Hot Best Seller

Swallow

Availability: Ready to download

Revenge is a dish best served cold. The students at Roanoke High School have created a soundtrack that runs constantly in Mildred Waco’s mind . . . Change your hair, Mildred. Change your face, Mildred. Change your body, Mildred. Everyone hates you, Mildred. Are you really going to wear that, Mildred? The stares, the snickers, the constant teasing—combined with Mildred’s own self- Revenge is a dish best served cold. The students at Roanoke High School have created a soundtrack that runs constantly in Mildred Waco’s mind . . . Change your hair, Mildred. Change your face, Mildred. Change your body, Mildred. Everyone hates you, Mildred. Are you really going to wear that, Mildred? The stares, the snickers, the constant teasing—combined with Mildred’s own self-doubt and absentee parents—takes its toll. Stumbling upon the Crossroads Magicks shop, Mildred decides she will no longer simply endure the bullying and skeptically buys a revenge curse. But when she begins to lose her memory and Roanoke students are found brutally murdered, Mildred realizes that she may have bought more than she bargained for. With time running out, Mildred will have to stop the terrible forces she’s unleashed or lose her soul forever.


Compare

Revenge is a dish best served cold. The students at Roanoke High School have created a soundtrack that runs constantly in Mildred Waco’s mind . . . Change your hair, Mildred. Change your face, Mildred. Change your body, Mildred. Everyone hates you, Mildred. Are you really going to wear that, Mildred? The stares, the snickers, the constant teasing—combined with Mildred’s own self- Revenge is a dish best served cold. The students at Roanoke High School have created a soundtrack that runs constantly in Mildred Waco’s mind . . . Change your hair, Mildred. Change your face, Mildred. Change your body, Mildred. Everyone hates you, Mildred. Are you really going to wear that, Mildred? The stares, the snickers, the constant teasing—combined with Mildred’s own self-doubt and absentee parents—takes its toll. Stumbling upon the Crossroads Magicks shop, Mildred decides she will no longer simply endure the bullying and skeptically buys a revenge curse. But when she begins to lose her memory and Roanoke students are found brutally murdered, Mildred realizes that she may have bought more than she bargained for. With time running out, Mildred will have to stop the terrible forces she’s unleashed or lose her soul forever.

30 review for Swallow

  1. 5 out of 5

    Graciella Delgado

    3.5 ⭐️ The appreciation for 90s horror is clear. With a character like Mildred- who is introduced as the most hated and pitiful character I've been introduced to- we can't help but want her to stand up for herself. Her bullies are cartoonishly evil and cruel, so we begin rooting for her after her first kill. Her descent into a murder spree and supernatural, cannibalistic chaos is something I couldn't look away from. It was wild and primal. At one point, the story felt muddied with constant charac 3.5 ⭐️ The appreciation for 90s horror is clear. With a character like Mildred- who is introduced as the most hated and pitiful character I've been introduced to- we can't help but want her to stand up for herself. Her bullies are cartoonishly evil and cruel, so we begin rooting for her after her first kill. Her descent into a murder spree and supernatural, cannibalistic chaos is something I couldn't look away from. It was wild and primal. At one point, the story felt muddied with constant character introductions and subplots that were difficult to keep track of. The story also felt a bit too fast-paced, never giving the reader time to breathe or process the previous bloody murder. At one point, I realized we didn't know who Mildred was beyond the death and carnage as there wasn't much to be introduced to before the chaos began. Patsy was even more of a mystery with her very brief character introduction. The ending felt predictable but overall, it was a quick and entertaining read filled with gore, vengeance, and high school drama cranked up to 11. CW: fat-shaming + unhealthy relationship with food, bullying, murder, cannibalism, reference to household abuse, parental neglect

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kathreadya

    Really enjoyed this YA horror book from Sam Schill! This is the kind of horror I enjoy, a slow, creepy, unsettling tale that gets under your bones and challenges your perceptions. Mildred is a sad, tired victim of intense bullying that's been going on for years. You see her suffer, you see adults and old friends turn a blind eye, and when she finally speaks up about the bullying to a teacher, it's clear they don't really care. All this makes you understand her motivations, her desperation, and c Really enjoyed this YA horror book from Sam Schill! This is the kind of horror I enjoy, a slow, creepy, unsettling tale that gets under your bones and challenges your perceptions. Mildred is a sad, tired victim of intense bullying that's been going on for years. You see her suffer, you see adults and old friends turn a blind eye, and when she finally speaks up about the bullying to a teacher, it's clear they don't really care. All this makes you understand her motivations, her desperation, and choices she makes that have wicked consequences. But this novel takes you deeper. Those horrible, vicious bullies have life's outside of school, and the author let's us see their desires and families and secret dreams before having Mildred deliver a revenge that doesn't seem so fitting anymore. I only wish the "witch" and her minions had a little more depth, I prefer all my villains to be morally grey instead of pure evil. This book definitely makes you question the idea of someone who is a villain to someone but a hero to others. The idea that an observer can be just as guilty as the attacker, and the horrible effects of persistant bullying on children. Obvious content warning for extreme bullying, violence and gore, brutal murder. It's definitely a horror novel, haha. I'd recommend it for horror fans! Thank you Wattpad books for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review ♥️

