Thursday, January 5, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Switched

Author: Amanda Hocking
Release Date: Already out, buy a copy!
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Add it: 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 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.





On her 6th birthday, Wendy's mother decided the kitchen knife was better used on her daughter than the birthday cake. She's been in an asylum ever since and Wendy's grown up with her older brother, Matt, and their Aunt Maggie. Wendy hasn't been the easiest child to deal with over the years - incredibly fussy and oftentimes bratty, but that could be a result of emotional trauma from a psychotic mother trying to kill you, right? Maybe not. When Finn, the new guy at school, refuses to take his eyes off Wendy (emitting serious creepy vibe), she soon discovers she's a troll - more specifically, a changeling - and he's been sent to bring her home. Maybe her mother wasn't so insane afterall.

I liked that Wendy showed potential to be a strong, kickbutt heroine from the start. She did lose some of that upon arrival at Förening, where live a community of 'trolls' known as Trylle, but I suppose having to  face an intimidating Queen when you first arrive will make you just a teensy bit submissive. I'm pleased that she did show that streak of stubborn rebellion again, particularly toward the end. I was weirdly intrigued by Finn when we first saw him. Yes, he gave off a creepy stalker vibe at the start and was very hot and cold with Wendy (a lot of which mildly amused me), but there was something about him that drew me in, just as it did Wendy. And as we learned more about him, I found it hard not to love his character. He's a protector, he's strong and sticks by his morals. And also a Tracker, who are considered lower class among the Trylle, which rules out any hope of a relationship given Wendy's higher status. But despite the impossibility of a love ever happening, they can't fight their growing feelings and the lingering attraction builds and builds until it demands to be unleashed.

I adored many of the secondary characters, Rhys and Tove in particular. While I guessed the twist with Rhys the moment I met him, he was so sweet and vibrant and added this light-hearted air to the novel. Tove was a fascinating character. At first quiet and perhaps a little weird, he later reveals more of himself and you see what amazing potential lie within him. And he's actually quite a fun guy once he allows himself to open up.

The paranormal aspect hooked me in even before I started reading. Trolls. But not as you know them. Most would instantly think towering green monsters who grunt. Or that one time when Harry, Ron and Hermione had a friendly run-in with one and become BFF's forever. But Hocking has crafted something much more appealing here. Most of them are much like humans in appearance and intellect, except for their ability to draw magic from the earth. One aspect of their powers reminded a little of Vampire Academy in the way Moroi's rely so heavily on the dhampir's to protect them, despite having such powerful magic at their disposal. The same can be said about the Trylle. The magic in so many of their population has been long forgotten because they fail to practice it anymore and when trouble does strike from the Vittra, a warring tribe, they rely on their Trackers to use brute force. But it's not enough, especially when the Vittra are growing in number and skill. I'm really curious to see where this is headed. I want to see more of the community rekindle their lost magic and I'm especially eager to see Wendy grow into her powers. 

Amanda has taken a common setup - girl meets boy, discovers she's special - and spun her own refreshing take with a flavour of supernatural I rarely see in YA. And when I do ever see trolls, they're certainly painted in a much uglier shade of green! Switched is a quick, fast-paced read with likable characters, intriguing politics and forbidden romance. The ending will have you eager to pick up the next book to dive back into Wendy's adventure!

 4/5 Golden Apples!


GIVEAWAY: WIN A SIGNED COPY OF SWITCHED! 

Thanks to the amazing folks at St. Martin's Press, I have one signed copy of Switched to giveaway! If you want to win a copy of this fabulous read, then just fill out the form below. Good luck!!
Open internationally
Ends January 15th 2012

23 comments:

  1. LOL I LOVED your reference to Harry, Ron & Hermione! That's exactly what I think of when I hear the word: TROLLS. I can't wait to read about these different sort of trolls Hocking has created-It certainly sounds fascinating :D Fantastic review Brodie! && Thanks for the amazing giveaway <3

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  2. TROLL! IN THE DUNGEON! :D Yep, that was my first association, too. :D But Switched looks amazing, I've read so many great reviews.

