Saturday, February 11, 2012

Book #7 - Switched

I'm probably the last person in the world who up until recently, hadn't heard of Amanda Hocking's Cinderella-esque publishing story. 

In case you were under the same rock as me, the short version is this: Hocking needed a few bucks to attend a Muppets convention, and thought, Hey, I've got some old manuscripts lying around. Maybe I'll throw them up on Kindle and see if I can sell a few.

She sold more than a few. Millions, actually - and needless to say, she had enough money to go to the convention and then some. In fact, she became a millionaire long before she picked up a $2 million publishing contract from St. Martin's Press. You can read her inspirational full story here.

Book sale numbers (and the attention from a major publisher)  clearly demonstrate that Hocking's novel Switched is loved by millions.

Unfortunately, I'm not one of them.

The opening chapter is strong, compelling enough that even before I knew her story, I was intrigued by Hocking. The cover is equally as enchanting.

But between that opening scene and the end, things continued to spiral downhill. At least for me.

The story centers on Wendy, who turns out to be a changeling or trylle, which literally translates to troll. But not the stereotypical trolls you might be used to seeing in movies like Labyrinth (Hogwart!) - they're pretty much human with some special powers. 

Wendy is whisked from her somewhat dysfunctional family by a tracker - who she ultimately has a crush on. And in her new role as Princess, she must learn the rules of the trylle, under the watchful eye of her mother, the cold Queen.

It's not that there's anything particularly wrong with the storyline - I just wasn't drawn into this world. The relationships - all of them - fell flat, and the "romance" between Princess and tracker lacked heat. A general absence of description (and sensory detail) left me confused as to the environment , and the showdown that had been alluded to throughout the book fizzled out almost before it began.

Maybe the book was too short, or maybe I just expected more. Either way, Switched didn't change my perception of trolls, and they're definitely not a paranorm I'd be itching to read more about. 

And while I respect and admire Hocking's success, I doubt I'll pick up the second book in the series. Considering Hocking's inspirational rise to fame, I expected a novel that would sweep me off my feet. I'm disappointed to report they're still firmly rooted on earth.

- Dawn

The Book In My Bag Today: Matched, Ally Condie


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, and if I try pawning it off on you when you get here...just. say. No.

  2. It is such a disappointment--when a novel has been built up and heaped upon with praise by the masses...and then you read it and it falls short. I had that experience with "Dear John" by Nicholas Sparks. I still can't believe they made a movie out of it. I will probably steer clear of this one after reading your review. I need deep, flawed characters if I am to relate to them. It sounds like that was not the case :-)

    Nice to meet you...I found you on the A to Z linky list :-)

    1. Thanks for stopping by Teresa! Yes, I was surprised this book fell so short for me. And I agree about that Nicholas Sparks book...while I don't think DEAR JOHN deserved to be a movie, I do think Sparks' books make better movies than novels all around. Going to look for you on the A to Z linky list...