  3. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    Wild, fun, satisfying, and perfect for fans of revenge fiction, especially those who are into revenge horror. I’m a big fan of revenge novels, so from that angle I expected to love this. But I’m also someone who mostly likes gothic horror rather than modern horror, and on that count this book was a pleasant surprise for me. When Sam Schill first introduces us to Mildred, we definitely feel sorry for her. But are we on her side? Theoretically yes, because bullies are gross and awful, but Mildred do Wild, fun, satisfying, and perfect for fans of revenge fiction, especially those who are into revenge horror. I’m a big fan of revenge novels, so from that angle I expected to love this. But I’m also someone who mostly likes gothic horror rather than modern horror, and on that count this book was a pleasant surprise for me. When Sam Schill first introduces us to Mildred, we definitely feel sorry for her. But are we on her side? Theoretically yes, because bullies are gross and awful, but Mildred doesn’t seem to give us much that prompts anything beyond basic human sympathy. But as Mildred grows stronger (in part by not entirely natural means), she starts to grow on you. Given her actions, it might be tough for some to truly root for her (I was, for the record), but it’s tough not to be on her side even if you don’t agree with her methods (which, by the way, are only partly “hers,” but I’ll say no more about that here). Schill deploys the slightly gleeful but light touch that is needed to write this breed of horror, and her deft handling of the material is why it still appeals to someone like me who is way more into gentleman vampires and creepy old houses than blood and guts. To that end, fair warning: This book does get very, very gruesome at times, though not (and I say this as someone who doesn’t like my murder to bleed too much) in what I would consider to be an upsetting way. As I was reading Swallow, I kept asking myself where Schill could possibly go with the ending, as it is the kind of story where the end really does matter in terms of the reader’s overall opinion of the story. It’s also the kind of story that’s difficult to end both the way it needs to and the way we want it to, yet Schill managed to walk that line perfectly, and she even tossed us one of *those* final lines of text that always brings me such joy when I come across one. There are comparisons to be made to Lisa Lutz’s The Swallows and Hannah Capin’s Foul is Fair (both good revenge novels in their own right), though Swallow is lighter and more fun than the former and more likable than the latter. The pacing is excellent (I read it in a day, then got sad that it was over), and the story (including the fantastical elements) was clever, funny, and—as with any good revenge novel—deeply satisfying. *I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Whew, this book was... something. Look, I assumed going in that it was going to be campy and not the sort of book I should take too seriously. Which is fine! I am down for just plain fun sometimes! The problem was, for me, it crossed the line from "entertaining" to "problematic" in a damn hurry, which I cannot really get on board with. That, and there were a lot of things that just didn' You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Whew, this book was... something. Look, I assumed going in that it was going to be campy and not the sort of book I should take too seriously. Which is fine! I am down for just plain fun sometimes! The problem was, for me, it crossed the line from "entertaining" to "problematic" in a damn hurry, which I cannot really get on board with. That, and there were a lot of things that just didn't make sense. But we'll get to that. When I read the premise of the book, it sounded like it could be kind of fun, in what I assumed was a way for the bullied girl to take back her agency. That isn't exactly how it works, however. I was morbidly fascinated enough to keep reading, which I guess is a quasi-positive? I was almost desperately hoping it would have some redemptive qualities, but I really wasn't able to find any. So I am just going to tell you why it was so rough for me, via bullet points I jotted down while reading. ►So, we're really going there with the fat shaming, eh? And it is problematic in two ways, really. The first is obvious, in that Mildred is teased for her weight. And even Mildred's mom fat shames her, which, at the start of the book was something I could kind of sympathize with (my dad loved to police my food intake, so I was definitely feeling for her!)  But then. THEN. Mildred forgoes any kind of food with nutritional value, noms donuts around the clock, and like.. girl, you gonna get scurvy in a minute. Even then, I was mad at Mom. And frankly, that the book needed to make donuts the villainous food that all fat people must eat and cannot possibly help themselves from shoving into their bodies by the dozen, which pretty heavily infuriated me. But... Mildred literally cannot walk up the (few) steps at school without gasping for air. And she needs a special desk. And then I am kind of wondering if it is fat shaming as much as Mrs. Mildred's actual concern for her daughter's health? Because if you can't even catch your breath as a teen doing a very basic stroll, things aren't going great.  Which leads me to my biggest issue.... ►Why is mental health and a damn pediatrician visit never mentioned!? Clearly shaming is not the answer. Not by a long shot. Nor is food policing. But it's incredibly obvious that Mildred has some serious mental health issues going on, and likely some serious physical issues as well! But instead, let's... make her go on a diet and let her be bullied at school? It's absurd! ►Speaking of which, I get that kids can be cruel, but this book is seriously over here trying to make me believe that every. single. person. in Mildred's school not only ignores her, but hates her to the point of cruelty? That they all make comments? That everyone is mean to her? Even when she is not around, all they can think about is how unappealing she is? Nope nope do not buy. Frankly, I cannot imagine thinking so much about any human being, positively or negatively. Sounds exhausting. ►Not only that, the freaking school employees basically tell her to keep on being bullied. Like, unless this is actual 1927 (see below), no school staff would say anything of the sort, because hello, lawsuits. ►Okay this is probably a petty gripe, but why is everyone named like this is the Class of 1927? You gonna name your kid Mildred, then wonder why bullies have come a-knocking? And okay, maybe it is a family name, sure! But why is everyone else in Mildred's life named after all my grandma's besties? It was confusing, and a little weird. ►I didn't actually care about anyone, even Mildred. Like, I felt bad for her in the way I would feel bad for any human being who was clearly depressed, had severe self-esteem issues, probably some kind of medical problem, and relentless bullying. But otherwise? Mildred was wildly unlikable, and didn't really have any kind of qualities that redeemed her, outside of pity. Which then kind of made me feel bad because wow, shouldn't I feel drawn to this poor girl? Well, Idk what that says about me, but I was not. ►Suuuper convenient Parent-in-YA Syndrome. For those who don't recall, PIYAS is when parents nonsensically disappear because the plot could not continue unless they absurdly vanished into thin air. Mildred's parents are apparently huge fans of this trope, because they nope out of the picture just in time for Mildred to get into Shenanigans™. Look, I don't know about you, but my parents would have never left me alone for weeks on end as a teen. And I was a responsible, mostly well-adjusted teen. Mildred can't even take care of herself in the most basic of ways! In fact, is this even legal? In addition to the pediatrician and psychiatrist calls, I'mma need a quick Childline call too.  And then, things get weirder. As you can read from the synopsis (being careful not to venture near spoiler territory), the book takes a turn for the gory. There are entire side-plots that get introduced that have no business being bothered with, especially considering this book is less than 300 pages. Trying to add entire new groups of people was... ambitious, and it didn't work out. (view spoiler)[I could have handled all of that, at least to some extent, if at least there was some kind of redeeming message in the end. Reader, there was not. (hide spoiler)] Bottom Line: Ooof.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stay Fetters

