Author: Amanda Hocking
Reviewed by Fran Lewis
Some women are made to be mothers and others are not. Unfortunately, Wendy Everly could not go to the mother exchange to find a better model, more understanding person or someone who did not want to end her young life. At the age of five she experienced what many children often do not survive, her mother’s attempt at trying to end her life using a butcher knife. Stating that Wendy was not her real daughter but some type of monster she wanted to rid the rid of this demon. But, Wendy’s mother does not succeed sending her to where many other mothers belong to a mental or psycho ward to be brought up by her aunt and brother. Every child wants to be cared for, nurtured and loved. Wendy is no different but life deals her different kind of hand or direction and growing up is not what she expected or some might say deserves. What would you do if your life were about to be turned upside down? What would you do if you found out you were not really human but from some other world? Would you believe that you were really some type of monster? Would you leave the warmth of your family’s home and turn to that of a gorgeous, strange and mystical person who claims your world is not the one you’ve been living in all your life?
What if all you really wanted was to fit in somewhere and had to leave your home and your own world to do that? As the story progresses we learn more about Finn, his life as a tracker and who and what Wendy really is the lengths Finn and many others will go to in order to bring her into a world that she never knew existed. When the choice is no longer hers and the danger becomes too great Wendy leaves her life with Matt and Maggie and joins the world of the Trylle or trolls. But, these trolls are not like the ones in fairytales. These trolls resemble humans but are much more beautiful in appearance, have abilities we do not, work to enhance and strengthen these abilities and live their lives quite the opposite of us. When a child is born they are placed with a wealthy human family in order to be educated, cared for the right way and provided for. When the time is right, as in Wendy’s case, the child learns he/she is a changeling or Trylle/Troll and becomes one of them leaving their previous life behind but knowing that the trust fund or wealth will eventually be their’s and will help fund their people. So, meeting her real mother, seeing where she lived should have made Wendy happy. But, Elora is the Queen of the Trylle and Wendy a Princess and much of what she learns is difficult to take at first. All Wendy really wants is a kind and nurturing mother and a life filled with caring and love. So, far all she has abuse, fear, changes and a life that is no longer under her control
Author Amanda Hocking brings to light many issues teens face today and others they will never have to face. The issue of family love and family loyalty comes through loud and clear. The description of her new home, the surroundings and the life she will now lead is so vividly depicted you can create your own mental picture of photograph in your mind. The author allows the reader to hear the story straight from Wendy and Finn. The voices and inner thoughts of each character come through loud and clear. Meeting the Vittra, learning what they are really after, and understanding the role of Finn will play makes the story quite realistic and brings to light the many uncertainties teens face in our world no less her new one. Elora is the Queen to the people in this Kingdom. There is a Chancellor and many others whose personalities and actions will keep the reader guessing throughout the entire novel. Just where in Minnesota is this amazing place? Where is Forening?
As we learn more about Forening and Elora so does Wendy. Wendy is very resourceful, smart and definitely not one to sit back without exploring her new home and surroundings. While going through the mansion she comes to a locked door and being adept at lock picking she finds out more than she expects after seeing what the room reveals. Precognition: Seeing into the future. Not in the normal sense. Elora painted portraits of events to come in Wendy’s life which when viewed would unsettle the best of us. Just how this plays out still remains to be seen. Wendy seems to blend in with some of the other teens living there and learns more about their environment and a secret garden that blooms only in the winter. Finn, playing an important role in her life is there to make sure she is protected from harm as many would love to have her as part of their tribes and not the impending Queen of the Trylle after Elora passes on.
Wendy joins her mother for a formal dinner party and is scrutinized by the guests. She learns their roles in society and realizes that everyone is not really what they seem. Living under her mother’s rule in a monarchy even though they are in Minnesota enlightens her as to the rules, the ways of her new life and the fact that she will inherit it all. Added to that her mistakes are treated in a different way and she feels like she traded one cold mother for another.
With the Christening drawing closer and the preparations being made Wendy learned more about herself, her feelings for Finn and his relationship with her mother. But, something would happen that would change everything making her realize that fitting in and trying so hard was not what life was really about. Befriending Tove, a tracker teaching her more about herself and her abilities than she cared to learn, upset over her mother’s reaction to her standing up to her and not backing down Wendy learns many hard lessons in life. The night of the Christening would change the world of the Trylle and hers too. An ending that you will not expect and alliances that bond some and tear others apart and one young girl caught in the crossfire in the name of preserving a monarchy and Kingdom she cared little about. A painting foretold the future and events that would unfold and shatter her world, will the Vittra capture Wendy? Will anyone come to her aide? Where will she wind up and what about her feeling for Finn? What happens will definitely help the reader understand that some people are not what they appear to be? One young teen named Wendy who had a future as a Princess something most any young girl would want. One young girl who never felt safe anywhere and who only want one thing in life: A family who loved her for who and what she was. Will this story end with Prince Charming taking her away and living in the Palace? Will Wendy find her place with Elora or will she find it somewhere else? Read Switched and find out as the story continues with Torn and then Ascend to learn just where she winds up.
Author Amanda Hocking sets the bar in more ways than one. Switched is the story of one young girl sent to live with humans only to find out that she was placed there to gain wealth, resources and to bring them back to Tyrlle. Finn is special, loyal and true to her and the only person she can trust. What is the fate of Forening and will Wendy let it rest in her hands or will something change it? One interesting book and suspenseful ending and one cliffhanger ending and story that is far from over and it is just beginning for Wendy. Children need to be nurtured not treated as property.
Fran Lewis: reviewer
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