Babies, Changelings, and Trolls REVIEWING Switched


Author: Amanda Hocking
Genre: YA Fantasy
Year: 2010


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.... 


This is almost a pretty typical YA fantasy paranormal kind of story. Main character discovers their life is a lie, finds out they have powers, or discover they are a magical creature. In this case, it is all three. As the synopsis says, Wendy is a changeling, which really means that she's a troll. Although, in this book, trolls are not what we believe them to be. They aren't little dolls with vertical hair and they generally don't look ugly and live under bridges expecting tolls to be paid. They are reclusive, hierarchical in social dealings, and some of them have special abilities. 

Like I mentioned in my reading round-up, this is a book my sister won the complete trilogy of. This is the first book in the Trylle series. Trylle is the actual term for the "trolls" in this book. The pacing is pretty good in this book. Things move along very speedily, which kept me entertained and easily let me read it pretty quickly. I got through it in two days, largely while sitting in the DMV for a few hours (what better place to take a book than the place where sloths work?--thanks for that visual Zootopia). 

Besides finding out that she has some abilities and isn't what she thought, Wendy is also royalty. This book hits a lot of YA tropes that we've seen before, but I do give it props for trying this out with a new magical creature. I have never read a YA book about trolls that didn't have them as nasty, obstacle type creatures for a hero to get past. When the Trylle have children, they switch them with human babies. This allows them to be raised by humans, get some connections, and eventually be brought back to their birth society. The human babies are taken care of by the Trylle parents who made the switch and are considered low in the hierarchy. Wendy's mother never once bought the switch, tried to kill Wendy, and then got locked away as crazy. Now, Wendy is having to question who her family really is, who she is, and what her life is going to be like now. She's found by Finn, who is basically a hunter. He hunts down changelings to bring them back to Trylle society. He's not the only one who wants Wendy though, as some mysterious figures are trying to get Wendy and take her with them. Naturally, Finn is a broody, mysterious boy, as in most YA novels like this. 

Let's talk about a couple character issues. Wendy has a bit of a likability problem. By my age, I recognize that she has a couple personal flaws that need some working on. She immediately falls for Finn, but hey, I've known people like her. Is it a logical thing to do? Absolutely not, but I can definitely say it is realistic. Young and naive? Maybe. Realistic? Definitely. I don't relate personally, but I do know that teenage girls do this a lot and get dramatic over boys and have unrealistic expectations involving them. I saw it way too many times when I was in high school. Wendy is also introduced as a young child who threw tantrums. I've noticed some reviews where readers have an issue with this. Really though, what kid has NEVER thrown a tantrum in their entire lives? Tantrums are called "childish" for a reason. In Wendy's defense, typically parents are supposed to quell these tantrums and teach their kids better, but Wendy's mom wasn't really around or the motherly type towards her. She tried to kill her, and blamed her for things beyond her control. Sometimes Wendy is a bit selfish, but she does put quite a bit of thought towards the family she believed was hers and towards her brother. Wendy may not always make the best decisions, but she is definitely trying. I'm hoping she finds her way and improves on her flaws as the series progresses. She also has a tendency to sit back and watch as things happen around her. She stands around and observes, tries to fit in, goes along with the changes as they come, but she never fully stands her own ground until just slightly, at the very end of the book. 

The real character issues I have come with Finn. He has major character issues. He's brooding in a bad way, and he comes across as much more selfish or cold in general. He's very aloof in the worst ways. He reprimands Wendy very harshly at times, which seems very bizarre to me. He seems to mean well, but overall he just comes across as bossy and distant. In my opinion, his character feels rather immature considering his age in this book. Maybe the author knows more about that than I do though. I know more about teenage girls at this point, since I once WAS one, and I live with one. 

This book really operates as an opening for a series. Instead of feeling like a complete story, it feels like an extended Act 1. We introduce a character, we throw obstacles at them, and we watch what happens. That is what this book is. It's meeting a girl and watching as she finds her life turned upside down, and nothing meeting her expectations or hopes. The main character needs some work, her romantic interest is a bit of a pain right now,...but I definitely have hope for them both going forward. My hope is that by the end of this series, Wendy will take more agency, Finn will stop being a closed off butthead, and the story will feel whole. 

Mainly, this is a light, fun read for teens. Taken for what it is intended to be, it is a pretty good time. I had fun and I'm interested in seeing what happens next. This really feels like one of those slow, extended series rides. It most likely won't really win any awards in general, and it isn't a MUST read, but if you need some light YA reading, it'll do the trick. 

This edition of the book also has a quick short story, which shows the point of view of characters that we will see more of later on. It is interesting and I really want to see what they bring to the series. They're supposed to be the antagonists, but I want to see what makes them tick and what their story is. 

I give Switched a  Lone Star rating of ✯✯& 1/2.  The characters and story are alright, but I like the change in creatures from the norm, and I want to see more of their conflicts.