    "Our date was tonight. I just had my legs waxed yesterday, and this morning, he shows up dead? I can’t go on a date with a dead person!" DNF @ 70% At first, I hated this cover. It just looked so ridiculous that it made me hesitant about reading this. (Maybe I should have listened to that little voice.) But it slowly grew on me and I saw it with a new set of eyes once the book was in my hands. It’s really sort of creepy. The kind of creepy that rubs your head and tells you everything is okay but de "Our date was tonight. I just had my legs waxed yesterday, and this morning, he shows up dead? I can’t go on a date with a dead person!" DNF @ 70% At first, I hated this cover. It just looked so ridiculous that it made me hesitant about reading this. (Maybe I should have listened to that little voice.) But it slowly grew on me and I saw it with a new set of eyes once the book was in my hands. It’s really sort of creepy. The kind of creepy that rubs your head and tells you everything is okay but deep down you know that it’s not. That they are about to ruin your life. Swallow started off with me kind of disgusted and put off but I decided to push through that and give this a try. There was no settling into the story, it was in your face and already starting before you could even blink. No lead-up to anything. That was this book's first mistake and it got worse from there. I'm surprised that I made it as far as I did because the bullying was nauseating. I felt sick to my stomach after reading how terrible Mildred was being bullied and no one stepped in to help her, even after she told numerous adults about this. Adults brushed it aside because they made her feel as if it was her fault that all of this was happening. Umm, what the actual f**k is that!? That should have really clued me into how awful this entire book was going to be but like the ass that I am and how I love to torture myself, I went on. What a mistake. Things got progressively worse from there. None of the characters had any personality. When I say none, I mean not a damn soul. They were all walking and talking robots who annoyed me. Another thing that got me was the way they talked to one another and their thoughts. Their entire conversations with others and with themselves were all about Mildred. Obsessed much? None of that made any sense to me. The relentless bullying usually happens while the person being bullied is around, not when you're alone with your girlfriend or just going out to mow the lawn. It made no sense. Zero! What was kind of okay was when the tormentors starting dropping like flies and they died in the most gruesome of ways. Some of those were cool but way over the top. Yes, I understand satire but this was an uphill battle that kept sliding me back down to the bottom. Swallow was just terrible. The writing was dull and the characters were even worse. If you would like to bleed from your eyes, then this is the book for you!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Breaux

    First I’d like to say congrats to Sam Schill on her debut! I don’t read much horror, but I have to admit I couldn’t put this down. It’s very well written and a page turner for sure!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fifi | A Fairytale Dream

