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review 2017-04-09 02:05
I loved this book it was awesome, but...
The Imperfection of Swans - Brandon Witt

It was what came after that brought me to tears...well done Mr. Witt, very well done.

 

 

You'll probably notice that I say this a lot...but once again my decision to start reviewing audio books has enabled me to get to a story on my TBR list that I keep squirreling away from. There's no insult intended to anyone because this is just how I am. I actually do this with some of my favorite authors and have done it for my entire reading life. I read a lot and I also buy a lot of books and I squirrel from book to book a lot. Which ironically in spit of the fact that I own 10 of this authors titles makes this the first story that I've actually read...errr, listened to. 

 

Anyways, enough about my strange reading habits and I'll get back to the real issue at hand here...'The Imperfection of Swans'...wow, what a truly beautiful story. Kevin has always wanted to open up his own bridal store and Casper loves to bake and having his own bakery that specialized in wedding cakes would be a dream come true for him but it's not until these two meet and an acquaintance suggest that they need to partner up that both men begin to believe that they really can have their hearts desires fulfilled.

 

Kevin is both heartbreaking and inspiring. His constant struggle to maintain what he perceives to be the necessary image and to keep himself from falling victim to the harmful effects of his choices made my heart ache for him and in the end his efforts to finally acknowledge and break the cycle of harmful behavior that had ruled his life took so much courage. Yes, he had an amazing support system and I was so happy for that but still ultimately it was Kevin and only Kevin who had the ability to change things for himself and the strength that is needed to do this and succeed is so amazing. 

 

I loved Casper...was he perfect...no, but, he was perfectly wonderful and most important of all...he was perfect for Kevin. He loved and accepted Kevin warts and all and really can any of us every truly ask for more? 

 

There were more than a few awesome secondary characters in this book and for the most part I loved them. From Kevin's family to his ex, who I was happy to see wasn't portrayed as a bad person so much as the wrong person for Kevin. I'd actually like to see that character have a novel where he gets his own happily ever after. I'd also like more about Kevin's Uncle Tony and his husband and Casper's ex not-ex Brent just needs to go away...like I said a lot of interesting secondary characters in this one...the guy that ran the Sushi place? Seriously what was up with him?

 

I'm sure it's no real secret by now that the character of Kevin is based on the author's best friend and while the story got more than a few tears from me it was the comments of the real Kevin and the author that were read after the story that brought even more tears to my eyes because I was yet again reminded that Kevin, the real Kevin is truly a brave soul to share what was both a difficult and trying experience with the world is not something that a lot of people would be comfortable or willing to do. It takes strength to do this especially when you consider that the handsome young man on the cover is the real Kevin. So admittedly the story itself was probably a 4 star read for me but when all this is factored in I can in all honesty give this no fewer than 5 glowing 'you've wowed me' stars.

 

So where does that leave the audio book? Kirt Graves was the narrator for this one. His voices are expressive and have the discernible difference allowing me to listen without difficulty or losing track of who's speaking and questioning which voice is whose, I had no problem staying engaged with the story. In general this narrator works for me and while he's another new to me narrator, based on this book and the samples from a couple of his other books that I've listened to he's someone that I'll look forward to hearing more from in future.

 

'The Imperfection of Swans' is a story that deals with some really tough issues with insight and sensitivity by a 'new to me' author and narrator who made for a really enjoyable combination. 

 

********************

An audio book of 'The Imperfection of Swans' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-03-10 21:53
Review: "The Imperfection of Swans" by Brandon Witt
The Imperfection of Swans - Brandon Witt

"He was more than a pretty face, this Kevin Bivanti. Maybe he was worth crying over in a bathroom. “Because of fate. We have to have both. Fate and hard work. And the willingness to leap."

 

This was even more wonderful in the reread. So I'm bumping up my initial rating from 4.5 to 5 stars while also putting this gem on my "favorite" shelf.

 

If this book was a wedding dress, it would have been designed by Vera Wang.

