Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Blog tour: Swell by Julie Rieman Duck

Hello everyone, today I'm taking part in the Swell blog tour hosted by Candace's Book Blog. Today I will be sharing my review with you, but first here's a bit about the book. 

Swell by Julie Rieman Duck
Publisher: Createspace
Publication date: 1st September 2012
My rating: 3.5 stars

When Christian Rusch plucks Beck Ionesco from the freshman ranks for himself, she’s tempted with parties, popularity, and love. But as the free-flowing booze that soaks his world seeps into her own, Beck begins using liquid courage as a way to ignore Christian’s dark moods… and cover her anxiety about his flirtatious friend Hillman.

However, when Christian breaks up with Beck, and Hillman makes a dangerous move, no amount of alcohol can stop the pain or keep her out of trouble. And just when it seems like she’s lost everything, Beck is partnered with Jesse Leary for an art project. After spending time with him, Beck realizes it’s more than a study date… and Christian’s not happy about it. Then again, Beck’s not sure she’s happy with him, either.

But only after plowing through a bottle of wine, a wild fight, and one guardrail that becomes Christian’s last call, does Beck admit to her problem and ask for help from the one whose life secretly parallels her own.

Swell turned out to a much darker gritty contemporary than I expected. Just looking at the gorgeous cover, the use of bright colours, gorgeous title and of course Jake Gyllenhaal lookalike model. I would immediately be lured in picking a copy if I saw this in a bookstore.

I think what it was the blurb gives you a small snippet about what this book is really about. The first time I read it over I think I focused in on the romance aspect immediately and overlooked the other prominent aspect. Rebecca isn’t part of the popular crowd at school, but that all changes at the school dance when school hotshot Christian spends most of the night dancing with her. Rebecca’s done everything in the past to get his attention, so it’s a little surprising when he decides to spend time with her, a relative nobody. Christian is slightly wasted during the whole dance, so Rebecca’s unsure whether it was the drink making the decisions for him or Christian really wanted to spend time with her. Rebecca decides the next day she’s going to make the first move, she doesn’t want to be fobbed off any longer. What results is a lovely relationship, Rebecca’s never felt this loved in her life, she’s got a guy who truly cares about her and he’s one of the most popular guys in school bringing her social status up in the process. Despite getting a few warnings earlier on from Christian’s friends and her best friend Jemma to take a step back from their relationship, they seem to have progressed to where they are really quickly Rebecca decides to ignore them and the ringing alarm bells going off in her head. Before she knows it, her relationship which started off as her being treated like a queen starts quickly spiralling totally out of control. 

Like I mentioned earlier I didn’t realise that drinking would feature as a prominent part of Swell. Rebecca started off a lot more concerned with her relationship with Christian, but soon drinking over took everything. I naturally assumed that Rebecca was an older school student as she was hanging out with Christian a senior, so I was completely shocked when I realised she was only 15 years old. She eventually started letting the drink take over her life; she didn’t realise that all the drinking she did with Christian was making her relationship and life more toxic rather than as a means of being able to escape her problems. Also the extent she went to get her hands on little dribs and drabs was horrifying. But I highly praise Duck as she was not afraid to show the realistic consequences that many teens have to face when they become addicted to drinking.

Swell was a real eye opener of a read, it ventures down a dark path and really emphasises the issues of drinking today. I definitely recommend picking Swell up if you’re in the mood for a dark gritty read.

Thank you to Candace for letting me be a part of this blog tour. There are still some great stops part of this tour that you can still check out here.


  1. Oh I was so unprepared for the last part of the review. It was all shiny and lovely and suddenly..uh! I haven't read a lot of books that spin off around drinking but yeah it's a big part of modern society so it's more realistic. Wonderful review Jaspit :)

    1. I forgot r in process so - Wonderful review Jasprit :D

  2. My kind of book to read. An alcoholic 15 year old? I'm very curious to read Swell. Thanks for the charming review.


  3. This would be a really hard book for me to read I think, but I also think that's kind of the point. It's meant to be an eye-opener, but I definitely have to be in the right mood for those types of books. I always end up loving them, though they often leave me feeling heavy afterward. Gorgeous review Jasprit!

  4. A lot of people have said they weren't prepared for how heavy this read was. It was a very heavy read, but very realistic. I know SO many people that were just like Beck. I'm glad you enjoyed the book!
    Thanks so much for hosting a tour stop!

  5. This surely sounds heavy - and only 15? Oh my, totally wasn't expecting that at all! I'm not in the mood for a dark gritty read at the moment but I'm definitely intrigued by what you're sharing. Thanks, Jas!

  6. I don't know if I'm fit to read this book right now. I've heard that it's very heavy on the alcoholism so I wasn't sure if I wanted to read it or not. I'm glad that the book was an eye-opener for you even though it wasn't what you expected it to be.
    Lovely review, Jasprit!

  7. Oh I agree this was definitely a dark gritty eye opening read and the lengths to which Becca went to get alcohol were horrifying. I am glad I read this better to be informed for the time when my kids will be teens.

  8. I hurts when I read books in which teenager drinks or do drugs. I can see why it was an eye-opener, but I think this is too dark of a read for me right know. Great review!

  9. Great review, Jasprit. I don't think my heart can take this book, though. :(

  10. Oh, this sounds really dark and gritty :/ Like Joyous Reads above, I don't know if my heart can take this book either :S Awesome review Jasprit<3

  11. Heavy?? Count me in! I love heavy "issues" books. I really wish I had known about the tour. Swell sounds like a story I would love to read. I'll be checking it out.
    Thanks for the informative review, Jasprit!

  12. Jasprit, the male model on the cover DOES look like Jake Gyllenhaal! That's exactly who I was thinking of before you mentioned it, haha. :) Anyhow, brilliant review hon! I like gritty, dark YA contemporary a lot so I'll certainly keep an eye out for this one. :)

  13. Wow. This does sound pretty dark...

    And I have to agree, he looks like Jake Gyllenhaal, but maybe not quite as sexy. haha.

    Drinking is a very current topic, but I don't think it's really been broached on (or I haven't seen it that much) in YA literature at the moment, so that's interesting.

    Great review!


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