Switched by Amanda Hocking
Series: Book #1 in the Trylle Trilogy
Published: January 3rd, 2012 (originally self-published July 12th, 2010)
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
293 pages (paperback)
Genre: Young adult urban fantasy
Acquired this book: From the library
Warning: May contain spoilers
Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit. But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home.
Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become…
I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for a really long time. Like many other indie authors, Amanda Hocking’s success was a huge deciding factor in my very long and difficult decision to self-publish. I knew the chances of reaching her success were slim, but knowing it was possible was a huge motivator for me. I’m happy that I can now say I’ve read a book by Amanda Hocking, although I really do wish I’d been able to read one before she was traditionally published.
I thought the concept of Switched was really cool. I’ve always been interested in the idea of changelings, because I’ve always been obsessed with faeries, and I liked that this was a different species of creatures switching out human babies for trylle (troll) babies, and the reasons behind the switch. I thought it was quite original.
Wendy is a very likeable character. She almost shouldn’t be because she’s got such a difficult, contrary personality, but she tries so hard to redeem herself, and she’s not a bad person. She had a horrific, traumatic childhood, and eventually she realizes how lucky she was to have her brother and aunt in her life, because they loved and accepted her unconditionally. There was this innocence about her that I found really endearing.
I enjoyed the secondary characters, too, especially Matt, Finn, and Rhys. Willa ended up being a good character too, despite how she seemed at first. I have to admit, I definitely did develop a crush on Finn, and I loved how protective he was of Wendy, and how he wanted to keep her safe, no matter what - even if it meant hurting them both emotionally. Elora was very believable as the cold, calculating, disapproving mother, and I found myself wanting to punch her a number of times - but I always enjoy characters that you love to hate!
I can’t really say that there was anything I didn’t like about this book. So why only 3.5 stars? It was good, but it didn’t really grab me. The pacing was decent, the characters were good, the world-building was pretty good. It definitely had its moments, but it wasn’t incredible. That being said, I’m anxious to find out what happens in the next book. I’m hoping it’s a little more past-paced and exciting now that the main characters have been introduced and the reader understands what’s going on.
Have you read Switched? What did you think? Have you read anything else of Amanda Hocking's? What do you think of her going from an indie author to a traditionally published author?