    You know when you read a book that’s so bad it’s good? That’s the best way I can describe this book. Kind of the same way you enjoy trash reality tv or a really terrible B horror movie. It’s horrible but SO MUCH FUN. You already can tell from the synopsis this is going to be something you really can’t take seriously before going into it. Basically, Mildred is bullied at school and decides to get revenge on her bullies by supernatural means. She encounters a witch’s shop, gets manipulated by a wi You know when you read a book that’s so bad it’s good? That’s the best way I can describe this book. Kind of the same way you enjoy trash reality tv or a really terrible B horror movie. It’s horrible but SO MUCH FUN. You already can tell from the synopsis this is going to be something you really can’t take seriously before going into it. Basically, Mildred is bullied at school and decides to get revenge on her bullies by supernatural means. She encounters a witch’s shop, gets manipulated by a witch and ends up possessed by a demon which eats all of her bullies. Yes, Mildred morphs into a demon and eats them lmao. With “I can’t take any of this seriously” books like this one, I judge them on 2 things: 1. How interesting the plot is and 2. How fun I had reading it. I don’t judge on characterization, plot development, writing skill, or even originality like I do typical books because I know this book is designed to be ridiculous. I know it will probably be poorly written, unoriginal, and over the top. That’s what I mean by judging this book differently before you go into it. Don’t expect good character or plot development, or you will be disappointed. This book was completely over the top, filled with cliches, with the most insanely unoriginal typecasting of teenagers I have ever seen. Yet at the same time, I couldn’t put this book down? I just couldn’t wait to get to the end to see what would happen. I was never bored and I had fun! I ended up neglecting my responsibilities because I wanted to finish it and see how it ended. It was a lot of fun despite it all, so I would give this a solid 3/5 stars! Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin for sending me an advanced copy for review!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Vee_Bookish

    This could be really cheesy... or really fun! I hate the cover though.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Cross

    My friend's first novel is fantastic and I'm so happy for her! You must read this book!! My friend's first novel is fantastic and I'm so happy for her! You must read this book!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Swallow in exchange for an honest review. So, I'm 99% sure Swallow is meant to be cheesy B-movie horror satire which means fans will almost certainly be mad at me for not getting the joke, but I think it's important to acknowledge that something being satirical doesn't automatically mean that it's impossible for it to be bad. I get what Swallow was trying to do from a humour perspective and I think it could have worked in a more condensed form, but Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Swallow in exchange for an honest review. So, I'm 99% sure Swallow is meant to be cheesy B-movie horror satire which means fans will almost certainly be mad at me for not getting the joke, but I think it's important to acknowledge that something being satirical doesn't automatically mean that it's impossible for it to be bad. I get what Swallow was trying to do from a humour perspective and I think it could have worked in a more condensed form, but it's paced like a serious horror/ high school novel which forces a lot of the saterical aspects to be repeated to the point of just being annoying instead of comical I don't think perspectives outside of Millie's were really needed and cutting them out would have reduced the page count to better highlight the horror tropes being explored since most if not all of them happen in Millie's scenes anyways.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alexx

    I have two words to describe this book: weird and dark. I guess I don't know how to properly rate this? Because I guess I liked it? But somehow it still lacks for me? (And this is just me of course). I liked the grittiness of the writing. I liked that it showed how messy high school is and how it can drive people to do things they wouldn't normally do if it doesn't change. I liked the supernatural element, but I feel like it fell flat. Like I wanted more of that supernatural element and I wanted I have two words to describe this book: weird and dark. I guess I don't know how to properly rate this? Because I guess I liked it? But somehow it still lacks for me? (And this is just me of course). I liked the grittiness of the writing. I liked that it showed how messy high school is and how it can drive people to do things they wouldn't normally do if it doesn't change. I liked the supernatural element, but I feel like it fell flat. Like I wanted more of that supernatural element and I wanted to see how it can further plot, but I didn't get that by the end of the book. Also, the fatphobia in this book is just bad. I think it might have even made me more uncomfortable than the gore-y scenes in the book. I know it will be triggering for some, so be very careful! Overall, this was an okay read. If you like horror, and weird and dark books, you'll probably enjoy this book! CW: fatphobia, bullying, murder/death, gore, violence, cannibalism, sexual assault (minor) Thank you to Wattpad Books for sending over a copy! This, of course, did not affect my overall opinion of the book. Find me elsewhere: Instagram | Twitter | Blog

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I received this ARC from the publisher. Mildred hates how the kids at school bully her, but she can't seem to bring herself to change her bad habits. After attempts to get the adults in her life to help her fail, she takes a different route: a curse. Only the strange witch in the woods doesn't exactly tell her the side effects, only that her bullies will pay. So when Mildred sees one of the football players who makes fun of her, and she kills him and eats his tongue, she isn't sure why. But it ha I received this ARC from the publisher. Mildred hates how the kids at school bully her, but she can't seem to bring herself to change her bad habits. After attempts to get the adults in her life to help her fail, she takes a different route: a curse. Only the strange witch in the woods doesn't exactly tell her the side effects, only that her bullies will pay. So when Mildred sees one of the football players who makes fun of her, and she kills him and eats his tongue, she isn't sure why. But it happens again... and again... I started reading this on Wattpad and was excited to finish it! At first Mildred is hard to like, although the lack of support she gets from her teachers and parents made it totally understandable to try a curse. As she got revenge on the cruel people in her life, I was rooting for her. This was a delightfully gory story that gets wilder and weirder as it goes on! Fast-paced and fun, Swallow will appeal fans of zombie movies and horror comedies.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Soniya Rawat

