Verdict: While the plot moves along at a nice clip, Hocking also probes the interior lives of her characters, exploring in particular mother-daughter relationships, family ties, and the nature of forbidden love.
“It was my sixth birthday, and my mother was wielding a knife,” writes Amanda Hocking in the opening lines of this captivating YA paranormal novel. The first in a completed “Tryll Trilogy” (Ascend and Torn follow), Switched introduces Wendy Everly, a high school senior who just doesn’t seem to fit in. Not surprisingly, the fact that her mother tried to off her when she was a child has had some negative side effects (living with her aunt and brother after her mom is sent to a state hospital, Wendy has caused the family to move numerous times due to scrapes she’s gotten in at school). But though it seems at first that this time Wendy may settle down and graduate, this unusual heroine is in for an unexpected adventure.
Swept away from her mundane suburban life by a handsome and enigmatic classmate named Finn, Wendy soon finds herself in a stunning new world she never could have imagined. There she must confront not only her past, but choose her future path and come to terms with her own unique abilities.
While the plot moves along at a nice clip, Hocking also probes the interior lives of her characters, exploring in particular mother-daughter relationships, family ties, and the nature of forbidden love. This Indie title has been soaring up the charts for good reason: Hocking writes of otherworldly topics with verve and imagination while mining universal themes that touch the lives of ordinary folks. As Wendy’s wise Aunt Maggie observes, “Being a teenager is hard, no matter what family you come from.”
Reviewed by Kathryn Livingston
Avid reader and book reviewer. Author “All About Motherhood” (an indie) and other titles that are not. Blogs about family issues. Practices yoga. www.livwrite.blogspot.com
Purchase Switched (Trylle Trilogy, Book 1) from Amazon