Book Review

THE SWALLOWS by Lisa Lutz

Rating: 3.5 / 5

THE SWALLOWS by Lisa Lutz was the second January book pick for the buddy read I help host over on bookstagram. This was a book I didn’t know anything about going into it, but I was eager to give it a read. This one did spark a lot of interesting conversations.

THE SWALLOWS focuses on Stonebridge Academy, a private boarding school. Alex Witt is a new member of the faculty with a rocky past. Coerced into teaching creative writing, she begins her class asking a series of questions that students are told to answer anonymously. She picks up a pattern in the responses that has her asking questions about what is going on behind the scenes at this school, something known as The Darkroom.

Gemma is a senior, determined to take down the hierarchy of students at the school, frustrated by the school’s lack of response. She works to form an army to turn things against those in power and things quickly begin to grow out of control.

So as I mentioned, I went into this one very blind and on the one hand I think that isn’t a bad thing, not knowing what the characters do and don’t know. The book is told with multiple POVs which I felt worked well in this case as the voices are very different (both teachers and students) and what one narrator can’t tell you is explained well by another. The story and the writing did keep me hooked, wanting to know how things would turn out.

**Just getting into a bit of spoiler territory here (maybe?) so stop reading if you want at this point. Not giving away the ending, but just a bit of a content warning that I think was lacking in the synospis.

I didn’t go into this expecting it to be so heavily focused on sex. Had I known I think I may have been less enthusiastic to pick this one up (personal tastes only). Trigger warnings for inappropriate relationships and situations.

That aside, I did find the book very engaging and sadly not that unrealistic given the subject matter and it was a good discussion book so I am glad that I gave it a chance. This is definitely an author I will be eager to read more from.

Reading challenges:

#CRChallenge2020 – Shock Your Mom Friends (saucy or irreverent or spicy)

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