    I read this novel on wattpad. It was one hell of an experience. I didn't know what I was going to read.. it was all very unfamiliar. The book begins with Mildred looking at herself in the shower. We can clearly see she loathes herself and that is because of the bullying she undergoes in school for her weight. Even her parents aren't nice. As the story moves, Mildred gets pushed to a point from which there is no returning back. She wants revenge from each one of the people who hurt. She does it. I read this novel on wattpad. It was one hell of an experience. I didn't know what I was going to read.. it was all very unfamiliar. The book begins with Mildred looking at herself in the shower. We can clearly see she loathes herself and that is because of the bullying she undergoes in school for her weight. Even her parents aren't nice. As the story moves, Mildred gets pushed to a point from which there is no returning back. She wants revenge from each one of the people who hurt. She does it. She is able to kill each and every one who ever hurt her. Is it all worth it? How she does it? You will find that out on your own. The book was predictable but still managed to hold me as a reader. Overall I think it was a very great attempt at horror.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elin Nilsson

    CONTENT WARNING for this book: Fatphobia. Gore. Cannibalism. Ableist language. Suicide. Maybe some other stuff too? Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for a review. Alright. I requested this book because reviewers were saying it was weird, and because I occasionally enjoy a revenge story or two. But... what the F did I just read? I was prepared for weird. I was prepared for horror. I was not prepared for how deeply uncomfortable this book would make me. And no, not in the CONTENT WARNING for this book: Fatphobia. Gore. Cannibalism. Ableist language. Suicide. Maybe some other stuff too? Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for a review. Alright. I requested this book because reviewers were saying it was weird, and because I occasionally enjoy a revenge story or two. But... what the F did I just read? I was prepared for weird. I was prepared for horror. I was not prepared for how deeply uncomfortable this book would make me. And no, not in the “eh, it’s horror” way. I was so close to DNF-ing the book so many times, but I pushed through. Mildred is bullied, and experiences extreme fatphobia every day. I felt so disgusted while reading. Even though it was bullies and mean people saying these things to her, and the book didn't try to justify it, it hurt. A lot. That's what really made me the most uncomfortable while reading. The multiple POV’s were strange, and I couldn’t connect to any of the characters at all. And... what even was that plot? Demons? What? Nothing made sense whatsoever. And if Mildred feels so guilty, why doesn't she just turn herself in? Yeah no. Not my thing at all. Unfortunately, since I thought I was going to enjoy it. 1.5 stars.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Heather *Undercover Summer Goth*

    Some of the reviews mention not liking the cover, but the cover was what drew me to this book in the first place. I like it. Unfortunately, I didn't like the story quite as much. It was like a forgettable teen horror movie, and I was hoping for something more like Jennifer's Body. I guess what I really wanted was something cooler and more stylish. This was just... meh. The writing was serviceable, but it didn't exactly inspire vivid pictures in my head. Which is strange, since there were gory scen Some of the reviews mention not liking the cover, but the cover was what drew me to this book in the first place. I like it. Unfortunately, I didn't like the story quite as much. It was like a forgettable teen horror movie, and I was hoping for something more like Jennifer's Body. I guess what I really wanted was something cooler and more stylish. This was just... meh. The writing was serviceable, but it didn't exactly inspire vivid pictures in my head. Which is strange, since there were gory scenes. There wasn't really any urgency to the writing though, and I think that's where it fell flat for me. Also, there were multiple POVs, and everyone sounded the same. The way it was structured, I almost feel like the author did picture this on the screen as a horror movie when writing it. I finished this before bed last night, and when I woke up this morning I had to struggle to remember the ending. So for me, this wasn't exactly bad, but it was forgettable. 2.5 stars Thanks to NetGalley for the chance to review!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rayne ♥

    I'm not a fan of the cover but the premise sounds amazing! Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a review copy. All opinions are my own. I'm not a fan of the cover but the premise sounds amazing! Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a review copy. All opinions are my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    tori

