Sunday, January 1, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway: Switched by Amanda Hocking

Switched by Amanda Hocking

Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (January 3, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250006317
ISBN-13: 978-1250006318
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.

Mini Review:

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.

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!


Favorite Lines:
"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

Giveaway Time!
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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to everyone!


  1. Thanks for the giveaway. I like this cover as well, the colors on the cover are very eye catching.

  2. Great review. I love your favorite lines. I can't wait to read SWITCHED!

  3. Great review!!! I cant wait to read this one!! :)

  4. OH NO. I'll read this one with trepidation since I usually don't go for books in which the main protagonist cannot stand up for herself. That is SUCH a pet peeve of mine. BUT on the other hand, this sounds like my kind of romance and I'm just tempted to pick it up.

    I love that cover as well! It's hard to resist. :)

    Thanks for the thoughtful review. I've been thinking about picking this one up and now I know what to expect. :)

  5. Oh man! The Trylle Trilogy books have been on my e-book list for a while now. I went to go buy them like two weeks ago, and they had suddenly disappeared! Now I know why. I think it's great Amanda Hocking's story got picked up by a publisher. I'm reading Hollowland right now, and I find it to be incredibly addictive!

    - Jackie

  6. Greta reveiw...I always like to hear what overs think and yes do love the cover on this book. Thanks for the chance at the giveaway.
    Aurora m.

  7. I've had my eye on this book for a while now. Thanks for the great review! I love books with solid world building & it sounds like I should pick this one up before too long.

  8. Okay, good to know the romance is more slow developed. I am legit sick of insta-love!

  9. Loved this book. AND I had a reluctant reader - a BOY who read all three because his mom had gotten a Nook and had them on there. He loved them!

  10. Really great review! I can't wait to read this book!

  11. i love the first quote u listed :D i love it when bloggers put quotes they liked in their reviews.

  12. Thank you for the opportunity to win this book!

  13. I'm late to the party on this book, I've heard such good things about it and haven't yet read it. Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. I love the quotes. Wendy sounds like a kick!

  15. I really appreciate your thouroughness in the review. Although your review was positive it raised a lot of red flags for me. I want to read this one, and I probably will eventually, but it may not be a top priority. Unlikable main characters and slow pacing are two big issues for me.

  16. I have HALLOWED on my Kindle from her but I haven't read anything yet. Still, this one sounds interesting, even if the MC is a tad plain and boring (I like the kick-butt chicks myself!).

  17. Well, your thoughtful review made me think that this is a pretty awesome book! See what I did there? Haha :)

  18. Great review. Looking forward to reading more. Thanks for sharing!!

  19. I have so been wanting to read this book!!! I read Amanda's My Blood Approves Series and fell in love

  20. I haven't read much about this book before, but I really like the author's zombie book Hollowland. Those are some really intriguing quotes you chose as well! I'll probably read this one pretty soon.

  21. Thanks for the giveaway. I am always nervous when people say it is slow going in the middle! I don't like that. But I liked your little pun at the end about nothing would switch your mind! Cute!

  22. Great review the quotes are great too!
    Thanks for the great giveaway!!

  23. Awesome review. This book sounds sooo good!

  24. Great review! I'm really looking forward to this one as soon as it's out in paperback! I love that fact that a self-published that did so well got picked up. And I'm looking forward to seeing Ms. Hocking's new world. I totally understand slow going in first of a series. Eh, kind of goes with the territory :)

    Thanks for the giveaway, too!!!
    Kristin @myparahangover

  25. Its truly awesome that the Trylle series got picked up by St.Martin's Press that's a huge accomplishment. I read Amanda Hocking's vampire series My Blood Approves and totally fell in love so I just know I will love this series as well.

  26. I loved all of the favorite quotes from the book! It sounds witty and right up my literary ally! :)

  27. This story sounds very interesting. I love to read books with well-developed characters and it sounds like Finn and Wendy will be fun to meet. I love the quotes. :)

  28. this is the first review I've read about Switched. Sounds interesting!

  29. Appreciate this giveaway! Can't wait to read this!

  30. Thanks for the giveaway! Love the look of this one :)

  31. Great review! I like Wendy from the sound of it!

    Thanks for the giveaway :D

  32. I also love the cover...the red orange is definitely eye catching but seems foreboding.

  33. I absolutely love the cover, the red sky looks beautiful and it's such an eye popping cover that makes you want to read the book and not even have to look at the synopsis. Also great review, can't wait to read it sometime.

  34. Great Review! I love Amanda Hocking!


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