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.~From GoodReads
I'm fairly certain that the moment I joined Twitter, I heard about Amanda Hocking. She's pretty much an indie phenomenon. So when I was asked to review Switched, I jumped on the opportunity.
Switched is the story of Wendy Everly, a young girl with a disturbing, to say the least, background, who learns everything she knew about herself was a lie. It's the story of her struggle to find a place in her new world, or whether she actually wants to be there at all.
What I enjoyed most about Switched is the paranormal aspect to Wendy's story, who and what she is. I don't want to give away exactly what the Trylle are. They are a species that we've all heard about, but never in the way Hocking has re-imagined them.
The Trylle are hidden, virtually in plain sight. I love when an author can take paranormal creatures and their habitat and place them in the real, modern world. The world-building in the story is thorough without becoming too elaborate. The political and social norms and turmoil in the Tryll world are intriguing and not unlike the royalty of our world.
The characters of Switched were a bit tricky for me. Starting with Wendy. I could definitely sympathize with her (I would be heartless if I couldn't), but I never became fully invested in her plight. She just felt too distant to me, I never felt what she was feeling. I was only a bystander.
Finn, who is there to help Wendy adjust to her new life, frustrated me. You know those guys in the books who are super sweet one minute and a jerk the next? That was Finn. And yes, he has a reason, but it's just too much sometimes. And the fact that Wendy basically let him do whatever he wanted or get by saying jerky stuff because he was hot really bugged me. Having said that, I did end up liking Finn, once he began to open up to Wendy. Circumstance has really given him the shaft, but he deals.
The most surprising character, for me, was Tove. A fellow Trylle, who at first comes off as as spoiled and weird, and I totally wrote him off as a throw-away character. He reminded me of Adrian from Vampire Academy, without the snark. At the end of the Switched, I was left way more curious about Tove than anyone else. Nice surprise!
I did have one major issue with Switched: the classic problem of showing vs. telling. I think that's why I wasn't particulary empathetic to the characters. I knew Wendy was scared/upset/angry because I was told she was, but I didn't feel a darn thing. I tried, so hard. But without showing me the reactions Wendy was experiencing, I couldn't do it.
In the end, Switched was a story that I liked well enough, but overall, left me feeling a bit underwhelmed.
"A couple things made that day stand out more than any other: it was my sixth birthday, and my
mother was wielding a knife. Not a tiny steak knife, but some kind of massive butcher knife glinting
in the light like in a bad horror movie. She definitely wanted to kill me."
You can read an excerpt from Switched here.
Paperback, 298 pages
Expected publication: January 3rd 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin
You can purchase Switched at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
* Thanks to St. Martin's Griffin and Book Kitty Blog for providing the ARC. *