    I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did! Shallow follows 17-year old Mildred who regularly gets bullied by everyone at school. Everyone, even the nerd characters. The first half reminded me a lot of the movie Welcome to the Dollhouse in that regard. The hatred the entire student body seems to have for Mildred is over the top and downright campy. It wasn't until the halfway point that I realized it's supposed to be over-the-top. The whole novel is a campy late 80s/early 90s horror movie, a I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did! Shallow follows 17-year old Mildred who regularly gets bullied by everyone at school. Everyone, even the nerd characters. The first half reminded me a lot of the movie Welcome to the Dollhouse in that regard. The hatred the entire student body seems to have for Mildred is over the top and downright campy. It wasn't until the halfway point that I realized it's supposed to be over-the-top. The whole novel is a campy late 80s/early 90s horror movie, and I for one loved it. The reason for 3 stars (more like 3.5) despite my love for this book mainly lies in the first half. I almost DNF'd multiple times but I'm glad I pushed through. It moves quite slow and simultaneously does both too much and too little. We are reminded over and over again of how miserable Mildred's life is and how terrible the other students are. However, in that time we really don't learn much about Mildred other than her appearance, how neglectful her parents are, and how much she likes to eat. Mildred has no personality which made reading about her rather dry. In general, Mildred isn't a very likable protagonist, and the longer the story goes on you kinda even lose some sympathy for her, but I think that's actually the point. Mildred isn't a perfect victim and she is proof of what bullying can do to a person. The other reason for the mid ranking is the underworld plot. I can't lie, between all the interesting things going on with Mildred and her victims, my eyes definitely skimmed over all the demon drama. It kept slowing the pace of the story when it was at its fastest. The second half is where things get good and I could not put my e-ARC down. I loved the POV changes. They added just the right amount of depth to the other characters without taking them off the hook for their bullying. There were even a couple I was almost sad to see go which just proves how well they were written. Swallow is the right amount of gory - graphic but in such a cartoonish way you can't really be squicked out by it. This is one of those books that's easy to read in one go, and I'll probably reread it again before the year is out. All in all, a very entertaining read once the plot gets going, would definitely recommend!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Reynolds

    I was given this unproofed copy by the Author and/or #Netgalley for an unbiased and honest review ***3.5 Stars*** -Swallow is about a girl named Mildred, she is very lonely and is picked on by everyone at her High School. Mildred is different than most at her school... She is fat, her hair is stringy and gives off a not-so-clean look, her skin isn't the best, she isn't too smart, etc... basically she is this person who is SO UGLY, it hurts others to even look at her!!! So she ends up getting I was given this unproofed copy by the Author and/or #Netgalley for an unbiased and honest review ***3.5 Stars*** -Swallow is about a girl named Mildred, she is very lonely and is picked on by everyone at her High School. Mildred is different than most at her school... She is fat, her hair is stringy and gives off a not-so-clean look, her skin isn't the best, she isn't too smart, etc... basically she is this person who is SO UGLY, it hurts others to even look at her!!! So she ends up getting into something way over her head trying to solve and figure out how to make the pain and loneliness from being bullied by her peers. What made me want to read this book, was for one, it was horror (b-movie, slasher, campy type horror) campy, cheesy type horror is like my fave! two, I am a fat girl... I have also struggled with my skin as well (acne) ... I was picked in school for being fat and therefore I am automatically "ugly" ... I feel like I connected to Mildred on THAT level...and because the writing was easy to read and it was a fun little b-rated campy horror movie wrapped all up in a fun book... I do feel like the author has NO experience in being bullied or being fat either...I mean, the bullying was a little over the top! It was like the ENTIRE school hated this girl so much that they had to make her life a living hell every day... it seemed like too much!!! But, then again I can only speak for my experience and mine alone... IDK if the author was trying to say this with #Swallow but what I got from the book was: everything isn't always black and white ... like how we got to be inside of each kid who bullied her. We got to see how they weren't only mean kids, We also got to see that even someone innocent (Mildred) can turn into a monster under the right circumstances... I enjoyed this book and I am excited to see what else this author comes out with!!! Sam Schill #Swallow #netgalley

  19. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    Where did I stop? 23% in Why? It was just repetitive. It was really hammering home just how bullied Mildred was (and with a last name like Waco, you already know what’s coming), which was awful, but it looks like the author forgot to give her a personality beyond that. The only thing that defined Mildred was that she was a punching bag for other people. She didn’t seem to have anything for herself, anything that she liked, anything that she enjoyed. She was very one dimensional. Since the story w Where did I stop? 23% in Why? It was just repetitive. It was really hammering home just how bullied Mildred was (and with a last name like Waco, you already know what’s coming), which was awful, but it looks like the author forgot to give her a personality beyond that. The only thing that defined Mildred was that she was a punching bag for other people. She didn’t seem to have anything for herself, anything that she liked, anything that she enjoyed. She was very one dimensional. Since the story was taking its time getting to the point, and I really wasn’t enjoying the characters, not to mention the bullying felt really outdated, like this book should have been set in the 90s, I just didn’t see a point in continuing to read. I wasn’t enjoying it nearly enough to do that. I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    izzy

    (probably more a 2.5) look, i didn't ~hate~ it, i just didn't ~like~ it either. It's a wattpad book and this is just one of those ones were you can really tell. Most of the time it reads less like a book and more like a script, i don't know if that makes sense? Sometimes details would just be thrown in for no apparent reason and genuinely what was the point of all the POV changes. Why did we hang out with Patsy for a good chunk of the book to get pretty much no resolution on any of her story?? AL (probably more a 2.5) look, i didn't ~hate~ it, i just didn't ~like~ it either. It's a wattpad book and this is just one of those ones were you can really tell. Most of the time it reads less like a book and more like a script, i don't know if that makes sense? Sometimes details would just be thrown in for no apparent reason and genuinely what was the point of all the POV changes. Why did we hang out with Patsy for a good chunk of the book to get pretty much no resolution on any of her story?? ALSO every single character in this book was so unlikable and the things they said made no sense, there was no motivation behind any of it especially bullying Mildred - they just did that because she was ugly (?) and I get it kids can be mean but what are the odds she was everyone at that school's target? I'm lost. Anyway, I think this concept is really cool but I just wish the entire thing was written differently, sorry :/ Thank you NetGalley for the review copy!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Bishop

