Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
SciFi Element: Trolls
Series: Trylle #1
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Taken in by the articles and all the hype I pushed my self-pub prejudices aside and purchased SWITCHED. It was only .99¢ so it wasn’t like it was putting me out our anything. And, I have to say, for the price it was a good way to pass some time, be entertained and hang out with likable characters. Yet, it was like reading a story I’ve read a 100 times. Scene 1: Girl meets boy, boy is moody and mysterious, boy makes cryptic statements until girl figures out that she is not quite human. Scene 2: Girl is taken to new non-human place, where more cryptic statements are made, nothing is revealed (for no apparent reason) and girl falls in love with guy. Scene 3: Mysterious enemies appear, along with a ton of other possible love interests, boy can’t love girl “for her own good” so girl makes crazy, non-sensical decisions that push towards the final culmination of plot. I’ve read it tons of times before, there was really nothing original about this novel. Instead of faeries they were called trolls or Trylle, instead of living in an alternate fairyland they lived in a gated community. I was really expecting to be wowed, but unfortunately I was just bored.

Wendy Everly doesn’t quite fit. At six years of age her mother tried to kill her because she was convinced Wendy wasn’t her daughter. In high school she really doesn’t have any friends. Here only comfort is her brother and Aunt who have protected her since her mother was committed. When an odd boy transfers to her school and stares at her a lot, Wendy is creeped out, more so when she spots him on her street and starts feeling eyes on her at all times. When she finally confronts him about it, Finn makes weird cryptic statements that has her frustrated and angry with him. But, it doesn’t make her send him away when he appears at her window to tell her that she really isn’t human and doesn’t belong here in the human world. She is actually a Troll, or what they call Trylle, switched at birth and she is the most powerful Trylle that he knows, from what he can tell after he witnesses her “persuade” a boy to drive her home.

Wendy has to be careful though, because there is another group of (not really explained) Trolls that are for some reason wanting to kidnap Trylle to add to their power. They’ve targeted Wendy so Finn has to whisk her away early to the Trylle compound, to finally meet her real mother and maybe find the place she belongs.

A convoluted plot, mixed with unoriginal storyline, made this novel something I had to trudge through. The only thing that kept me going was the likeablity of the characters. Wendy and Finn are very enjoyable characters even though they are cut from the same young adult mold as many other novels. The beginning was actually well done and I was impressed with the start. It was a new twist on Changelings, paired with a mother that tried to murder Wendy and a weird new power to explore…I thought it could be so much more. Just when Wendy got to Forening (the compound) the whole book went downhill. It was nothing but useless planning for a Coming Out Ball for Wendy. The training that Wendy went through was useless, they kept her in the dark the whole time and I really saw no reasoning for them to not tell her all about Trylle society. Why? Why would they not inform her. It was a lot of Wendy doing something that was improper for Trylle society, her mother and Finn getting angry with her for her behavior – but the fact is, no one told her. What was the logic behind this, if I was Wendy I would be livid. Then the final conclusion was just ridiculous. There was nothing really hair-raising about the action, the timing was just off on how it was written. I didn’t feel anxiety or anything remotely resembling an emotional reaction. And then the book ended. Just randomly. And the logic behind the decision of how the book ended made no sense.

So, let me do a summary of likes and dislikes:

The plot was full of holes and illogical sequences
The storyline was unoriginal playing on usual YA trappings, including a possible love triangle
The ending was a big let down

The new perspective of the Changeling concept
Character Development

Fans of The Mortal Instruments series might enjoy because it does follow some similar plot arcs. There is some references to sex, but nothing explicit. I recommend for older teens.

While personally I wasn’t impressed with this novel I am astounded at this author’s success. It is a testament to the new age of publishing and something that gives struggling writers much hope. I am highly impressed with her success and I’m happy to support authors like this. Sorry about the neg review, but I have to be honest. I will most likely give the other series a try.

If you liked that one, you’ll like these:

  1. The Iron King (Harlequin Teen) 
  2.  Evermore: The Immortals

The 411:

  1. These are self-published novels
  2. Amanda Hocking sold 164,000 books in 2010
  3. In January 2011 Amanda Hocking sold more than 450,000 copies of her nine titles.
  4. If she only made .25¢ per title (USA TODAY said the she netted 30% on .99¢ books – so that is about .29¢), that would mean that in January alone she made over 100K