Amanda Hocking has taken an un tapped world of fantasy and made it into reality with her novel, Switched. Here you've entered a world full of Trylle or as it's coined in the world by most: trolls.
From the moment you meet the protagonist named Wendy Everly, you know her life isn't normal. Her mother tried to kill her before the age of 10 and she ends up moving around to almost 10 different schools by the time she is 15. Her brother Matt and aunt Maggie are what keep her grounded because they love her unconditionally, no matter the mood Wendy is in. Although, throughout the book she was truly just a child in the way she acted which is explained as a trait in those of the Trylle; having a short temper. I did find it annoying at times, but luckily some of the other Trylle were worst in character than Wendy, so she was a sign of relief throughout the novel. I do however love how passionate she is about her family and the bond that was created.
Along the way you meet Finn, mysterious and also comes off at first as arrogant. But once you get to know him, you realize his secret and his ways for this attitude. Behind those brown earthy-tone eyes, lies a someone who has been through a lot and mastered the importance of a strong-will. I admired him for that but at times I kind of wanted to shake the poor boy because he was so convinced he wouldn't let his emotions get in the way of his job. Something that can be hard no just in a fictional world, but in the real world too.
Beyond that, the bond of Wendy and Finn is very much alive in this book. I love how the tension is there, so enriched with fire that keeps on burning through the novel. The love/hate dynamic is engaging for a reader and kept me intrigued. The dialogue interactions between the two was alive and kicking, sometimes kicking: "A foolish man thinks he knows everything. A wise man knows he doesn't," Finn replied absently, still looking down at the book. "That's such a fortune-cookie answer," I said with a laugh, and even he smirked at me. (Hocking, 184)
Then the callus interaction of Kim and Elora with Wendy was tricky. I noticed how cold both were. Kim was frigid and dark, while Elora was intimidating and stoic with the power she had. But the way Elora was described physically in the book made me picture the actress from Revenge, Madeleine Stowe who plays Victoria Grayson, the dark haired beauty of a mother was a cold-hearted way of dealing with people. She is powerful and ruthless, just like Elora. (If there was a movie for this book, I hope someone sends her agent a script to play Elora, because she is perfect!)
This novel has kept me engaged. It's a rare thing and amazing at the same time when this happens and I highly praise books that can do this easily. The world of the Trylle has been very fascinating. From the way the scenery is described to the characters that live in this community, it's no secret that it's filled with magic and adventure.
The real intensity comes in around Chapter 22, when the plot takes on a big twist that later will help lead into an ending that is hard to forget, let alone into the sequel of the trilogy. Hands down this book has been excited, interesting, even fun to read. It took me longer because for two weeks straight I was sick and had a cough that left be unable to read (I once coughed for an hour straight!)
Anyway, all in all, I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves stories about mythological creatures in a new twist and light. The way that Amanda Hocking used trolls and took it to a place that hasn't been tapped into yet for young adult literature is fantastic and really well thought out. I'm excited to read the next installment and the final book in the trilogy as well!