Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Review: Switched by Amanda Hocking

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Switched
Amanda Hocking
Release date: January 3rd, 2012
by St. Martin’s Griffin

Goodreads / Purchase

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.

*A copy was provided by St. Martin’s Press for review purposes*

Trolls! I know, right? Flashy colorful hair, so-ugly-they’re-cute dolls we all had at one point? In Amanda’s world, these are all misconceptions. They’re called Trylle, and they’re beautiful, magical and on the brink of extinction.

With an entirely unique lore, Switched is able to stand out from all the other paranormal books available. I was fascinated by the Trylle mythology: How they lived, the monarchy, their custom of switching babies at birth. It was absolutely creative. Into this world comes a collection of commendable characters that are both well developed and easily likeable – even a select few that are fun to hate. Wendy has a big personality. She’s had a difficult, traumatic childhood, but that only made her stronger for the wear. She doesn’t let anyone manipulate her. She’s sympathetic and kind. All of which make her really relatable. I enjoyed going through her dilemmas with her. The stressful demands of becoming a princess overnight, the boy she’s falling for- it was all delightful. Almost like a modern day fairy tale.

Yes! The wonderful boys! From sweet to sweaty, Wendy has got more than her pick of lovely bachelors to chose from. I absolutely loved how the romance was played out in Switched. It’s passionate and heartbreaking. It doesn’t fall with the clichés of today’s YA novels. It’s unexpected – true to life. Truthfully, I devoured it and I can’t fathom choosing a team. She can have them all, right?

While there is still good story development, I did find some parts of the book were a bit slow. A good portion is dedicated to character and world building, however the book does not completely suffer from “first book syndrome” it does have its own beginning, middle and end, but I think the rest of the trilogy will be much more action packed with powerful plot twists.

With this admirable debut, Amanda Hocking has begun a trilogy that has immense potential. Switched is just as beautiful inside as it is on the outside (definite cover lust) and I highly recommend it! 

4 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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42 Responses to “Review: Switched by Amanda Hocking”

  1. Amy

    I love this series. The following books definitely give you much more. I got them all for my nook a while back and finished the trilogy in 2 days. Great review!

  2. Alexa

    I really never thought I’d be interested in a book about trolls. But then again, this book may just change my mind.

    Thank you for the great review!

  3. Dani @ Refracted Light

    I agree with everything you said! 🙂 This trilogy is fantastic and I’m curious to read the re-release, because I think there are some changes from the original, self-pubbed version. In any case, I LOVE the new covers for this series 🙂 Will be interested to hear what you think about the rest of the trilogy! Great review!

  4. Kristin Aragon

    Great review, Giselle. I read Switched way before it was cool. Back when it was a .99 cent book. I have ordered the physical book now and cannot wait to get it. I will review it then.

    ~Kristin

  5. Jenny

    SO EXCITED to read this one! I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about Amanda Hocking’s books, and I love the whole Trylle mythology concept. Seems like there’s a love triangle of sorts but that it’s really well done (especially if you can’t bear to pick a team), so I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s all about:)

  6. Bailey

    Okay, now I really, really want to read this one. Hot guys??? Romance??? Trolls that are beautiful??? Heck yes!! =D Great review!!

  7. Giselle

    Thanks for the comments and compliments! 🙂

    @Larissa: You either got the ARC or the self pub book and both are prone to typos and errors. It’s even expected – especially in ARCs.

  8. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Okay, I really need to read this. When I first heard it was about trolls, I did wonder (considering I have one of those smooshy-faced, wild-haired versions myself) but I like that they’re a softer breed. Interesting premise–this girl’s got to have something special to have done as well as she did self-pubbing.

  9. Shellie

    I saw this on the nook a while back but wasn’t to sure of it but since it’s been published now…may have to think about it again =)

  10. Candace

    I read one of Amanda’s books early last year. Actually, it was her very first book and at the time I thought she had some creative ideas but I wasn’t a big fan. I think that going by what has been said that she’s gotten better and better. And this series sounds amazing. And I love the cover! I’ll definitely have to give it a try!

  11. Nina Reed

    I bought this for my Kindle in 2010, but never got around to reading it. I guess it’s being re-released now, and I love the new cover! Seems like I have to read it soon!:)

  12. Giselle

    Thanks ladies! I’d be interested to see how this one matches up with the self-pubbed version!

    And for those who don’t have it – stay tuned tomorrow! 😉

  13. toni d.

    Treasure Trolls! Goodness… now that I think of it, what WAS the obsession with them? They were so ugly. Not to mention expensive! Well, at least when I was little I thought of them as expensive, seeing as I could never afford the larger ones with the rainbow coloured hair. But I think I had about 3 of them…

    Anyhoo! Fantastic review! Can’t wait to read this one!

  14. A Canadian Girl

    I’ve seen this one around but didn’t really bother to read the reviews. You’ve convinced me to add it to my wishlist just because I haven’t read a book about trolls and the mythology in this one is well-developed.

  15. Ashley Prince

    This definitely sounds like a worthy paranormal series. I love when an author does something away from the norm.

    I will be adding this to my TRB list this year. Thanks for great review!

  16. Melanie

    Last year in my English class, Amanda Hocking’s publishing story was part of my term paper. It’s pretty cool that she went from self-published to a major publishing contract.

    Switched sounds very good! I’ve never read a book about trolls before.

  17. Small Blonde Hippy

    I have heard so much about Amanda Hocking but not got round to reading any of her stuff yet. I was kind of put off because I thought they might all be about vampires (which I’m utterly sick of) but after reading your review, Switched sounds like it might be up my street. Thanks!

  18. Book Sake

    I am all for building and fleshing out the characters. I get upset when they skip over that part or barely scratch the surface in a rush to set a story up or have some action.
    – Jessica @ Book Sake

  19. Wendy Darling

    Nicely reviewed Giselle. I read these when they were self-published and thought they were fun, so I’m really curious to see if/how they’ve changed in their new format. Glad you enjoyed!

  20. Cambria

    Great review! I actually read this series a while ago when they were self published. I would really like to know if they are different in any way. Maybe i will check it out and see if they are much different. I like the new cover, it beautiful!

  21. Novels On The Run

    Great review! I read the self published Switched December 2010 and fell in love with the series. Torn is my fave.

    My Blood Approves is an awesome series. Those books start off ok and become fantastic, of course this was self pub when I read them too, so not sure how much of an edit makeover they got.

    I am happily starting all over again. I love the book trailer. I spoke to publisher as I was trying to figure out what I did with my reviews from so long ago now she is published. So me thinks I change my tags, cover makeover and ?? I hate to change my thoughts at the time. Odd spot to be in really…hehe.

    Michelle