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Switched: A Trylle Novel    by Amanda Hocking order for
by Amanda Hocking
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2012 (2012)
Softcover, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In Switched: A Trylle Novel, Amanda Hocking delivers yet another YA paranormal, whose heroine is much more than she seems on the surface. It's a good and intriguing premise - a race of magical beings who live alongside humanity and (like cuckoos) arrange for wealthy humans to raise their offspring.

However the execution of this first episode is slow and excessively drawn out. It opens with a shocker as the narrator (then a bratty six-year-old) is knifed by her wealthy mother at her birthday party (her dad died the year before). Her mother tells Wendy she is not the child to whom she gave birth, and calls her a monster. Stopped before killing Wendy, the mother is institutionalized and Wendy is raised by her loving elder brother Matt and her aunt Maggie.

They have a hard time of it as young Wendy gets in trouble constantly, resulting in repeated moves to new schools. She doesn't fit in and she has a quick temper. But now she's learning to avoid trouble by using a newfound ability to influence others. At her latest school, she notices a new student, Finn, is always watching her and, for the first time, she feels an attraction. Of course, you can see where this is going. Finn reveals that Wendy is a changeling and a Trylle, and that he's a tracker, charged with bringing changelings back to their tribe.

As Wendy is still trying to adjust to this revelation, she's approached by other Trylle (the warring Vittra faction), who try to kidnap her. After Finn rides to the rescue, he insists that Wendy leave with him immediately. A Princess Diaries episode follows as Wendy's new home is a palace, where she must learn her rather dull duties as a Trylle princess and try to satisfy her unapproachable, unloving birth mother Elora. There she meets and befriends Rhys, the boy, for whom she was exchanged at birth, and falls ever harder for Finn.

Naturally there's a major obstacle in their way - a tracker is low on the Trylle social scale. Their union is forbidden and Elora separates them. When the Vittra attack Wendy's coming out ball, she decides she's had enough and returns to the only people who have ever shown her affection, Matt and Maggie. Though this first book developed slowly, it does set the scene nicely for whatever lies ahead for Wendy and those she loves in her subsequent adventures in Torn and Ascend.

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