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  3. Can't wait to read this book. Love the cover.

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  4. Huh, I won't even lie, the troll aspect completely makes me think there's no chance I would pick this up, but your review tells me otherwise... I'm feeling a pull towards it now, haha.

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  5. Haha, all I kept picturing was the big nasty troll from Harry Potter! This sounds really different and fun. I may have to check it out.

    Great review!

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  6. So she *doesn't* look like Shrek? XD

    Umm... I'm so regretting not buying this is a $3 eBook now! I'm seeing this pop up everywhere, and such good reviews... when I first heard about the series, I went "TROLLS? UH... no thanks." and left it at that. I suck.

    Did you HAVE to mention VA? You know now I have to read it >___<

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  7. Trolls? Wait, this book is about TROLLS!!! How did I miss that? Lol. Not that it really matters to me, I'm still planning on reading it, but I'm not quite sure how I managed my cluelessness on this one...lol.

    Thanks for the review, Brodie! I'm looking forward to reading it!

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  8. Got to admit, when I first read "troll", I pictured the exact one Harry, Ron and Hermione defeated in the Philosopher's Stone movie :P. Interesting that most of them are just like normal humans with earthy powers though! A nice take. Definitely intrigued by this one (and I adore the cover). Great review, thanks!

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  9. I'm ALMOST convinced. Like this much *holds up minimally spaced apart thumb and index finger* sets me back. I love the cover! Love the paranormal aspect behind it! But I'm a little worried here, for the romance and the MC... Lovely review, nonetheless!

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

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  10. Yay!! I loved this whole series! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

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  11. What a great review been seeing this book everywhere Thank you so much for the great giveaway!

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  12. Oh, I'm sooooo curious about this one. Seriously, I love the idea of trolls. Even if yes, I do get an idea of the dumber, grunting once, making it sounds quite fun when you find out you're a troll... Lol. I really need to read this ASAP. Thank you so much for the giveaway and having it open internationally. o: I might have jumped around when seeing this, lol. Ehrm. No, I'm not desperate.

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  13. This book sounds excellent. Looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the giveaway Brodie--as always :)

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  14. AMAZING review, Brodie! I love love love the cover. It looks gorgeous. But I think the UK or AU cover is different? I am desperate to read this book! Glad you enjoyed it!

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  15. Thanks for the review! The cover looks great. The story sounds interesting. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  16. Great review,Brodie!! :) I've been..sort of hesitant about this one. I don't know. I've never read anything by the author. And the idea..reminds me of The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff. But isn't that cover gorgeous? And isn't your review super awesome??? Now I WANT it. It's your fault! *stomps away* *stomps back to join giveaway* Thank you!

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  17. Great review! The cover looks very interesting :) I'm pretty curious about it now!

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  18. Your review made it sound so awesome I've put it on my To Read list on Goodreads.

    It sounds a little like The Replacement? The opening paragraph anyway, and after that I was picturing Eragon when he goes underground with the dwarves for some reason.

    Very excited to read it though :D

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  19. Thank you for your review and for the giveaway! This book sounds really good. >_<

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  20. Great review! No green fugly trolls in this series:D

    Awesome series and so is My Blood Approves a wonderful series that gets better and better as it goes on.

    Michelle

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  21. This sounds fun, but... I just think of The Iron King, and I'm slightly put off as I didn't enjoy it much. Yet you loved that series. Hmm. I'm going to have to bite the bullet, trust that you know what you're talking about, and read Switched (as well as the rest of the Iron Fey series). I'm sure I'll love it! :)

    Also, your cover is SO MUCH PRETTIER than mine. Mine's orange. I hate orange. But your cover! I would have read straight away! Or at least a lot sooner, lol.

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