Source- Review copy
Synopsis: 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.
Review: Switched is the first novel by Amanda Hocking to be published under Pan Macmillan. Hocking is the acclaimed self-published author who prior to 15th April 2010 had never sold a book and now has sold over one million eBooks. She is known as the ‘self-publishing phenomenon.’
As a self-pubbed author myself, I have been very intrigued by Amanda’s journey to success and really just wanted to see what all the fuss was about!
In Switched, Wendy Everly is an unruly teenager with weird food habits, a bad temper and a tendency to leave a trail of chaos behind. At 6 years old, her mother tried to kill her, claiming that she wasn’t her ‘real’ daughter and had been switched at birth. Wendy moves in with her older brother, Matt and her Aunt.
Eleven years later, at a brand new school, Wendy meets the peculiar Finn who has intense eyes and an aloof disposition that attracts her to him instantly. He shares with her the truth of her early beginnings and confirms that she was indeed ‘switched’ at birth. Wendy uncovers that she is a changeling, a Trylle, also known as a troll; from a very big underground community and now it is time for her to return.
Reluctant at first, Wendy does agree to join the Trylle when her life and her family’s becomes under threat. There, she is titled the princess and meets her mother, who is very similar to the cold, distant mother that betrayed her when she was just a child. Wendy struggles to fit into this regimented community and realises she is falling for Finn, who is a tracker and at the bottom of the food chain- an inappropriate love match for a Trylle princess.
Switched is a quick, easy read. It is by no means a brilliant example of fiction but it does have all the elements that appeal to YA fans- paranormalcy, forbidden love and Hocking’s trademark satirical wit. This story didn’t blow me away, and there were times when I was criticising elements of the story in my mind as I read it, particularly the relationship between Wendy and Finn- I still have no idea why they liked each other, other than because Wendy thought he was attractive and he paid attention to her. There was no gradual emotional connection that occurred between the two of them so I was never really vested in the success of their relationship from the beginning. But, in saying that there was something about the story that drew me in and I did manage to finish it in a day and probably will read the remaining of the trilogy once they are released. Ascend is available in February and Torn shortly after that.
Whether Amanda, writes knockout fiction or not, she has created a frenzy in the self-pubbed turned mainstream world. You just have to look on Goodreads to find over 10,000 ratings- even though 1000 readers have rated Switched at 2 stars or less!
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The sequel Torn is released by Pan Macmillan on 1st February, 2012 followed by Ascend on 1st April, 2012.