    This was such an interesting plot line. I enjoyed the authors use of internal deliberations as Mildred navigated the unusual situation she found herself in. Swallow is set in multiple POV which really gives a rounded overview of all of the backgrounds of Mildred’s bullies. The world building in this book was really unique as well. I think we can all relate to being bullied at one point or another and I related to Mildred’s character in that way. I thought that the author did a great job drawing This was such an interesting plot line. I enjoyed the authors use of internal deliberations as Mildred navigated the unusual situation she found herself in. Swallow is set in multiple POV which really gives a rounded overview of all of the backgrounds of Mildred’s bullies. The world building in this book was really unique as well. I think we can all relate to being bullied at one point or another and I related to Mildred’s character in that way. I thought that the author did a great job drawing the reader in to sympathize with her situation. I did feel like some of the additions to the plot near the end of the book did not fit so well with the storyline but it was an easy read overall. I also enjoyed reading from Patsy’s point of view. It was really brilliant of the author to add in the “what if’s” to this plot as to how things would have gone if she had acted differently.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Bainbridge

    I received this ARC from NetGalley in return for an honest review: This book is definitely not for everyone. It’s violent. It’s gruesome. It pushes the limits. And I loved it. In a strange hybrid between Carrie and Jennifer’s Body, this vulgar character study begs the question of how far social outcast Mildred is willing to go to reclaim her life from her myriad of tormentors. Spoiler alert: the limit does not exist. But even Mildred gets more than she bargained for after an unsettling encounter I received this ARC from NetGalley in return for an honest review: This book is definitely not for everyone. It’s violent. It’s gruesome. It pushes the limits. And I loved it. In a strange hybrid between Carrie and Jennifer’s Body, this vulgar character study begs the question of how far social outcast Mildred is willing to go to reclaim her life from her myriad of tormentors. Spoiler alert: the limit does not exist. But even Mildred gets more than she bargained for after an unsettling encounter with a creepy crew of carefully disguised demons. And if you can look beyond the obscenity of this troubling tale, there’s a message about learning to love yourself in there somewhere. Deep down. Deep deep deep down. If you aren’t squeamish, then start digging.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    High school is hell, as Mildred knows. After years of bullying, she wants to curse her tormentors. A complex character, her journey of revenge takes surprising and frightening turns. Supernatural horror meets the eternal struggle between the popular kids and the ones at the bottom of the social ladder. Strongly recommend!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    2.5 stars

  25. 4 out of 5

    Siofra

    Thank you to Wattpad book and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book, which I know tween me would have really enjoyed! All my opinions and thoughts are my own. Really a 3 star but my heart loved it so 4! Trigger Warning: gore, cannibalism, murder, witchcraft, demons, bullying, parental abuse/neglect and mental health. This book gave me reading fanfiction in high school vibes, and I loved it. The writing wasn't the best, but the switch between pov actually added to the story very well (except th Thank you to Wattpad book and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book, which I know tween me would have really enjoyed! All my opinions and thoughts are my own. Really a 3 star but my heart loved it so 4! Trigger Warning: gore, cannibalism, murder, witchcraft, demons, bullying, parental abuse/neglect and mental health. This book gave me reading fanfiction in high school vibes, and I loved it. The writing wasn't the best, but the switch between pov actually added to the story very well (except the witch/demon ones, but I ignore those). What made this book was the satisfying revenge against bullies (which was way too extreme), but it filled a dark fantasy I had when I was very young and was getting excessively bullied. I resonated with the rage and hate she felt towards her tormentors, but I did enjoy that we had glimpses into the bullies lives, so we saw they were human, but it didn't excuse their actions. It would have been better with a less sudden and wishy-washy ending, in all honesty, but I still recommend it!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    3.5 if I'm being nice. Yes, it was campy, over-the-top, and 100% Wattpad quality, but it was a fun horror spoof and took me literally no time to read. 3.5 if I'm being nice. Yes, it was campy, over-the-top, and 100% Wattpad quality, but it was a fun horror spoof and took me literally no time to read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura Solar

