Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (January 3, 2011)
Series: Trylle Trilogy #1
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Cover: I'm so in love with this cover. It's my favorite one because of the color and I love the castle in the background. The model in the gorgeous dress in the foreground, picking those bright flowers is just lovely. I even love the design around the title. Everything about this cover pulls me and demands I know more.
First Sentence: A couple things made that day stand out more than any other: it was my sixth birthday, and my mother was wielding a knife.
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 discovers her mother might have been right. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - a world both beautiful and frightening, and Wendy's not sure she wants to be a part of it.Review:
It's hard not to read this book and factor in its past up until publication. The fact of the matter is, this was first and foremost, a self-published novel that ended up doing extraordinarily well. So well in fact, that St. Martin's Press picked up the story. I'm not really sure if that gave me higher expectations or lower ones. Needless to say, I went into this novel really not knowing what to expect. What I found surprised me. Switched is filled with solid writing, a different type of paranormal creature and an interesting world within our own.
It's hard not to root for Wendy considering the past she's had. While I wasn't always fond of her somewhat meek demeanor, I did feel like her voice was natural and she seemed like a normal girl. The only problem I found is that Wendy was supposed to be unique and not able to fit in so I found myself a little upset at how normal and plain she was at times. But then, I get glimpses of something different like when she was able to pick a lock and though it seemed out of nowhere, the author was able to back it up by her inability to fit in and need to adapt.
What I do like about Wendy is I feel like there is a lot of potential for her to grow. I grew frustrated that she wouldn't fight for herself but over the course of the novel, she began to fight back. By the end, I felt like I would see a very different Wendy in the next novel and that excited me. So while my feelings were a bit mixed about the main character, I am happy to report that as she grows up, she grew on me.
Wendy's love interest, Finn, did annoy me at first. I saw the same hot/cold pattern going on between them like so many other couples in YA and was waiting for them to finally just make out in a moment of heating passion. Only, that moment never came and I can't tell you how happy I am for that. Ms. Hocking took her time to build a relationship between these two characters which made for a much more realistic romance that felt deeply statisfying. Plus, there's something just smoking about a body guard and charge scenario that was definitely working for this scenario.
The plot was a little slow but that is because the author takes her time immersing Wendy in an entirely new world right underneath our noses. I really liked the world building and different customs of the Trylle. While I felt that the middle did drag a bit, I was interested in knowing how exactly Wendy would have to adjust and what she was expected to do. The fantasy, otherworldiness feel to the world was just enough to hold my attention and kept it special. Plus I liked how magic blended into the story and two seperate races at war with each other.
I wasn't sure what to expect as far as writing went but what I found was a smooth, easy voice and a natural flow to the prose. Ms. Hocking's clear descriptions, exciting fight scenes and snappy dialogue all work to make this novel something worth reading.
In the end, this novel made up my mind for me. With it's interesting paranormal creature and customs, beautiful hidden setting and evolving main character, Switched is a great read. Nothing is going to switch my perspective on this one!
"We weren't friends," I corrected her. "I just stole his motorcycle. While he happened to be on it."--Pg. 16 of "Switched" by Amanda Hocking
Maybe they were bounty hunters or kidnappers or just big fans of chopping up girls into little pieces and disposing of them in a ditch.--Pg. 75 of "Switched" by Amanda Hocking
After a little while, I sighed in frustration and hurriedly rubbed the rest of the lotion in while Finn continued to rummage through my clothes./ "I don't think I have anything in your size," I said.--Pg. 137 of "Switched" by Amanda Hocking
"Anything." He spread his arms wide. "Can you move stuff?"/ "With my hands, yeah."--Pg. 220 of "Switched" by Amanda Hocking
The folks at St. Martin's Press were kind enough to offer up a signed copy of Switched by Amanda Hocking to one of my lucky US readers. Trust me when I say that you don't want to miss an opportunity like this!
- Must be 13 years or older
- Must fill out the form below
- May only enter once
- This is a US only giveaway
- Must leave a thoughtful comment
- Giveaway ends 1/15/12
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Good luck to everyone!