Switched by Amanda Hocking

(Cover picture courtesy of Macmillan.)

When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her.  Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right.  She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes.

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 had never heard of Switched before my best friend read it.  Being my best (and only) friend, we like to share what we’re reading frequently so I soon heard all about the world of Switched.  She lent me the entire trilogy, so I figured I’d give it a try.  I most definitely had my doubts about the whole changeling premise and the love triangle, but they turned out to be unfounded.

Wendy is nothing like your typical YA heroine.  She’s smart and resourceful and uses her head rather than her heart to make decisions, especially near the end of the novel.  I honestly can’t thank Amanda Hocking enough for creating a realistic but strong female narrator who doesn’t fall in love with every single male she sees.  And Wendy is powerful, yes, but she has to work hard to develop her powers, unlike many YA protagonists.  She also catches onto the whole changeling thing fairly fast and accepts it, rather than going through the “magic doesn’t exist” phase until she encounters other magical beings.

This is not a vampire, zombie, werewolf or fairy novel.  It’s a troll, or Trylle, novel.  Trolls, of course, are nothing like the ones found in fairy tales and legends, but Amanda Hocking still stuck to the basics of the species: bad tempers, unruly hair, an unusual hatred of footwear, etc.  The world Wendy is catapulted into is believable and fantastically built with all kinds of wonderful little details.

I would highly recommend Switched to anyone, male or female, who’s sick of weak YA protagonists, old clichés and traditional non-human fantasy beings.

I give this novel 5/5 stars.

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