So, today I am doing something a little different. I'm going to review two books at once, since I read both of them in nearly one sitting. (Yes, they were captivating, obviously....) I'm going to review them both in this post, but I'm going to still review them separately, because I felt there were points to make about each individually.
First up...........the first book in the Trylle trilogy:
Switched by Amanda Hocking
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin Press/ Amanda Hocking (Yes, she is a wonderful self-published author)
Release Date: July 5, 2010 (original e-book)
January 3, 2012 (re-publication)
Summary taken from Goodreads
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
I am definitely a person who LOVES reading supernatural and fantasy fiction. So I was definitely excited to see the summary of this book. When I first saw the summary, I thought it was about faeries, but I was wrong. It's not. It's about trolls. Who would've thought that I would be interested in a book about trolls, but I was. I really enjoyed it. After I finished it, I had to go out and get the second book in the trilogy.
One criticism I have is that I felt the book could have used more descriptions. Many of the scenes felt flat and straight forward, ie: I did this. He did this. Then we did this. This definitely improved as the book went on. It definitely didn't hinder me from reading the book. It also doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. I definitely did. That's really the only complaint/criticism I have.
The book follows Wendy's life as she finds out she is a changeling, switched at birth. The reader feels the emotion and the confusion that Wendy experiences as she discovers the truth. Along with that comes a tragic story of love. I mean, all great novels have some aspect of that, right? So, of course, that "love" is not without it's difficulties. There are definitely huge roadblocks and hindrances along the way for Wendy. Wendy is also learning what it means to be a "Trylle" and how her life is going to change (for better or for worse). Follow Wendy's magical journey as she learns that life isn't easy, whether you're human or troll.
One definite attribute to this story is the cast of characters. I found the side characters incredibly enchanting. I LOVE a great "supporting" cast. I couldn't help but fall in love with Willa, Matt, Tove, and Finn. Although, to be honest, I have to say that I was more entranced by Tove than Finn. He definitely intrigued me!
I really enjoyed this book, and I would definitely recommend it to those who love young adult fantasies. It definitely won't disappoint.
Oh, and the short story at the end? A-DOR-A-BLE!!!! I LOVED it. I seriously loved Loki, and I felt more intrigued by the short story than I did by the novel. It made me even more anxious for the sequel!
I give this book 4 out of 5 wickedly sweet cupcakes!
One unique supernatural plot,
One AWESOME "supporting" cast,
and an amazingly awesome,
short story at the end!
Next up is...........
Torn by Amanda Hocking (the sequel to Switched)
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin Press/ Amanda Hocking
Release Date: November 15, 2010 (original e-book)
February 28, 2012 (re-publication)
Summary taken from Goodreads
Wendy thought she finally understood who she was and what she wanted, but everything changes when the rival Vittra come after her.
She's caught between two worlds, torn between love and duty, and she must decide what life she is going to lead.
Okay, I have to say I really enjoyed this sequel.
Mostly, because I love and adore both Loki and Tove, and they both received a lot of "screen time" in this novel, as did Matt!!!
This novel picks up right where the first left off....I don't want to say too much of what happened, since this review is combined with that of the first, and I don't want to ruin it for those who haven't read either.
Parts of the novel I felt were unbelievable, and I found myself angry at Wendy a few times. I wanted to scream at her to do something, but she didn't. But, of course, that's part of her character, so it's understandable.
In general, I really enjoyed the novel. I found myself being sucked in quite frequently.
Was it predictable? Mostly, yes.
Was it still great anyway? Absolutely.
After all, many novels nowadays are somewhat predictable, but still great reads.
I loved the rollercoaster I experienced as I traveled through Wendy's life. I squealed whenever Loki was around. I felt this insane glee when Tove entered the picture being just oh, so endearing. I felt confused and conflicted whenever Finn was around. I felt irritated with Elora, and I felt sassy whenever Willa came into play.
But isn't that what this is about? Getting the reader involved in the story?
I felt as though that was the strength of this novel. Was it the plot? Not really. I mean, the plot was enjoyable. But the real talent here was how Amanda made you FEEL emotions with each character. She is very talented in that aspect. Rather than focusing solely on Wendy and her emotions, Amanda branches out and allows the reader to connect with all of the characters.
I find that aspect very difficult to come by in many novels in the young adult category today. So, for that, I really commend Amanda on a job well done.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down. Even at work, I found myself thinking about making it back home to read more! I was craving it. I was so in love with so many characters that I HAD to read more.
I also want to state that Amanda's writing style REALLY improved in this novel. As I mentioned above in this post, the first novel felt more "matter of fact." This novel, however, flowed more effectively. I felt more connected. Scenes were described in more detail. The writing style was definitely advanced, and I can tell that Amanda has drastically improved. For that, I also highly commend her. Amanda's talent continues to surprise me!
Would I recommend this book to other readers? YES.
Was this book better than the first? YES!
Am I excited for the final book in the trilogy?
I am anxiously awaiting the release of Ascend in just a few weeks (April 24, 2012)!
Overall, I would give this novel 5 out of 5 cupcakes!
A cute sequel
style that made me fall in love with so many characters!
Go grab these novels right away in time for the final conclusion in the trilogy! You won't want to miss it!