Book Reviews

Book Review: The Swap by Robyn Harding

“No list of thrillers is complete without Robyn Harding,” proclaims Real Simple. Now the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Party delivers a riveting tale about the toxic relationship between two couples after a night of sexual shenanigans, and the manipulative teenager with an explosive secret at the center of it all.
Low Morrison is not your average teen. You could blame her hippie parents or her looming height or her dreary, isolated hometown on an island in the Pacific Northwest. But whatever the reason, Low just doesn’t fit in—and neither does Freya, an ethereal beauty and once-famous social media influencer who now owns the local pottery studio.
After signing up for a class, Low quickly falls under Freya’s spell. And Freya, buoyed by Low’s adoration, is compelled to share her darkest secrets and deepest desires. Finally, both feel a sense of belonging…that is, until Jamie walks through the studio door. Desperate for a baby, she and her husband have moved to the island hoping that the healthy environment will result in a pregnancy. Freya and Jamie become fast friends, as do their husbands, leaving Low alone once again.
Then one night, after a boozy dinner party, Freya suggests swapping partners. It should have been a harmless fling between consenting adults, one night of debauchery that they would put behind them, but instead, it upends their lives. And provides Low the perfect opportunity to unleash her growing resentment.
Robyn Harding brings her acclaimed storytelling, lauded as “fast-paced, thrilling, gut-wrenching” by Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six, to this dark and suspenseful thriller for fans of Megan Miranda and Lisa Jewell.

Title: The Swap
Author: Robyn Harding
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Format: Digital ARC
Publication Date: June 23rd 2020
Rating:  4//5

This book was odd because there is not one single likable character. If I had to pick one, I would say Jamie is my favorite, but she’s still pretty much trash.

That being said, I absolutely adored this story. Its interesting, well paced, and kept me intrigued until the very end.

The story centers around Freya, a beautiful social media celebrity who is currently taking a break from the public eye due to her husbands role in the death of a fellow hockey player.

Then we have Low and Jamie, who both meet Freya and become a little bit obsessed with her in their own ways. Along with Freya’s husband Max and Jamie’s husband Brian, the four of them unknowingly center their lives around Freya.

I honestly did not understand the obsession with Freya; she was beautiful yes, but all of her interactions with Jamie and Low you could tell she was being condescending, manipulative, and just plain awful. Her entire personality is basically the equivalent of the phrase “bless your heart”.

This entire story is a bit of a mess, but its an intentional mess on the authors part. Between Low’s obsession with Freya, her hippie family, her entire personality, its all a mess. And then Jamie’s desperation for a baby, her desire to have a real friend, her relationship with Brian, all just a mess. Don’t even get me started on the worlds biggest pushover Max – I hated Max about 95% of the time because he is a DOORMAT. Literally anything Freya says is cool – “hey hunny can I shove you down the stairs?” Sure thats fine!
He is an absolute wreck of a person and I feel like this entire story would’ve been different if Max just showed the tiniest bit of a backbone.

There’s honestly not too much else I can say about this story without giving away too much. It’s an absolute disaster, its full of unlikeable characters, but its the type of disaster you just can’t look away from. You’ll cringe whenever Low does something super creepy, or when Jamie gives Freya the benefit of the doubt for the umpteenth time, or basically anytime the husbands do something stupid. You’ll want to throw the book, curse out the characters, tell them to just get some common sense, but you won’t be able to stop.

I really enjoyed this book, and there were moments that I never would have guessed were coming. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new thriller, or anyone who just wants a fast-paced read.

The Swap is on sale now so grab it today!

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