The Paper Swan, Leylah Attar

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. They lie. 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.

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit.
They lie.
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.

Title : The Paper Swan

Author : Leylah Attar

Genre : Dark Romance / Suspense

Rating : 2 stars

Reading age : 18+ Contains violence, sex, and drugs


“There are no good guys or bad guys. Everyone has a reason.”

Two children stuck in the thrashing world that is the Mexican drug cartel. One privileged and entitled. One abandoned and desperate. One knows nothing, the other knows everything. A plan formed from vengeance. Who will make it out alive?

I went into this books blind, I think I only glimpsed at the blurb even. I got swept up in the popularity and hype this book was producing, and of course the beautiful cover.

Like most suspense books the less you know the better so I am considering that as I write this. It is my best effort to not give away any of the story line.

I did struggle through this book. I found it predictable. I felt like I had read the outline before and this wasn’t up to par compared to other books with the similar story line. The writing itself is lovely and in parts beautifully descriptive; there is no doubt that Leylah Attar is a talented Author. The book is well written and flows without confusion. Her use of language and Imagery is lovely and some parts you just want to breathe in her words.

“Black was One. There were no shades to black. Black was absolute, impenetrable. Black absorbed all the colors. If you fell into black, it swallowed you whole. Yet here was a different kind of black. It was black ice and burning coal. It was well-water and desert night. It was dark tempest and glassy calm. It was Black battling Black, opposite and polar, and yet still . . . all black.” 

Unfortunately there were moments when my brain was screaming, my eyes were rolling and I wanted to put the book down and not pick it back up. Giving up seemed like a good idea, I felt like I knew all I needed to know and the end of the story already written out in my head. But I trudged on, there was something that kept me engaged enough for me to not give up on the book all together. That’s gotta mean something, right?

“Hope is a hollow backbone. It can’t always carry the weight of reality. And I was tired of propping it up. I was tired of mending it each time it snapped. You can only cheat death so many times; you can only fight so long, so hard.”

The heroine was developing well in the beginning, I found myself really into the first chapters. I was questioning the kind of book I had picked up and I was even more intrigued because of it. But then our heroine seemed to switch personalities. I’m not sure if I ever really felt a connection with her through this whole book, to be honest. She became everything I was hoping she wouldn’t. That can be said for our hero too. Coming so far in such an astounding way that I found it hard to believe. We didn’t get to witness his struggle, it just happened. I couldn’t quite get my head around it. I did like his character though, probably most out of all the characters in the whole book, I just wish he could have kept some of his introductory characteristics (to a degree) as well as the inevitable changes he faced.

In saying all this, just know that I don’t like predictable books, not unless I am purposefully reading a predictable book. I call them quick reads. I go in knowing what to expect and I read them deliberately in between emotional reads to give my brain a break. A suspense like this should not be one of those. While I appreciate the plot twists and I can understand how they work for other people, it lacked teeth for me; It wasn’t original, it wasn’t surprising. some parts even cringe worthy.  Again, For me.

“Are we ever able to truly understand the ‘why’ or do we simply yearn for labels and boxes to organize the chaos we can’t control?”

This book was the *it book* to read this week. I have seen many, many great reviews on it. So I’m in the minority. It had enough guts to stop me from putting it down so if you’re not familiar with dark romance or suspense than definitely give this a go. As I said earlier my opinion in no way discredits the Authors ability, the writing itself was in parts stunning. It’s the story line that lost me.

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