8.22.2014 | Friday


category: Book Reviews

Switchedtitle: Switched
author: Amanda Hocking
series: Trylle #1
published: 3 January 2012
publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
genre(s): fantasy, romance
pages: 336
source: bought
format: paperback
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | BookBub | Goodreads

rating: four-stars | series rating: four-stars

the blurb

When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might've been telling the truth. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - and it's one she's not sure if she wants to be a part of.

my review

I loved the fantasy world that Amanda Hocking created in the worrld of the Trylle.  It is a complex society that lives within our own world, completely off the grid for most humans.  I read a lot of fantasy and rarely have I come across a world featuring trolls, especially depicted as socially cultured and refined creatures.

The society of the Trylle and the lore behind it reminded me a lot of Aprilynne Pike’s Wings series.  There is a very defined caste system which most are unwilling to change or challenge, different social groups of trolls who all function in specific ways.  The changeling theme is also similar, although that is a piece of the lore that exists in a lot of mythology.

But, despite those commonalities, the story is its own.  Wendy has had a rough childhood in a lot of ways.  Her father died when she was very young and her mother hated her, going so far as to try to kill her when she was only six years old.  She has never fit in and she was always more than a little difficult, no matter how hard she tried.  Even with all of that, she grew up with her aunt and her big brother, both of whom loved her unconditionally.  Despite the paranomal aspect to the story, there are some strong messages on family acceptance and love.

And then she meets Finn, who turns her world upside down when he tells her the unimaginable… that there is a reason that she is the way she is and that her life is in danger because of it.  She soon discovers that latter is true, although she has a tough time wrapping her head around the rest of it.

I love Wendy as a character.  She is strong and loving, and more than a little stubborn.  She loves her family fiercely and is strong in her own beliefs.  But she isn’t sure that her new life is better or worse than her old life, and neither was I as a reader.  Finn is a great character, strong and loyal.  He is a warrior and a protector and full of honor.  He is the epitome of the knight in shining armor, almost to a fault as he is willing to sacrifice even his own needs and wants for the greater good.  Elora (Wendy’s mother), however, is a conundrum.  She is regal to the point of being more than a little cold.  She and her biggest rival, Aurora, seem to take a great deal of pleasure sniping at Wendy.  Nothing she does is ever good enough and there is no compassion for the changes she has been through.  Elora is the woman we love to hate and Aurora is a raging snob!

Bonus:  There’s a bonus short story in the newer editions of the book, The Vittra Attacks, set in the world of the Trylle!

Forget the fact that the cover is gorgeous… this is a fun book with a great premise.  There is a lot going on under the surface that we are only just getting hints at.  There are secrets and mysteries and intrigue and I can’t wait to read the second book!

About Amanda Hocking

I live in Minnesota, and I write young adult paranormal romance and urban fantasy mostly. The My Blood Approves series is about vampires in Minneapolis, and its available now. I also wrote the Trylle Trilogy, which is a paranormal romance without vampires, shifters, mermaids, fae, angels, dragons, ghosts, or ninjas.

My latest book is Hollowland – a zombie urban fantasy set in the dystopian near future. It’s a bit more violent and gritter than my other books, but there is still romance. Mostly though, Remy kicks a lot of butt.

I also enjoy Red Bull, Jim Henson, Batman, Jane Austen, Star Wars legos, and I absolutely hate long walks on the beach out of my intense fear/hatred of wet sand

My favorite authors are Kurt Vonnegut, Chuck Palahniuk, Bret Easton Ellis, Alan Moore, and J. D. Salinger, but I don’t write anything like them. I have an obsession with River Phoenix, and I’ve seen Silence of the Lambs more than any other movie, even The Dark Knight. If I were trapped on a deserted island, the one thing I’d take with me would be a boat capable for taking me home.

I’m also the guitarist in a band called the Fraggin Aardvarks, and even though its even twice as cool as it sounds, we haven’t had a practice in like two years, so I’m not sure that technically we are still a band. But we never broke up, and it’s an awesome thing to tell people, so I’m sticking with it. (We even had a synethesizer!)

Rating Report
Overall: four-stars

reading challenges:

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