrown into Tam Swann's orbit. Hostile, friendless, and stubborn, she's exactly the sort of person he'd prefer to avoid.  Tam's sphere of influence expands beyond Gabe's sad domestic skills, rapidly invading everything from his favorite game to parts of his soul he didn't know existed. It's uncomfortable, it's hard work, it's...making him a better man. And that's just what she does to people she doesn't like. The better he gets to know her, the more he has to face the truth: this sharp, heart-breaking outcast is worth fighting for. How many families, fairy tales, and felons will he go through to ride to the rescue of the bravest person he's ever met?  -

This book so wasn't what I was expecting.  But that's not a bad thing.  This story isn't simply another high school romance and cute little story.  There are serious issues, serious relationships, and depth to the story that really invested me from page one.

Yes, there's romance, but it's really not the central element of the story.  It has a very slow and steady build up that, once reached, was gratifying.  In fact, at first, Gabe doesn't really think twice about Tam.  It takes quite a bit of time as he gets to know her for him to begin to see her in a different light.  And being inside Gabe's head for the book was great because you got to see the progression of his feelings.  I loved Gabe because he was what they meant when they coined the phrase All American guy.  He was sweet, gentle, popular, athletic, but down to earth all at one time, as were his brothers.

This book's true strength though comes from the family dynamics in the book.  I loved it.  The relationship between Gabe and his brothers was so amazing.  Gabe's family, in general, was just amazing and endearing.  The book theme just seems to be centered around family love, and it was so entertaining and enriching to read.

I also loved Tam's relationship with her brothers who are in foster care. I just loved her in general.  She was an adult in a teen's body.  Watching the lengths she goes to in order to maintain contact with her brothers was so sweet.  She is willing to do anything.  She's mature, and is basically ready to raise them by herself.  

I might have liked some more up front romance, but it didn't really detract from the story that it wasn't front and center, because the rest of the book was so great.  The true focus of the book is definitely the relationships with family.  That alone made the book a worthwhile read.  Great story.


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