    3.5 rounded up This was campy and over the top and so much fun! The writing was decent, but the story had me hooked... I’d recommend this for fans of B horror movies!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    I received this book from Netgalley.com in exchange for a honest review. What first intrigued me about this book was the cover. I didn't quite understand what the cover was about regarding the plot. I also was interested in the first line of the description on NetGalley: Revenge is a dish best served cold. The book's main character is Mildred. Mildred is disliked by EVERYONE at her high school; Roanoke High School. Her parents are absent from her life a lot seeing that they are geologists and ar I received this book from Netgalley.com in exchange for a honest review. What first intrigued me about this book was the cover. I didn't quite understand what the cover was about regarding the plot. I also was interested in the first line of the description on NetGalley: Revenge is a dish best served cold. The book's main character is Mildred. Mildred is disliked by EVERYONE at her high school; Roanoke High School. Her parents are absent from her life a lot seeing that they are geologists and are traveling a lot for work. When they are around, her mother nitpicks her weight and makes her eat grapefruit for breakfast, (hence the fruit on the cover). The popular clique are Millie's main bullies. They call her names and belittle her. Her parents leave for a business trip to Hawaii and is left alone at home. After coming home to an empty house, Millie decides that night that she's had enough. She starts looking online for how to get back at your bullies and a site pops up for Crossroads Magicks, an occult shop in Roanoke. Millie decides to take her moped and drive to the shop. She goes into the store and she begs the owner of the store to help her get revenge by any means possible. So the "owner", (I say owner in quotes because she is really a witch) of the store performs a spell on Millie that involves Snake's blood and other various items that I certainly wouldn't want to ingest. After her trip to the Magicks shop is when things start to get interesting... Interesting but campy. I won't go much further into the details of the book so I can avoid spoilers, but know there are demons that *may* come scoop up dead bodies and possess a teenager. As much as the dark magic and witchcraft plays into this book, it gave me serious Jennifer's Body vibes. If you don't know that movie, please go look it up. I know this is fictional but it was kind of unrealistic. Not saying that a teen can't pay for some creepy spell in an equally as creepy occult shop with mommy and daddy's money... but I think overall it wasn't super believable. However, playing Devil's Advocate here, as much as it was campy, it was still an enjoyable read. It definitely lived up to the revenge seeking plot that was best served cold. These death scenes, and there is murder and blood in the plot (you've been CW) aren't anything short of cold-blooded. If you can't handle dismemberment, then this book might not be for you. Although the dismemberment and death scenes are straight out of a cheesy 80's slasher film but with demons. Like how did NO ONE see that coming? I do think this is a good book. Campy but good. I enjoy those cheesy horror flicks that are from the 80's. I do enjoy the vibe of the book and the overall concept, albeit cheesy. I think there could have been more to the book so it could have been a little bit more believable. The character development was good, which I do enjoy in a book. If the plot is campy, I at least want to have good character development. It was a quicker read and it's definitely worth it if you like horror. My overall rating is 3/5.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nicole ☕️

    3.5 ⭐ I didn't really know what to expect going into this, but it was a really fun change of pace from anything else I've read lately. The tone and plot of the book is very teen slasher / B movie, complete with very gory scenes. A lot of the dialogue was very campy and over the top, which wasn't a bad thing, honestly. There aren't many YA horror books out there, but I think this one was executed fairly well. A couple negatives: I didn't think multiple POVs were necessary. It didn't really add anyt 3.5 ⭐ I didn't really know what to expect going into this, but it was a really fun change of pace from anything else I've read lately. The tone and plot of the book is very teen slasher / B movie, complete with very gory scenes. A lot of the dialogue was very campy and over the top, which wasn't a bad thing, honestly. There aren't many YA horror books out there, but I think this one was executed fairly well. A couple negatives: I didn't think multiple POVs were necessary. It didn't really add anything to the story, which was disappointing because I though there would at least be some type of confrontation in the story somewhere. (view spoiler)[Any time there was someone suspicious of Mildred, nothing really came of it. So there wasn't really any danger of Mildred being exposed or caught outright (not counting the very end). Mildred's own paranoia made it seem as though she was in more danger than she was in (understandable though, to be fair). (hide spoiler)] And lastly, I didn't really like the cover (more specifically the color choices). Thank you to Net Galley for a free review copy!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    This book is campy, over the top horror. Mildred is bullied and ignored to the point of desperation. When she goes looking for a curse to punish her tormentors, she unwittingly makes a witchcraft deal to host a demon. As she delivers retribution to those who have wronged her, she literally consumers their qualities. As her killing and cannibalism escalate she risks losing herself to the demon’s bloodlust forever. This book doesn’t take itself too seriously. There are passing attempts to explain This book is campy, over the top horror. Mildred is bullied and ignored to the point of desperation. When she goes looking for a curse to punish her tormentors, she unwittingly makes a witchcraft deal to host a demon. As she delivers retribution to those who have wronged her, she literally consumers their qualities. As her killing and cannibalism escalate she risks losing herself to the demon’s bloodlust forever. This book doesn’t take itself too seriously. There are passing attempts to explain why the mean people are that way. But, in the end everything serves to propel the plot forward. Mildred hosts a demon, kills mean kids and eats parts of them. The classic “be careful what you wish for” revenge story. While I wasn’t the target audience, this one did fall a little flat for me. I wanted this book to be We Ride Upon Sticks. But it lacked the depth, humor and character development. If you enjoy a propulsive, superficial, gorey to excess revenge novel, you will enjoy this one. The topic and striking cover art will appeal to students. Thanks to #Netgalley for the preview opportunity. Available in July. Content Warnings: bullying, cannibalism

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...