Thursday, September 5, 2013

BLOG TOUR - REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Silent Swan by Lex Keating

The Silent Swan
By: Lex Keating
AltWit Press
Released Aug 26th, 2013

Inspired by Grimm’s fairy tales, Lex Keating takes a contemporary, quirky twist on the old legend of The Seven Swans, removing the magic, and adding memorable characters.

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?

My Thoughts:

She made his life better -- not simpler, but more full -- and she challenged his character. It was getting to where all roads led to Tam.

The Silent Swan was one of those books that slowly but surely snuck its way up on me. I admit that through the first section of the book, I wasn't completely taken in. There are a lot of people to meet and get your head around and I found the going a bit slow, but then just completely out of the blue I found myself getting drawn into this story and completely and utterly taken in by these characters. 

Gabriel Pritz has a nice, neatly packaged life. He gets good grades at school, has a love of baseball, is incredibly popular, and the girl he likes has agreed to go to prom with him. But then his parents put in place the new rule that Gabe and his brothers will each have a night where they must cook dinner. Gabe has no idea how to cook and after a few near disasters Gabe enlists the help of Tamryn Swann. To say Tam is distant, stubborn and hard to get a handle on would be an understatement. But boy if she doesn't have her reasons.

The silent Swan was a longer read than a lot of Young Adult books, and while it is slowly paced, that allowed for time to really get to know the characters. Told from Gabe's point of view, him and Tam were where the story was mainly centred around, but Lex Keating has an amazing ability to write a story where at the end of reading it I felt like I knew each and every one of them and all of them played a special part in the story. 

A familiar caged beast snarled whenever Tamryn's name was mentioned. Time alone with her was a supremely bad idea, regardless of whether she welcomed the attention. She might 'know' testosterone, but Gabe lived with it. Ate it, slept it, wanted very badly to corner her and exercise it.

This book would have to be one of the best that I have read that was so deep rooted in the love of family. I'm a sucker for a book that tugs at the heart strings and this tugged so hard that I was a complete goner!! Gabe and Tam both grew so much throughout the book. I was so smitten with Gabe by the end of it but I was also completely in love with Tam. She just had that effect on everyone. 

All of the cooking throughout the book had me constantly drooling. Tam was a whizz in the kitchen and I loved the bonding that was done over food.

Baseball played a pretty big part in the story and it really appealed to my love of sport. Never having had much to do with baseball in my part of the world, I loved getting glimpses into the game and a better understanding.  But it was always discussed in a way that a novice like me could understand. Towards the end of the book there was a pre-game speech that was just so perfectly done. I actually went back and read it a few times.

The Silent Swan is an emotional, touch your heart, but uplifting story of love, friendships and family. For me, it was also a story of the impact that one girl can have on so many lives, and a boy who is willing to do whatever it takes for his girl.

Toast. Lightly burned, heavily buttered, drizzled with honey. The girl was owned.

4.5/5 Stars.

Author Bio:
Lex Keating has been engaged in a passionate affair with books ever since the Velveteen Rabbit wanted to be Real. She graduated from a liberal arts college with a BA in literature, and currently resides near Charleston, South Carolina, in a swamp full of barbarians and all their cats. She has been a teacher, a paralegal, a computer programmer, and a hospice caregiver. She currently divides her time between studying old fairy tales and making up new ones.

Author Links: Blog / Facebook / Goodreads

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  1. Just curious what Lex's favorite fairy tale is and if she has remade it yet. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. Nice question, Sandy. :) The Six Swans was my first favorite as a child, but as a grown-up I have others. The Orchard, sometimes called Silver Hands or The Armless Maiden, is probably my adult favorite. Some of the childhood ones I'm still mad about are The White Snake and The Devil's Three Golden Hairs. Some of my other grown-up favs are Hans, My Hedgehog, Babiole, and The Tongue-Cut Sparrow. All but that last one are slated as sequels to The Silent Swan, from various brothers' perspectives.


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