DNFed at 25% skipped over the rest
This book is one if those that pisses me of. It’s so full of stereotypes and dumb thoughts that I seriously wanted to do bodily harm. At least the book is short if nothing else.
First of all there is absolutely no world building:
Sarah Raughley tries unconvincingly to create an urban fantasy romance novel for young adults. But even though she is one of the first to star bird-shifters the world and plot itself seem to be rather lacking in the originality department.
There are the human swans (squawk, birdchatter) that are being kind of enslaved by society (like Chinese working in clothing or washing) because real humans can steal their feathers? Say what? There is no explanation given what human swans are, how they came to be known to the public, if there are any other supernatural beings in the world or if human swans can actually do something interesting like flying, super singing or have any magical abilities. How can a reader be expected to just accept that squawking shapeshifters have come out of a fairy tale into the modern world without any background information or explanation is beyond me.
Apart from that small negligible fantasy element the world reminded me of bad fan-fiction of the crossfire novels Bared to You: poor little girl (17) who is working her ass of to pay for food and rent because her father is an alcoholic and her older sisters can’t be bothered to contribute meets asshole billionaire (19). Descriptions of wealthy teens, their wealthy parents, their super expensive lifestyle, designer outfits and awesome parties ensues. Of course every other sentence in this book the poor little girl has to remind us of the fact how poor she is and how exorbitantly rich everybody else is. As if the reader could forget for one second that being poor is a shameful thing to be, that others laugh about her because she wears a fake prada bag (a black bag with PRALA gold letters on it) that her clothes come from a second hand shop, that she hasn’t any money for a hair cut.
Of course even her oldest sister who is married to a millionaire can’t spare fucking 100 dollars to buy food for her sister or take her out shopping. Of course her other older sister who works only part time for a call center, spends all her money on expensive clothes instead of helping the family, but manages to eat half of the food alone while watching tv all day. Of course her father is an alcoholic who spends his money on … Alcohol.
If you haven’t noticed until now our poor but special girl is miss fu**ing perfect while everybody else is just well rich, mean, superficial, self centered and so on. She is also quite shy, virginal and has a low self esteem.
Coming to the best part: the romance
Now I had a best friend at the age of 8 just like her. He didn’t die but when my parents moved to another country our friendship ended. I loved him as best friend and all but come on nobody would pine for 9 years after a childhood friend that you knew only for a year or so. Well her childhood best friend who was supposed to be dead (tragic accident in a boat) apparently wasn’t that dead because after nine years he makes an appearance on his adoptive father’s funeral. He wants to take over his corporate business for whatever reasons. In a later date he tells our miss perfect that he lived in France / Paris happily after the faked accident and wants to pick up the friendship where they left of. After some initial struggling which wasn’t convincing because as her sister puts it he now looks handsome AND is also totally rich, she and him start hanging out again. There are all those feelings …. Of course what else?
So no this book didn’t do it for me: no intriguing world-building, a whiney Virgin Mary and a lot of unrealistic, un-likable secondary characters and boring internal monologue on top.