Monday, 7 May 2012

Switched review

Amanda Hocking
January 5th 2012
Tor (Macmillan)

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.

I've put off writing this review for a while now, because I really just don't know what to say about it. I'll be honest, I didn't really like it. I didn't hate it or anything, it just didn't hook me. I was just kind of bored through it. And I really hate saying that about books, but there just wasn't anything stand-out about it for me.

Wendy was okay, I guess, but there was nothing about her character that made me think 'I LOVE YOU' or that made me feel really bad about her circumstances. I could relate to her not wanting to be a princess and not wanting to dress up and whatever, but I don't know. She just kind of felt like your bog standard YA paranormal heroine. She was snarky in places, and I liked that (I mean, I always like snark), but I didn't feel like there was anything that stood out (yes, this phrase is probably going to make a few appearances throughout this review.)

I really liked the premise of it, actually, and I thought the prologue was really gripping. I was really interested to see what happened to Wendy and why her mother wanted to kill her and such, and the emotional impact that would've had on her and her family. I also wanted to see more about her family relationships, and her and her brother, but I felt like that wasn't developed much at all. Maybe that happens in the second book? But I felt like the main part of the first, say, 100 pages of the book was the insta-love with Finn. Which irritated me to no end as it always does. At first I was like 'Yay! She's not going to fall in love with him straight away', because, 'y'know' he had kind of just been staring creepily at her the whole time, but of course he's really hot, so there's that whole irrevocable draw thing that seems to happen all the time, and even when he's being a dick to her, she's still likes him. And then on his second or third visit in through her bedroom window, she thinks she's officially in love with him. I guess it help that the romance kind of stopped for a while because we were learning about the Trylle, but still! Come on girl! You were so sensible for a while! (Sorry, I have to vent about these things.)

I liked the Trylle to, actually, though I feel like she kind of did to Trolls what Meyer did to Vampires, and I probably would've preferred it more if they weren't all super-hot/beautiful. I did like how obsessed they were with money though, and how cold they were, and how they switched their young with the children of rich people so they'd get all the money in their trust funds. And I much preferred Rhys (though he wasn't a trolle) and Tove and Willa to the two main characters. I didn't like how Wendy automatically assumed Willa was a bitch because she was actually really cool, and I think Tove is really interesting and I'd like to see more of him, but I still don't know if I want to read the second book yet. I did kind of feel when reading it that it was like she'd just though which paranormal creature hasn't been done before, and then just picked trolls because it was new and different. But I'd rather see a new take on an old and well used creature than the beautification and standardisation of a new one. I like it when things like trolls and fairies and vamps are bad guys and I can't wait to see that trend start again in YA.

I really hate being negative about books (as I'm sure you've gathered from my swathes of generally positive reviews), but I just didn't feel like there was anything special about this. It wasn't a bad book, but it just felt like every other typical paranormal I've read and everyone made it out like it was something special when I just felt like it wasn't. But if paranormal is your kind of thing, then be sure to pick it up! It just wasn't my cup of tea.


  1. It's great that you've done an honest review of this Cicely! I was actually quite eager to read this after the whole craze about the books, but I might put it off for a bit after reading your review. Although I do like the sound of super-hot trolls... it's not really something you come across everyday, is it? :D

  2. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts. After all the buzz about her, we've definitely been curious about Amanda Hocking. And you know, we're happy for her success! But yeah, we're not sure that hot trolls are our thing. Especially not with insta-love and bland characters in the mix.

    We do like the details you mentioned about trolls, though. Sounds like her world building was pretty good. Maybe if she continues to write, some of these other aspects will become more original and strong.


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