Fans of Sarah Dessen, Morgan Matson, and Huntley Fitzpatrick will enjoy Wild Swans. It has that blend of contemporary realism, romance amid crisis, and believable characters that those authors do so well. Wild Swans publishes on Tuesday, May 3, 2016.
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….
This is a contemporary YA that deals with the summer Ivy is forced to address all the big issues in her life – love, being abandoned by her mom, and the intense pressure she feels to live up to her family’s legacy. If you are a fan of Sarah Dessen’s books, I think Wild Swans will hold a lot of appeal for you. Ivy is easy to connect with, and while the exact turmoil she faces may not match yours, the underlying emotions are universal. The plot is engaging, and the drama is intense, but Ivy doesn’t spin out of control and that makes her a character worth admiring. I loved the fact that I felt empathy for her situation but I never felt like she was wallowing or begging for my pity as a reader. The honest realism of the story and it’s resolution will please readers who want a satisfying ending without feeling like it is engineered. The romance, too, was enjoyable because didn’t force the characters to move past a reasonable level of devotion, but it still held the intensity of first love. I think this will be a big hit with my high school readers, but adult readers of YA will enjoy it as well. I’m definitely adding it to my classroom library wish list. There is some language and sensuality, but nothing that would keep me from handing this to a high school reader.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.