Thursday, October 3, 2019

The Swallows by Lisa Lutz

4.5 Stars

“Non ducor, duco. I am not led. I lead.”
In what has become a season of mediocre reactions and wrongreading, allow me to take a moment for a book that made me say . . . . .

Lisa Lutz is an author who has been on my radar basically since I became active on Goodreads, but one I avoided in fear of disappointing my Goodreads friends (but I did finally buy The Spellman Files a couple of weeks ago when I found it at HPB clearance event for two bucks so I’m getting closer). When I saw this non-Spellman selection over on NetGalley I figured what the hell. And then I didn’t read it until the dang thing was already published. But whatever. E for effort, right?

Anyway, the only thing I knew about this before going in was the familiarity of the author’s name and . . . .

Stonebridge may look like Green Gables, but it’s like the Bada Bing for the preppy set.

The plot is pretty simple . . .

“What’s the plan?”

“Build an army, take down the Darkroom, and end Dulcinea.”

After an eternity of dealing with a “boys will be boys” approach to discipline at Stonebridge Academy, the girls have decided it’s time to take matters into their own hands. What follows is a wickedly delightful tale of revenge. Told from various perspectives including a female teacher, a male teacher, a female student, a male student and the “Announcements,” my first experience with Lisa Lutz was a real pageturner. I loved how even though it was technically a boys vs. girls story and 100% a guide to owning your own sexuality as a female and empowerment and yada yada - it was presented without any male bashing. The boys who deserved to be punished got what was coming to them. The boys who did not were a vital part of the story and allies with the girls. My only complaint? It dragged on just a teensie bit too long (others will complain that the ending was totally over-the-top, but it was so awesomely extra it just made me giddy). I also think this should have been marketed as a Young Adult (my definition of YA is generally mid to late teens) book. Even old grannies like me have moved on past instalove. We want edgy, envelope pushing stories when it comes to the young adult genre . . . . .

4.5 Stars, but rounding up because my first reaction to the explanation behind the title was . . . .

And that’s always a good thing.

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you, NetGalley!

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