Swollen

This may not be a very coherent post but I have decided I have to write to get this book out of my psyche, although I read it several days ago.  I am a little scared to write about this because in trying to process this book I’ve discovered Melissa Lion reads blogs and comments on them, which I’ll have more to say about in a moment.  Oh hell – I’ll say it now.  The guy who thinks this is like a Harlequin romance has his head completely up his a**.  Harlequin romances have happy endings, the good girl gets the bad guy who turns out to have a heart of gold.  Total Gone With the Wind stuff.  Although Rhett finally got his head on straight.  There really isn’t a happy ending in Swollen.  Not even close to Harlequin.

To be upfront this book touched some deep. long buried chords in me.  In fact it completely depressed me.  When I finished I had to go curl up next to my husband and just cry.  And not Lurlene McDaniel, everybody dies cry.  Just tears.  Why?  I don’t know, or more honestly have no plans of announcing why on a public forum.  Sam is the invisible girl, who falls in love (with what turns out to be a mostly inappropriate boy, but really aren’t the ones who scar us mostly inappropriate?) It goes as first loves do, and while she has experience in physical relationships, this is a first love.  Really what makes this book as good as I think it is is what is not said, what is in between the spaces.  I think one review mentioned that Sam cannot be honest with herself much less the reader, and it is her blindness that allows the reader to really enter in the story.  It isn’t easy, and I think the experience of the book is directly related to what the reader brings which I think is true of all books BTW (and which might explain why a middle aged man DID NOT get this).  I haven’t said much about what this is about because I don’t think it matters all that much.  The voice, the empty spaces, the tone, the mood all make this book one of the most affecting I read this summer.

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