Published by Strange Chemistry on May 6, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.
When Deanna's missing friend Hyde turns up at his father's funeral to claim his corporate empire and inheritance, she is swept into his glittering world of paparazzi and wealth.
But re-kindling her friendship and the dizzying new emotions along for the ride are the least of her concerns. Because Deanna has a secret - and somebody knows. Someone who is out to get Hyde. And if she doesn't play along, and help the enemy destroy him...she will be sold to the highest bidder in the black market for human swans.
Now Deanna is struggling to break free from the gilded cage that would trap her forever...
Feather Bound is a dark debut reminiscent of Gabriel García Márquez's A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings, and the twisted truth behind the fairy tale of Cinderella.
Through out Feather Bound there are mini fairy tales from the world in which the book is staged. It’s a world much like our reality, except for the swans. 3% of the population sometime around puberty and during traumatic or stressful situations will sprout feathers from their backs. These feathers if stolen will grant the thief the loyalty and complete control of the swan. (Pretty ridiculous really, but hey if it makes for a good story…) That’s about all you learn about swans, and their folklore other than how they are abused. This is where the book gets dark… really adult and really dark. But, we’ll get back to that.
Deanna the swan:
Dee for short, has a childhood best friend and crush that she thought had died years ago (Hyde). While attending the funeral of Hyde’s adopted father Dee is shocked to see Hyde, and not just the Hyde she knew but a devilishly cute Hyde. Not only is Hyde handsome, he is also inheriting his adopted father’s company and money. So, what does that make him? That’s right a hot billionaire. But, Dee it turns out, has other problems. While at a party she falls into a glass table and as she is obviously emotionally upset starts to sprout her feathers. She is holed up in a bathroom in immense pain as feathers sprout through her skin and has to manage to sneak out wearing a trench coat, hoping nobody sees her shame, or guesses her secret. Dee’s life is over, she is a swan! It’s described almost like a STD in the book, with her sister bringing her pamphlets titled “So you’re a swan” etc. Hyde is worried about her and calls a million times, sends gifts and is in general a creepy stalker. Dee isn’t really into him (which was the first sound thought she’s had)… until a sinister duo trying to take Hyde’s inherited company finds out that Dee is a swan and threatens her with all sorts of awful if she doesn’t ruin Hyde’s reputation and therefore ruin his business. Dee plans to ruin Hyde, and while getting him to fall in love with her she of course falls in love with him… shocker right?
All sorts of awful:
What’s the worst blackmail for a swan? Stealing her feathers, raping her, selling her into slavery, and forcing her into prostitution. Not your typical YA themes here…View Spoiler » How do you ruin a boy billionaire? Drug him and get him caught in an orgy of course, another fantastically appropriate YA theme. Now for the shocking finale: Hyde is also a swan, and that horrible duo of stepmother and son trying to steal the company, well... the stepmother has stolen Hyde's feathers and is raping him every night. Dee has to rescue his feathers and gets stuck in a closet with her sister while stepmother and son have sex. Yeah, they went there. « Hide Spoiler The book felt VERY young adult up until these darker themes, which felt so out of place. I was seriously reading it going…”There is no way they are going to take the story there… OH SNAP they did!!!” Now, they didn’t get into details and they didn’t openly discuss some of the really adult things, the prostitution was pretty openly discussed but there was never a sex scene in the book or a rape scene. Everything was just kind of second hand. So, maybe that’s why it was thought to be ok to be in a YA book. Or maybe YA has just morphed from what I’ve come to expect. It felt really disjointed like Twilight with scenes from Game of Thrones cut into it, but maybe turned into a cartoon so it wouldn’t be quite so offensive.
The wrap up:
If you want a crazy shocker read, that is if I haven’t spoiled the fun for you… sorry about that. If you want a good YA book, no… try something else. If you want an adult novel, this isn’t it. If you want to read a YA book and go… WTF did I just read?… YOU HAVE FOUND YOUR BOOK!!! I seriously had to put down my phone and refrain from messaging Tabitha as soon as I was done reading at 1am asking WTF was that!? That being said I am so HAPPY I finished this book, it was an experience reading it and thinking “No, surely not… they won’t do that… holy crap did I just read the word twat in a YA book… WOW”.