Thursday, January 5, 2012
Wendy Everly has never felt as if she fit in anywhere. When she was six, her own mother tried to murder her in a fit of delusion, convinced that she replaced her mother's real child. People seem to dislike her upon meeting without knowing anything about her and she just seems to stumble into trouble without meaning to. At seventeen, she's living with her brother and her aunt, trying to be good, do well in school, and stay out of trouble for their sake. Then a boy at her school named Finn starts to kind of stalk her, making Wendy suspicious but interested. He reveals that she is a changeling and she must return to her true family or be kidnapped by an opposing faction. Is this the place she belongs or will she be just as alien as she is in the human world?
Switched is a typical teen fantasy book that is supposedly about trolls (AKA trylles). This aspect isn't necessary at all and seems like an easy way to market it as something unique, when it's actually just a typical fairy story. There are some things I liked about the book, such as the trylle society and the dynamic of her blood family as opposed to her human family. The society has a rigid caste system that doesn't allow for upward mobility. The regular, peasant trylle don't have any special abilities, so they work in order to contribute. Those in the aristocracy have magical abilities of some sort, but they don't know how to defend themselves. Trackers only have abilities that go with their trade and are considered very low on the totem pole, but humans hold the lowest position. The blatant hatred of humans and behavior of the people in different levels of the caste system really intrigued me. The different family dynamics are also interesting. The family that has taken care of her for all of her life is the most important to Wendy. Her family by blood is cold and distant with only duty binding them together. The vastly different family units highlight that love, not blood, makes a true family.
The rest of the story is fairly typical for a teen fantasy read. Of course there is a hot guy named Finn that makes Wendy act completely senseless and melodramatic. This is the most annoying aspect because I really like her except when she acts like she's going to die without Finn, as so many heroines do these days. It's also creepy that she finds it sexy to be stalked and annoyed instead of meeting and getting to know each other like real people. The love at first sight trope is getting a little tired for me. The plot is a little uneven with pacing and doesn't really pick up until she arrives in the trylle world.
Overall, Switched was enjoyable, but not a spectacular read. The writing was all right and the story kept my interest, but I don't have a burning need to read the next book in the series.
My rating: 3/5 fishmuffins