 

 

********************************************

First read: January 28th, 2016

1st reread: March 10th, 2017

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review 2016-03-16 23:08
The Imperfection of Swans by Brandon Witt
The Imperfection of Swans - Brandon Witt

It's been weeks and I still can't find all the words I'd need to express my feelings about this book.

 

It went on my all-time-favorites shelf immediately and will stay there until the cow comes home.

 

Brandon Witt writes beautiful prose. His words always make my day brighter, he always finds a way to touch me, to transport me right into his world, and he always, always makes me smile. But that isn't the reason - or not the only reason - why I loved this book so damn much.

 

In the end, it was Kevin who stole my heart. Don't get me wrong, I liked Casper! I enjoyed his POV and I loved his gentle, patient and kind nature. But Kevin was everything to me. His anxiety rattles him to the core on an almost daily basis. His body is not helping, but most of all it's his personal demons that practically force him to take control of the one thing that makes his mind bleed and weep, the one thing he can't let go despite having almost everything he wished for in a partner and a wedding dress shop: His weight, his eating habits, his eating disorder.

 

But he knows - as well as we all do - that nobody else can fix your self-esteem and self-worth issues for you. Nobody and nothing can give you a sense of peace and accomplishment and content - when you yourself can't see or acknowledge it first. And I have to say, Kevin's mothers were not exactly helpful. They were fascinating, loving and supportive in their own way, but at the same time their expectations and actions had some serious negative effects on Kevin in a way neither wanted to acknowledge. Sometimes they reminded me so much of my own family, it was painful.

 

And that's pretty much my story with this book. It was so damn painful, but in all the right ways. I found myself a tiny little bit in there, in a weird but wonderful way. I could understand it all, I could feel the pain and the anxiety and the healing. I felt it all. And while I had to stop at one point or the other, just to close my eyes and savor the experience - it was all so worth it. In the end, it was all so worth it. For Kevin, and for me as a reader.

 

This book was for me. It made me hurt, it made me cry, it made me laugh, and it put me back together in the end. And didn't let me go. Even weeks later I still find myself thinking about it now and again. That's the biggest plus for a book there is. I loved it all. I loved this book so damn much and I'm not afraid of shamelessly fangirl about it for years to come. Sure, this book probably isn't for everyone. There is no copious amount of sexy, smutty scenes. There is a lot of internal conflict going on, a lot of things you don't "see", only feel. And I can understand where that isn't everybody's cup of tea. Also, the final "meltdown" and climax might be hard to swallow for some readers. Just a fair warning.

Anywho,

 

I'll stop now or I'll ramble on and on about how fabulous and wonderful and amazing this story was for me. Just... Read it. That's really all I've left to say.

 

Just read it.

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review 2016-01-30 00:00
The Imperfection of Swans
The Imperfection of Swans - Brandon Witt This was BEAUTIFUL!

I adored Kevin and Casper's story! The way they were with each other gave me so many feels!

Kevin's story in particular made my hart hurt and sing at the same time!

Brandon Witt is very good at his job!

p.s. I hope real like Kevin has found or will found his Casper and will get his wedding dresses shop!
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review 2016-01-28 00:00
The Imperfection of Swans
The Imperfection of Swans - Brandon Witt

***** 5 for Kevin stars *****

-----------------------------------
....for the extra push that I feel in reading this great compilation of words and emotions.
Onwards. Upward, Heartward.
~Kevin~
-----------------------------------

Soo, I'm going to be unpopular and popular and selfish and selfless in one small review.

Throughout this book my mental rating hovered around 3 to 4 stars. That's not a bad rating at all, since 3 means "I liked it" and 4 means "I loved it". If I'm being brutally honest, though, it was closer to a 3. 
I liked it. It was powerful, emotional, angsty and a great piece of literature. Most of all, important due to its topic.
I had my issues with it, though, from a pure book reading point of view, hence the hovering mental rating.

Why 5 stars then?
Well, there was a note from the real Kevin at the end of the book.
THAT really got to me. 
So, I'm giving all my 5 stars to you, Kevin. Without you this book would not be. 

May you always shine bright.
Thank you.


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