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I had heard many good things about Amanda Hocking and her books circling around the blogosphere, so I admit I picked up 'Switched' with expectation of great things. It didn't disappoint.
After the prologue I felt that the story itself got off to slow start but the book soon picked up pace and I really liked the main character Wendy. She's a genuinely nice, if a little hot-headed person who tries to keep people at an arms' length - fairly understandable considering her own mother tried to kill her when she was six. However the plot really thickens when Wendy meets Finn, a dark and mysterious guy who explains to her the truth about her real heritage. That Wendy is a changeling, a troll child switched at birth to be raised by a human family. She's also a Princess.
Now with her life in danger, Wendy is left with no choice but to leave her 'adopted' family behind. Returning to her real mother Elona, Wendy is disappointed to find that her actual mother is just as cold and distant as the one who tried to kill her. However with her time soon consumed by princess lessons, her only real distraction is Finn - her tracker and highly acclaimed bodyguard. Yet with Finns lowborn bloodline, romance between them is strictly forbidden...
I have to say that I loved the premise of this story. I have read plenty of books about fairies and fae folk lately, so a story about a girl discovering she's actually a Troll Princess was certainly different and refreshing. Beautifully written and well thought out, 'Switched' truly is an amazing novel.
Each character is very detailed, from Wendy with her unruly, curly hair (I can so sympathize) to Finn with his brutal honesty and old fashioned sense of honor. Watching his and Wendy's romance develop was simply delicious. I also really liked the characters of Rhys and Tove, both of whom are gorgeous and unique in their own right, they also pose as potential love rivals for Finn - which I'm hoping will lead to some interesting drama in this books sequel, 'Torn'.
Combine all this with Amanda Hocking's descriptive and intricate world building, not to mention a bit of a cliff-hanger ending, and you are left with one fantastic story. So overall, a great start to a promising new trilogy. Totally recommend, 4 Stars!
'Everything felt way too big in this house. With all this vast space between everything, it felt like I was trapped on an island. I always thought that's what I wanted, to be my very own island. But here I was, and I felt nothing but isolated and confused.'
When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother tried to kill her and accused her of being switched at birth. Although Wendy doesn't believe that she's the monster that her mother claims she is, she has always felt that she doesn't fit in with her family. There's also Wendy's strange ability; she can influence people with her thoughts.
When Finn Holmes appears at her bedroom window, everything changes for Wendy. He reveals the truth about where she came from, and finally everything starts to make sense for her. He takes her to Forening, the home of the Trylle.
Among the Trylle, she is not abnormal, but special. But what makes her special also puts her in great danger from dark forces; and she has more responsibility than she ever expected.
A few months ago, I spotted this book on offer online and thought about buying it, but for some reason I decided against buying it. When I spotted it in my local library I was eager to read it, and it didn't disappoint me at all.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I thought that the concept was unique and interesting and from the first few pages, I was hooked. I really connected with Wendy and felt for her. She's troubled and awkward and finds it difficult to fit in. So much so that her aunt and brother's lives have been interrupted as they continuously move houses when Wendy changes schools. Wendy just can't seem to stay settled at school, and she hates that her brother, Matt, has given up his dream job to look after Wendy. She is suddenly thrown into a new life, in a place that she didn't even know existed. So much is expected of her, and she must adjust to a new way of life, but she still finds time to be caring towards others which I really liked about her.
I loved Matt's character, although he doesn't appear a lot in the book. Despite his mother claiming that Wendy isn't her daughter, Matt loves Wendy unconditionally. As Wendy's father died when she was young, Matt has taken on the fatherly role, and this clearly shows when Wendy meets Finn and Matt doesn't approve. When Wendy leaves and goes to Forening, Matt is devastated, and his conversation with her when she leaves is heartwarming.
Wendy and Finn's relationship was great to read. Finn is very protective of Wendy and is always there to rush to her aid. Finn was enlisted to protect Wendy, but it's clear that his protectiveness towards her is due to more than just his job. As Wendy tries to adjust to her new life, it's Finn that is there every step of the way to guide and support her.
At the end of this edition is a short story called 'The Vittra Attacks.' This story follows Loki, the Prince of the Vittra, as his people plot to kidnap Wendy. This was an interesting short story, giving an insight into the Vittra, and especially the pressure put on Loki by his King, to succeed.
Also at the end of the book is the first chapter from the next book in the series 'Torn.' I won't go into any detail about this, as it will spoil the ending.
This book was written by Amanda Hocking, an American author who writes Paranormal Romance and Young Adult Fiction. This book is the first in the Trylle trilogy, followed by 'Torn' and 'Ascend.' Other series' by Amanda are; The Hollows series, the My Blood Approves series, and the Watersong series. I'm hooked on this series now, and will be be reading the second one soon.
