Author: Amanda Hocking
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Trylle Trilogy (Book 1)
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Format: Paperback, 293 Pages
ISBN-10: 1250006317 (St. Martin’s Press)
ISBN-13: 978-1250006318 (St. Martin’s Press)
Reviewed by: Emmy
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.
Quick & Dirty: Interesting premise, changelings/trolls taking the place of rich children, but the plot did not live up to expectations. Very much the first book of a series, I hope the others are more involved.
Opening Sentence: A couple things made that day stand out more than any other: it was my birthday, and my mother was wielding a knife.
I really enjoyed the concept behind this book. The Trylle are a tribe of trolls (not trolls as we think of them, I imagine them more as elves or something) and the elite of the society give up their children to be changelings. They do this because 1) it’s tradition and 2) when their fake parents die, they get a large inheritance and bring money to their community. The babies are left to very wealthy families and grow up living spoiled, almost normal lives. Then the tracker comes to get them and they go back to the Trylle.
Wendy’s changeling experience didn’t quite go that way. Wendy’s mother knew, like apparently some do, that she was not her real child. Kim Everly was supposed to have a boy, but Wendy’s real mother had her heart set on the Everly’s raising her and switched the babies anyway. But Kim knew, and when Wendy was six she tried to kill her. She was saved by her brother Matt, who loves her more than anything, and was raised by her aunt Maggie after that. Skip ahead eleven year when Wendy has faced numerous expulsions and behavioral problem. She has a quick temper. And, she realizes, if she tries hard enough she can make people do whatever she wants. It’s gotten her into trouble more than a few times.
In comes Finn Holmes, another new kid at her school. He’s always staring at her (and I do mean always) and basically never talks. He has an explanation for why she gets angry, why she’s such a picky eater. She’s a troll. And he wants her to run away from her family and come live on a troll commune in Minnesota. Ha. She says no. No, she’s not leaving her family, who has done everything for her. No, she’s not running off with a guy she barely knows. No, she doesn’t believe she’s a troll.
Until…Wendy has no choice but to go with Finn. The danger’s gotten to close. The Trylle are a powerful tribe, and like anyone in power they have enemies. The Vittra would consider it quite a catch to get a troll as powerful as Wendy in their tribe. Persuasion, especially when she’s so young, is rare and she comes from a lineage filled with powerful trolls. So they’re coming after Wendy, hoping not only to capture her for their side, but to damage the standing of the Trylle.
But Wendy doesn’t have time to worry about the Vittra. This new world Finn has plunged her into has rules and political games Wendy has never had to play before. But if she doesn’t learn she could damage her standing in the community, as well as her mother’s. She needs to learn everything before her come-out ball, when she’ll be reintroduced to the Trylle community.
One of the things that really bothered me about this book was the fact that everything seemed to happen too quickly to be believable. Even in the beginning, when the book lagged as Hocking tried to introduce everything, everything seemed to fit perfectly into Wendy’s plan. In that sense, it was a little too much like every other YA book. The other aspect of the book that annoyed me was the way everyone was dodging her questions about the Trylle, waiting for Wendy’s mother to answer them. That got annoying fast. It happened Every. Single. Time. And it really bogged down the conversations of the story.
But as I said, the premise of this book is really interesting. This book functions a lot like a starting point and I hope the next two are more in depth and engaging than this one. While there was nothing functionally wrong with the writing, Hocking had to fall back on a lot of clichés and derived actions to make everything fit into her plot. But I will definitely read the next installment, because I need to know how it all works out!
“Leave him alone,” she shouted again, and the orderly started pulling her up. She fought against him, screaming at me. “Do you hear me, Wendy? I will get out of here someday! And if you hurt that boy, I will finish the job I started!”
“That’s enough,” the orderly bellowed, dragging her out of the room.
“You’re not human, Wendy! And I know it!” That was the last thing she yelled before he carried her out of sight.
The staff let me sit there for a minute, trying to catch my breath and get myself under control. Mat couldn’t see me like this. I really, really thought I was going to throw up, but I managed to keep it down.
Everything was true. I was a changeling. I wasn’t human. She wasn’t my mother. She was just Kim, a woman who had lost her grip on reality when she realized I wasn’t her child. I had been switched for her son, Michael, and I had no idea what happened to him.
The Trylle Trilogy:
FTC Advisory: St. Martin’s Press provided me with a copy of Switched. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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