About the book:
They say it takes 21 days to form a habit.
For 21 days she held on.
But on Day 22, she would have given anything for the sweet slumber of death.
Because on Day 22, she realizes that her only way out means certain death for one of the two men she loves.
A haunting tale of passion, loss, and redemption, The Paper Swan is a darkly intense yet heartwarming love story, textured with grit, intrigue, and suspense. Please note: This is NOT a love triangle.
A full-length, standalone novel, intended for mature audiences due to violence, sex and language. Subject matter may be disturbing for some readers.
Release date: 4th August, 2015
What I think?
God where do I even start with this book. This is my first Leylah Attar book, and I am completely hooked. There is no going back. This is the kind of book, the genre I absolutely adore. Darkness melded with romance and you’ve got one drunk reader in your hands.
I have to admit that I started this book because the cover was too damn appealing for me to not to read it. I mean just look at the cover! It’s got such an haunting melody to it I literally had the chills running down, and I have to say that the writing did not disappoint. There was a point in the story when I had goosebumps from the language. Miss Attar, you have woven a story worthy of the highest accolades.
When I started the book, my heart was racing so fast! I knew right then that I was going to have a love hate relationship with this book. Either I was going to love this book so much that I would be mooning over it for the rest of my mortal time on earth, or I would hate it so much that I would delete it from my computer in frustration. I was also afraid of the impending love triangle, because come on, isn’t that what most books today have?
But no. No. Not Paper Swan.
And with that declaration, let me get to the actual review about the book.
A tortured beginning..
As I said, the start will have your heart beating so fast that the entire building can hear it. Skye, our spoiled heiress, is kidnapped. She has no idea though, why she has been kidnapped. She chalks it up to either a fucked up psychopath, or a ransom threat. But man oh man, she is in for a treat isn’t she?
“Who are the last people you think of before you die?..Those are the ones you loved the most.”
Skye is so sure that the her kidnapper is going to kill her, and she says a prayer and prepares herself to die just as he is about to, but then when all go black, she does not wake up to the light. Instead she wakes up to a dark trunk and in pain.
She is alive.
But sometimes life could be worse than death. Her kidnapper Damian Caballero, is not a man to be messed with. He makes no concessions, and treats her just as bad as you would expect a kidnapper to treat his victim.
I hated him.
The only redeeming quality? He did not rape her. And it would have been rape, because Skye was not willing. She was determined not to become one of those girl who fell in love with her assaulter. But he was very unpredictable. Skye realizes it, and is wary of it. The girl is smart enough I think.
And just when she thinks he is going to soften on her, he chops off the tip of her pinky. It was at that moment that I knew I was reading a real dark story and my interest just skyrocketed.
What a cruel, despicable man you say?
You’d be loving him in a matter of few chapters. Just like I did.
Love don’t die..
An incomplete past..
In the midst of her kidnapping, Skye keeps thinking of her childhood friend Esteban, and keeps hoping that he would come save her from her kidnapper. He was her hero, the boy who protected her from bullies. He was also the son of her nanny MaMaLu, so there was a significant difference in their social status and from an early age Skye noticed them but regardless of that, she loved her nanny like her own mother and Esteban like her best friend. Then with the twist of fate she gets separated from them, but MaMaLu and her words always stay in her mind.
“And when God made you, he left that space so your true love could slip his heart through it when he finds you.”
I loved MaMaLu. She was a very beautiful woman, both inside and out and despite all differences, she loved Skye as her own daughter, and was a very good mother to Esteban. Her character was complete for me. She was one of those people who are so good that you know that life is going to fuck them up.
Lets just say, when they were separated, it started a domino effect that would have an explosive reaction.
A tempestuous future..
Identities are revealed and emotions swirl up and when everything Skye knew was balanced on a very slim edge of sanity.
Damian’s past and life is entirely challenged by half truths, and those in turn affect Skye because she was a part of him. I am really not going to say much in case I spoil the thrills of this book for someone. But Damian had one fucked up past. Something that is not easy to let go of.
“I wanted to stay with him for me, because he had always, always been a part of me. I wanted to stay with him so I could put together all the dented, shattered parts of him, because I could never be whole where he was broken.”
Skye got him. She understood how bad it was for him, because let me say it was bad. Really really bad. And she falls in love with the man, a man who did fucked up things to her, and hurt her, yet she falls for him because there were layers to him, and those violent acts were because of those half truths. The man within is a spectacular person.
“I felt like Damian was starting to thread his way through all the broken, battered, beautiful pieces of himself, back to me, back to us, and I held him tighter”
But what were they? There was too much between them, too many lives and too many years of revenge and planning. It was not easy to let go of them, and in the end, will that tear them apart?
“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.”
Real life is not a fairy tale, when you do something, you pay for it.
Damian paid for his actions with Jail time. But those make him reflect on everything he did. Did he change? Are we going to deal with a charming prince now?
He does not change in a matter of speaking. But he realizes his actions, and reflects on them. He studies himself and his emotions.
Love don’t die..
When you love like they did, you don’t forget, and you don’t move on. Something that strong can never be forgotten, and it was a pleasure to see them come together. The way the story wrapped itself was a beautiful spectacle to behold.
I find myself compelled again to commend on the author’s writing. Her language was so beautiful, it was downright haunting. I cannot find a fault in anything in the book.
Ethereal cover: Check.
Chilling blurb: Check.
Haunting story: Check.
In my book that accounts for a five star (at least until I can award more, then it will double unquestionably.)
Skye and Damian are characters that have been engraved into my heart, and this book now holds a very special place..
“We are sand and rock and water and sky, anchors on ships and sails in the wind. We are a journey to a destination that shifts every time we dream or fall or leap or weep. We are stars with flaws that still sparkle and shine. We will always strive, always want, always have more questions than answers, but there are moments like these, full of magic and contentment, when souls get a glimpse of the divine and quite simply, lose their breath.”
—Get this book—
About The Author:
Leylah Attar writes stories about love – shaken, stirred and served with a twist. When she’s not writing, she can be found pursuing her other passions: photography, food, family and travel. Sometimes she disappears into the black hole of the internet, but can usually be enticed out with chocolate.