Switched (Trylle Trilogy #1)
by Amanda Hocking
Published by the author
Third paperback edition 2011
Book purchased from Amazon
Book Blurb on Goodreads: 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 finds out her mother might've been telling the truth.
With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - and it's one she's not sure if she wants to be a part of.
It seems like everyone is talking about Amanda Hocking. She is a self publishing success story. At the age of 26, Amanda Hocking is a millionaire, living off of the fruits of her writing labor and preparing to buy her first home. In cash. Talk about living the writing dream, huh? What an inspiration. I've had a copy of Switched for a few months now, but hadn't really given much thought to reading it until I stumbled across this article from the Huffington Post. Now, I had to read this book. And once I started, I just couldn't stop.
The premise is intriguing. It's a unique twist on the classic "awkward high school girl is different' theme. Wendy isn't the typical acne, bad hair, and all the wrong clothes type; Wendy is a troll (spelled Trylle in the book) with the ability to persuade people with her mind.
(And, no vampires! I'm tired of vampires.)
Enter Finn Holmes, who I kept calling Huck Finn in my head. I'm not sure why. Finn is the new kid in school with a penchant for staring at Wendy in a very creepy way. It turns out that Finn is a Trylle tracker, sent to retrieve Wendy and return her to the Trylle mother, Queen of Forening, the most powerful Trylle town. That's right, Wendy is a Trylle Princess!
Wendy is thrown into the Trylle world and must quickly master the rules, the hierarchy, and the facts and faces of 100 guests that will be attending her coming out ball. Finn is there every step of the way, quizzing her on the faces and what fork to use. She makes friends with Rhys, the human boy who lives in the room across the hall from her in the palace, and Willa, a changeling like Wendy, who shows her the ropes for the ball.
Hence the title Switched. Wendy is a changeling; she was switched with a human baby at birth. It turns out Wendy's mother wasn't too far off when she accused Wendy of being responsible for the disappearance of the son she thought she was having.
The book follows a predictable formula and I can definitely see how her obsession with movie director John Hughes (writer, director, producer in films like Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Curly Sue) influenced her writing. Even though the story line was predictable, I enjoyed it anyway, which, I must admit, is unusual for me. The best way to describe my liking of this book is in two words: guilty pleasure or cheese read. It's an addicting, easy to digest book that can be devoured in an afternoon. It probably won't win any literary awards, but it is definitely still worth reading.
I'm curious to see how Wendy tackles the challenges of being a Trylle Princess and if the social hierarchy of Trylle society keeps her and Finn apart. I'm sure that I can guess how things turn out, but I'm choosing to ignore those thoughts and wait to read it for myself. I also hope that the other two books in this trilogy have fewer grammatical and typographical errors. That's a big turn off to me as a reader, especially when there are two glaringly obvious errors on the first page of the book alone.
Overall, I liked this book. It was a fun story and it was fun to read. On a scale of one star (I hated it!) to five stars (I loved it!), I give it four stars.