ISBN for this edition - 9781447210283
ASIN for Kindle Edition - B005I3P94Q
Paperback price on Amazon - New from £0.01 to £3.86, used from £0.01
Kindle price on Amazon - £0.94
Wendy had always known she was different and had never fitted in with her family. Her mother had always sworn she was evil and that she was not her child she was convinced she had given birth to a boy and that Wendy was switched with her child at birth. It turned out her mother was partially right, although wendy was not her the monster she imagined she was in fact switched at birth by her trylle parents to be raised by humans until the time is right for her to return to her home town as an adult.
When she returns (not yet an adult) she finds out that not only is she a different species than she belived she is also a special type of trylle and will be strong and powerful. The fate of all the trylle will one day depend on her.
The book is based around her transition from her human life to the life of the trylle and it is not an easy one for Wendy, she is a feisty character who will not be pushed around easily especially not be her apparent new mother (her birth mother). She is a good character with lots of layers and I found my self really liking her I think she would appeal particularly well to teenagers and young adult readers, as well as older readers.
The book also hints at a possible love story in the further books but it's not your typical 'I know there is going to be a happy ending' sort of book, which is great because you genuinely don't know what's going to happen and find your self really hopping of certain events to happen ( I can't explain to much without giving away the plot'. Wendy is faced with a few moral dilemmas during the book which suck you is as you are hopoung that she will stick to her morals and not let her new family change her to much.
This is definitely a suck you in sort of book so I wouldn't recommend you start reading it late at night as you will not be going to bed at a reasonable hour if you do.
The book is well written but very easy to read, I am dyslexic and although I love reading I do struggle with books that are written in an overly complex manor, which is one of the reasons I read a lot of young adult books. This would be suitable for most adult readers even if your not the speediest of readers.
Side note on the cover - It is a beautiful cover which gives you a feel for the books style which is always nice.
This review is also available on my ciao account under username shellyjaneo
I always promise myself that I not get any new books before reading the hundreds I still have to work my way through, and even when I receive new one's as gifts that I will still try and read the older books first.......no, it never happens that way, and yes I have only had this book in my possession for a few weeks and it was literally crying out to be read, so I did!
The book in question is "Switched" by Amanda Hocking.
Wendy has always known she was different, never really connecting with her mother and always feeling an outsider.
Things come to a head when an argument over Wendy's 5th birthday cake drives her mother to nearly killing her, saved only by her beloved older brother Matt.
Years later and Wendy still feels the same detachment from everyone and thing except her brother and her aunt, who now have joint custody of her since her mother was sectioned, though she does really want to make things right, and has decided to try harder at school and actually stay at this one longer than the last three!
After meeting the darkly brooding Finn, and being equally attracted and freaked out by his unnerving stare, she soon finds there is more to him and her than she realised.
After breaking the news that actually her mother was right in not connecting with her, as she is in fact a "Trylle" (a kind of magical being, a little like a forest nymph), and that, as part of the Trylle tradition, she was birthed and then swapped with a human child for the human parents to raise their children, with them eventually returning to their original homestead called "Forening", completely grown, educated and hopefully with their trust funds, which are what the Trylle depend on to fund their secret lives.
Wendy finally feels hope that she may fit somewhere, but fitting in may mean her having to give her family up, amongst other things.......
I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed this book, as it sounded a little flimsy from the synopsis (though the cover is amazing and the reason why I just had to read it!).
Wendy to all intents and purposes is a typical sounding teenager, full of indecision and angst, and rebelling against anyone that could be deemed as an authorative figure, the fact that she was nearly murdered by her mother makes her actions more believable, but also endears you to her.
The story to me however, really begins when she arrives in her own world, that of the ancient civilisation of the deeply secretive and magical Trylle, you are constantly second guessing what her role will be within this new community, but you are left with no illusions that whatever it is, will be very important.
There is a love story as well, but as with most good books the love has to be forbidden and really worth fighting for, and trust me this one has all those qualities and more!
I do get the feeing this is one of those borderline adult/teenager books around at the moment, as there is no real sexual content to speak of, but lacks nothing in excitement, with my daughter wanting to read this next!
This is obviously a fantasy book, though at times you really do forget this fact as the characters are the main draw with the storyline coming a close second to that, with each character having such distinct personalities, they are really believable.
Price wise this has a RRP of £7.99, but are currently being sold (along with the next book in the series "torn",) as part of a "2 for £7.00" deal in Asda.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable book, and I can't wait to read the next in the series, recommended!
Thanks for reading x