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22 April 2012 @ 03:29 am
Book Review: Torn by Amanda Hocking  
This is the second in a series that began with Switched. I don't know much about the author, Amanda Hocking, but the amazon  page tells me that Switched was self-published and apparently the buzz online got the book noticed and published/distributed enough that it's in Wal-Mart now. I am not going to say that these two are perfect books but they are strong. She's got a simple, straight-forward style and tbh it's kind of a relief after reading through prose-y we-want-to-be-poetic books.

The whole premise is about a girl who one day finds out she's not human- she's a changeling, but not of faeries or pixies, oh no, she's a troll. Troll here being reinterpreted as a more fey-like species who call themselves Trylle and have powers relating to nature and sometime mental abilities that let them convince humans or other Trylle to do stuff, and the Trylle have long been leaving their children with humans to raise. Only unlike traditional fairy changelings, these are left with a purpose: to inherit their host-family's wealth. When the kid comes of age the Trylle find and reclaim them (and their money too). This is kind of ridiculous but kind of intriguing too. Anyway, into that wanders our heroine Wendy who at 17 gets reclaimed early and rather unwillingly, only to find out she's the daughter of the Trylle queen Elora (HAH! WILLOW!!) and heir to the throne. Everything rapidly goes to hell in short order.

Book two is essentially Wendy coming to grips with her status and duty and being as I'm not a teenager anymore I found her a lot less annoying this time around. The thing I like about Wendy is that she is idealistic but she is also capable of seeing reality and even accepting it, and her author doesn't come across as writing some starry-eyed wish-fulfillment claptrap either.

There's some fun features of the Trylle race and way of life, there's a love-triangle because every book now has to have a love triangle by law- but this one's at least a bit more believably like a teenage girl developing one crush and then another- and thank all the gods of literature Wendy isn't an idiot about it.

In all it's a cute, diverting read that is a fun little ride. It's not the best or most addicting but I'll definitely be buying the next book to see what happens.

Her Hamsternesshamsterwoman on April 22nd, 2012 07:52 pm (UTC)
Neat! I hadn't heard about these books before, but I'm a sucker for changeling-based plots, so I'll definitely keep an eye out.
the dream girl: cakesummersdream on April 22nd, 2012 11:03 pm (UTC)
Weirdly I found it at Wal-Mart but it's one of the better things I've found at Wal-Mart tbh. You should definitely check them out if you happen on them- the changeling angle is pretty well done. The Trylle actually keep the human babies they swap for and raise them which adds some more fun interactions when you get home and meet the human that's been raised by your parents instead of you.
ex_naomi_ja on April 23rd, 2012 11:37 am (UTC)
I really like Amanda Hocking's books (I think Hollowland is her best, if you're looking for more), and I especially love Wendy. Compared to Alice, the heroine in My Blood Approves, Wendy's very proactive. It takes three books for Alice to actually take charge of her life. I found Switched and Torn very refreshing in that respect - looking forward to Ascend!
the dream girl: friendssummersdream on April 24th, 2012 02:32 am (UTC)
Ooh I'll check that out, thank you! I didn't expect to like the first book at all, tbh, because when the whole Trylle/Troll thing came up I was like "this is going to be awful" and yet it was so much fun and the heroine had a brain and after so many YA novels being just passivity and angst it was refreshing.

Also, I like Loki. His name and his smirking is just fun to have around.