Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
✯✯✯✯ 1/2 Stars
“And what are we?”
“We are a question that hasn’t been answered yet, a hiding place that hasn’t been found yet, a battle that hasn’t been fought yet.”
The STUNNING cover for The Paper Swan was the lure which initially guided us to this book, the synopsis providing a heart pounding tease that appealed to our inquisitive natures and an overpowering need to devour this story.
Once we ventured into the pages, it was Leylah Attar’s stirring and expressive prose that seduced into her world with the power and beauty of her words eventually holding us captive.
‘…..when we love, we carry it on the inside, and we can turn on its light even in our darkest moments. The deeper we love, the brighter it shines. ‘
The synopsis for The Paper Swan gave nothing away and for that we were grateful as the direction in which the story veered surprised us. What we thought was going to be one thing, became something entirely different and was an aspect we loved. So our advice…go in blind and prepare to be swept along with the characters and their story. It is the shocks, surprises and special moments along the way that are truly best experienced first-hand.
“You lie, that’s not vengeance I taste on your tongue. It’s fear. You’re afraid of me.”
Despite being rich, pampered and having her every whim catered for, Skye was a pragmatic and very likeable character. She maintained a strong composure after being kidnapped by a man whose overwhelming desire for revenge blinds him and drives him. As secrets and truths are revealed, Skye had to face the possibility that her well-constructed life could have been a lie. Skye’s strength, considering her predicament was commendable. This lady had heart and plenty of it!
‘The truth doesn’t always set you free. The truth can kill you, slice open your innards and turn everything inside out.’
Our heroes were multifaceted characters and peeling away the layers intrigued us. How life, choices and circumstances came to play in the roads that were eventually chosen came into play, there were moments that broke our hearts. With vengeance becoming a driving force, the outward strength belied the vulnerability of the person inside. We feared, loved and ached for these characters at once.
“There are no good guys or bad guys. Everyone has a reason.”
The story is told from present and past flashbacks which are seamless in their execution. An at times dark and haunting story providing some intense moments and some unforeseen developments. There were some positively heartbreaking moments mixed with heart pounding romance and sizzling seductive passion.
‘When he hated, he hated with every cell in his body, and when he loved…God, when he loved, he said your name like that…..like a sigh from his soul, wrapped around his tongue.’
We always love the moment when the title becomes relevant to the story and in The Paper Swan we were clutching our hearts at this moment – it was so poignant and so utterly moving.
We will admit that whilst we were intrigued by the story from the outset, we found we didn’t completely connect immediately with the characters however this soon changed once we became lost in this authors storytelling.
‘You can either choose love or you can choose hate, because where one lives, the other will die.’
This is our first taste of Leylah Attar’s work and has made us want to explore her talent further. We were transfixed by the evocative and descriptive way she created her story providing us with an expressive and picturesque view of what was transpiring before our eyes. Her words quite literally leapt off the pages and into our hearts. The paper Swan is a definite standalone recommend from us.
‘….once you’ve been branded and molded in the fires of that possession, you will never be moved by tepid, impostor kisses.’
**Reviewed from an ARC Copy provided by the author, with thanks**
OTHER BOOKS BY LEYLAH
This is not your typical love story.
It’s not so black and white. Lines are crossed.
Walls are smashed. Good becomes bad.
Bad becomes very, very good.
This short story (90 pages) contains spoilers. It is meant to be read after the full length novel, 53 Letters For My Lover. For readers who want more from the hero’s point of view. From His Lips (53 Letters #1.5) expands on some of the crucial scenes, and includes a few new ones.