**Thank you Rock the Boat for sending me this ARC in exchange of an honest review. This does not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way.**
This book gave me all the Billy Elliot feelings. And I mean that in a good way!
Swan Boy by Nikki Sheehan tells the story of Johnny, a 13 year old boy who had to recently move houses and start a new school after his father’s death.
At this new school, Johnny is being badly bullied by mostly one boy in particular. He doesn’t tell his mum or teachers and help ends up coming from a surprising source (from a swan – yes you guessed it!).
Johnny and the boy who has been bullying him end up as main leads in the school play where they are performing Swan Lake. This is the part that gave me the Billy Elliot feelings. We get to see Johnny fall in love with dance and I’m not sure why but that’s always something I love seeing in films/books.
As I said, Johnny is 13. He already has a lot of stuff going on in his life but he is also becoming a teenager so he has to deal with that part of life too.
I don’t have a lot of experience reading Magical Realism but I’m pretty sure that’s what this book is. And it was such a whimsical and wonderful experience! In my opinion, the way we get to explore Johnny’s life and his growth throughout the book really reflected well what it is to become a teenager.
Find the courage to fly.
We also have a very important family aspect in the book and I loved the family dynamic. Especially Johnny’s relationship with his little brother’s Mojo, who was a different animal every week on account of being five years old and you don’t really know who you are when you’re five.
This book was very relatable without trying to hard. I genuinely think that each person reading this book will find a different way to relate to it.
My rating – 8/10
Swan Boy is being released on the 5th of May in the UK and you can pre-order it here.