Switched by Amanda Hocking

So you’ve partied yourself half-dead and zombied your way out of the holiday season. I get it. This is the time of year that starts to get, well . . . a bit gloomy. And what better way to cope with the holi-dry season than with a couple of new reads? Let’s reflect; I’ve been pitted against the worst of the literary lot this past year, and I have been looking for something a bit refreshing and NOT vampire-related. In this case, Amanda Hocking kicks off her year with Switched, the first in the Trylle trilogy.

Switched follows a seemingly average girl, Wendy, as she discovers a whole new life she didn’t know she had. Wendy didn’t have the most idyllic childhood—her mother thinks she’s a monster and tried to kill her when she was young. As it turns out, Wendy actually belongs to the Trylle, or troll-people.

Once she finds this out, she journeys to a new land called Förening, taken away by the brooding emo-hero Finn, her bodyguard. Wendy was switched at birth with a boy named Rhys, who is, in fact, the true child of the human family Wendy grew up in. And if that’s not crazy enough, Wendy soon learns she’s a princess, is forced into training, faces off against a crazy villain-tribe of creatures who plague the Trylle, and, of course, falls in love.

I promise this is not Twilight: Troll Edition, although it reeks of the type. The idea of impossible love in stories has of course been done countless times, ad nauseum in 2011 particularly. It’s not like Switched is perfect; Hocking drones on about the most boring subjects, falls WAY flat on the plot delivery, and comes up a bit gray. But sprinkled throughout are little nuggets of brilliance in writing that make Switched worth the read.

As we zoom into the New Year, we should all try to look at books as a way of improving our own writing. Switched is PERFECT for skimming and it’s a treasure trove of magical bits—but don’t expect too much consistency. My advice it to try and think of Switched in terms of how you might improve it technically—take those moments of genius, and offer them some substance!


Adithi is known as The Oak Tree on Figment, and she loves to write with an obsessive passion. Her work has been featured in magazines such as Stone Soup, Skipping Stones, and Creative Kids. The three words that best describe her are poetic, fun, and life-loving. Her motto? Love every moment, look with many pairs of eyes, and keep a smile always with you!

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