Switched (Trylle Trilogy #1) by Amanda Hocking.
Paperback, 318 pages.
Pub Date: July 12, 2010 (original).
January 3, 2012 (my edition).
Pub by St. Martin's Griffin.
When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes.
Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit. But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home.
Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become…
From the prologue at the very beginning this book caught my attention. The prologue describes Wendy's sixth birthday party and her mother's attempt to kill her. It built my excitement and my intrigue into how the story would play out from there.
It's clear early on that Wendy is not your average teenage girl, yet she acts like one and feels the same things that average teen girls do. She's quite self-conscious in the moments that I would be, which really helped me appreciate her character. She's also very believable in the way she adapts to the complete overhaul of her life. When she is told the truth about who (or what) she is, she doesn't accept it right off the bat, but she sees little things in her life that point her towards the possibility. She slowly comes to terms with the change and stands up for what she believes, instead of immediately throwing everything she knows away because of a hot guy. She's very strong-willed and is not afraid to fight for what she wants, or to prove to people that they are wrong about her. I think she's a great character because she's so real and because even after everything she goes through, she still has heart and can recognize the good people in her life.
What about the hot guy I mentioned earlier? Finn, who is called a "tracker", is sent for Wendy to tell her the truth about who she is and to take her to her "tribe", if you will, the Trylle. There always seems to be some sort of chemistry between the two hiding just under the surface, but, since we see the story from Wendy's perspective, Finn seems to be completely playing her hot and cold. He gives her looks that make her face flush and her heart thump, then tells her that his being near her is "just his job", which everyone else maintains that he does very well. I liked the dynamic between them, even though it sometimes felt like Wendy was being jerked around.
I really enjoyed the Trylle world that Hocking created. Even though it is part of our world, it has its quirks and details that make it unique. The society is very specific, with a strict hierarchy that plays an important role. The Trylle themselves are interesting, with qualities that completely make sense with who they're supposed to be (such as not enjoying wearing shoes and only eating natural foods). Overall it seems like a beautiful place, but with some real issues.
There was also a bonus story included in the edition I picked up, called "The Vittra Attacks". I thought this was a really neat addition to the book as it gave a completely different perspective on the storyline and introduced a new character that I think we'll be seeing more of in the next two Trylle books. The only thing I would've asked for from this was more information/explanation, but I suppose Hocking can't give it all away yet!
I thought this book was really well written, with honest emotion and great characters.
I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys this type of YA fiction, but especially for fans of Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush Hush series as there are some similar dynamics and ideas.