Hey it’s Monday! It’s a religious holiday here and I’m gonna spend it cleaning, how exciting does that sound? Anyway, it’s time for our fifth Morning Muse post. Today I’ll be reviewing Switched by Amanda Hockings. I chose this book because I thought the description I read sounded super interesting and also slightly similar to my WIP. I was pleased to find it was different but yet similar but not in the ways I’d thought. So without further ado: Switched.
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 finds out her mother might’ve been telling the truth. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed – and it’s one she’s not sure if she wants to be a part of.
(Picture and Description compliments of Goodreads)
So, I started this after coming home at 2 in the morning on Saturday morning. I lay in bed reading page after page. I got somewhere to page 30 or so and decided I was shutting down my laptop in disgust. Had the author not rewritten the beginning, I asked myself in frustration. There were so many loose thread I couldn’t believe no one caught them. I vowed not to open that kindle book again. But I did. I ignored the less than satisfactory beginning, ignored the way her feeling sort of creeped out turned into a crush in like one page, and I ignored the similarities to another book *cough*.
By the time I was finished I was breathless. Then I got upset again. This author managed to spin such a beautiful tale, create gorgeous imagery, crafted such a powerful and passionate chemistry between two of her main characters and described two kisses so wonderful I felt my toes curl (Thank you for ruining making out for everyone by the way. Thirteen year olds beware: first kisses are not always that good, that is, almost NEVER! Public service announcement over). Yet her beginning was shoddy. The only thought in my head: WOMAN FIX THIS!
Author’s Voice/ POV:
I don’t know what to say here. The story was bad in the beginning, you’ll hear me go on about this for the entire post so I’m blocking it out in this section. The rest of the story was well-written. The author’s language made it easy to settle into the middle so I was completely enthralled by the end. She made it easy for me to accept being inside Wendy’s head. Torn is so getting read this week!
Overall I thought Elora seemed rather flat and I felt she needed to do a little more work on how she introduced some of her Trylle. She wanted them to act one way in the beginning and then have them reveal their true selves later. While she wrote their true personalities well (see Tove, Willa), the transition from the first impressions they made on Wendy and what they were actually like was not handled well.
Wendy seems to come across as a sort of tough girl, or at least a wanna-be tough girl who cares deeply about her aunt and brother. Getting to know her as a person was hard in the beginning, sort of up and down, a little inconsistent in my mind but maybe that’s because I wasn’t paying as much attention as I should have. Once we get past the beginning we start to see the vulnerable girl underneath who starts to bloom in her own way but is still left a little confused by the world around her. She was a beautiful character to get to know, but she needs a little more work.
Oh Finn, the beautiful Finn. I liked him. His staring in the beginning and his creeper-stalker tendencies in the beginning seemed unnecessary to me, however, I feel like he was the most consistent character of the lot. He was beautifully written and I fell in love even if it was partially because I believe someone who can kiss like that needs some recognition.
Aaaahhhhh! I was astounded. Amanda Hockings took something everyone has a very fixed idea about and then used a lesser told version, that is, she wrote about changelings but they weren’t faeries but trolls. Yes, trolls. Uhm, yes. I’ve said trolls like a million times now. She did an excellent job with it and no she didn’t pull it out with a hat. It’s actually part of myth that changelings were troll babies too. I thought she did a lovely job creating their society and explaining why they had the changeling practice. Well done, really.
Cover/ Blurb (since this was self-published… I think the author had most of the control in what these were like…):
The cover was okay. Honestly, there’s not much to say about it other than it’s pretty. I was reading a kindle version of this so I just saw the little thumbnail and a blurb was non-existent really. I saw the descriptions on Amazon.com and Goodreads and I was alright, let’s read this.
This book gets a 3 out of 5 from me. Really the beginning needs rewriting, I would’ve just not read any further if I wasn’t curious as to whether it really continued along like that for the entire book. The only thing saving this book from getting a rating of 1 was the fact it got so much better.
So the lesson to be learned here? There are a lot of readers like me who get easily disgusted by a book’s beginning and shut it never to open it again. Please, please, please make sure that your beginning gets better when you rewrite. Please rewrite your beginning after getting through the book. That way you have a much better feel for the actual story and for the characters. Everything just gets so much better.
K, the Popinjay.