Swollen by Melissa Lion tells a story about true love and discovering yourself told from the viewpoint of Samantha (Sam) Pallas. Sam is accustomed to running from everything. She even ran from her school’s golden boy right before his death. Then Farouk arrives and no longer is Sam running away, but towards someone. With Farouk, she can escape the problems and pressures of her family, friends, and running. Sam knows she can just be herself when she’s with him and she trusts him with almost all of her secrets while still exercising caution to an extent as she doesn’t want to be hurt from getting too close. Still, some things just can’t be helped.
Swollen is an incredible story about first love. There are so many books available to teens/young adults about love and sex, but this one stands out amongst them. Many of us can relate to Sam’s story, each in completely different ways, and it’s still enjoyable. Honestly, some parts of the story were a little creepy and made me shudder, but these made the book feel more realistic. The part of the story about Owen was probably my favorite as it tied another issue into an already complex novel. The ending will surprise you some, especially because at that point you’re so into the book, the emotions you feel double those of Sam. I would recommend Swollen to anyone because you can learn a lot about yourself through Sam’s strong story. 8 out of 10.