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ARC Review: Switched

my thoughts in a few sentences: Although I was disappointed by what I found in Switched, given the tremendous hype shrouding it, potential lingers in the cast of characters, the mythology, and the storytelling. With a likable heroine front-and-center and her handsome stoic tracker, Finn, by her side, I picture the story reaching more engaging heights in the long run. However, I couldn't immerse myself in the tedious moments in her new home, lack of interesting interactions, and the touch of romance that follows the same overdone path, in which the leading man must protect the heroine from her own desires, insinuating what's better for her future. More action, less tedium is the order of the day!

hooking first line: " A couple things made that day stand out more than any other: it was my sixth birthday, and my mother was wielding a knife. "

Rating: Guilty Pleasure | St. Martin's Griffin • Gift • Paranormal Romance/Fantasy • 1/3/12 • $7.99



When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes.

Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit. But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home.

Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become…
I received this book from a friend, so I'd love to say thank you to Angie @ Beneath the Jacket for giving me the opportunity to read Switched, when I normally wouldn't have been able to! Unfortunately, Switched did not meet my high-on-anticipation expectations, a substantial half of the novel falling almost completely flat, urging me to pray for something deliberately exciting to occur and drain away the boredom. While Wendy, the main character, has a fun narration, the absence of real and true emotion and depth harassed my immersion until it buckled and fled, driving me to force myself to concentrate on what I could not find exciting. Disappointment swallowed my favor toward the book, as I really enjoyed the first half, marveling at how wonderful the relationship between Wendy and her family is, at the mystery of Finn, and the puzzle of Wendy's actual origins. I felt cheated because these parts are chased away too soon in favor of duller elements and pieces to the overall plot.

As Switched begins, we are introduced to the tragic event that stole away a mother Wendy never could connect with, and the accusations hurled at her by this seemingly demented woman settle in our minds, searing questions in our puzzled thoughts, though we have a keen and reasonable lead as to what is happening. Our interest piqued, we prepare to follow Wendy in her every day life, and we discover that she has a caring, deeply protective older brother, Matt, and a bright, optimistic aunt, Maggie, who both love her dearly in a way she can't ever expect from the woman who was supposed to have birthed her. The sadness she bears from that horribly altering experience in her childhood does mark her, causing her to ask damaging questions of whether or not she is the monster she was long ago claimed to be. Trudging along, we also encounter the enigmatic and—of course—brutally handsome Finn, who bears a confidence and calm that instantly sweeps our vulnerable heroine in, though something warns her that there is much more to him than anyone could ever correctly guess. Unraveling the mystery that links them together should've been drawn out, as it is more fascinating than what we bump into later, and we almost hope to be granted more time with Wendy's lovable family as well.

Alas, too quickly is Wendy whisked away to a place she now begins to hope exists—a home where a mother, her mother, would welcome her rather than shun her, with a father by their side. Upon her arrival, however, her dreams of a glorious family reunion our shattered by the coldness that greets her instead. Wendy's ensuing feelings of misplacement, and the bereavement of the only home, the only family she's ever known and loved, almost serve as adequate punishment for leaving it all behind, though we understand the two reasons she chose to go: the danger of malicious enemies who have already discovered her and her hope of belonging somewhere. Still, the actionless events of the plot from then on pertain merely to trite power struggles and ridiculous resistance from the man she is starting to fall for. Status and banishment loom over their precarious romantic relationship, actively forcing them apart and cutting our excitement for their progress in half at least with its scarce originality.

Even so, we are too intrigued by the possibilities that approach in all directions, from the characters to their emotions and romances to the plot and its meaning. There are so many ways that this series could go, in fact, that the wondering gnaws at our patience and we find ourselves invested in the story enough to want the sequel. The heart-lifting ending brings hope with its warmth, and excites our minds with the prospect of the tantalizing story perhaps waiting for us in the next book, Torn.

18 comments:

Celine said...

I JUST GOT SWITCHED today!!  YAY!

I didn't get the US COVER though, sadly. BECAUSE I LOVE THE US COVERS of the WHOLE SERIES. They are absolutely gorgeous and pretty! Perhaps even one of my alltime favourite covers!

I am really curious of the how the story goes. The summary sounds interesting and FINN sounds AMAZING! ♥

I am really interested to read Amanda Hocking's first novel, My Blood Approves which was her first best-selling novel but I might end up reading Switched first!

Thank you so much for the awesome review, Asher! So glad you enjoyed it! ♥

Giselleco said...

Too bad you didn't like this as much as I did Asher! I see what you mean though it's true that it jumps to other plot points pretty fast after she finds out who/what she is. Maybe you'll like Torn better, we meet a new awesome character and maybe you'll like him! ;)

Michelle Chew said...

Oh yeah Switched! Definitely Guilty Pleasure. I agree with you regarding its potential. Hope Torn will be better!

Jess & Kat said...

I think the hype is what makes me want to read the book, but I have some reservations about a novel that seems to drag on duller. I guess this is one I will have to look for in the library

Angie McDowell said...

You put your thoughts together about the book so well. You felt everything I felt about it. The book did leave me wanting to read the next one and someone told me Torn is better so it's in my TBR.

Chelleyreads said...

i've avoided reading this one because of the mixed reviews but i might pick it up in the future because i want to see what the hype is all about. great review :)

Asher_Knight said...

Yeah, I ignored those mixed reviews and just went straight in because of the hype. And while it's not perfect and feels unoriginal, I still liked it. I'm hoping for better in the sequel.

Asher_Knight said...

Thanks <3 Oh YAY, I'm so happy that you've heard Torn is better because now I don't feel so worried about it *LOL*

Asher_Knight said...

Yeah, I don't think I'd buy this book unless I liked the rest of the series. I definitely recommend trying it out in the library first.

Asher_Knight said...

YES. It feels like the author could've given so much more, but it had less instead. Still, people have already said Torn is better, even though I'm a little wary.

Asher_Knight said...

 Oh, that's wonderful, Celine <3

Oh noes, no US cover?! That's the best one! But which one DID you get? The US versions are certainly not the only pretty covers.

Finn is cool, but I just wish there was more of him and we were able to connect to him better. And I didn't know she had another novel! That's news to me!

Michelle Chew said...

I'm waiting for Torn to arrive in my letterbox. We still can hope. :)

Asher_Knight said...

Oh, you've got to tweet me and let me know what you think about it! I would love another good opinion about ;)

Michelle Chew said...

Sure, not problem! ;)

Jenny said...

Huh. This is the first non-gushing review I've read for this one and I have to say I really enjoyed reading a differing opinion! I haven't read this series yet, but I'm hoping to start them at some point ( I feel like I say that about a lot of series, there are just so many I want to get to!). Too bad on the lack of action though, that will most like be problematic for me as well. Thanks for the review Asher!

Asher_Knight said...

I know, I was so depressed when I realized I didn't love it as much as other people because I REALLY WANTED TO. And I totally understand, Jenny, I think we all have to say that to ourselves *LOL* 

Sam @ Realm of Fiction said...

I actually enjoyed this one more than I thought but I agree that it had it's fair share of flaws. I completely understand what you mean about the slight lack of true emotion. I noticed that myself at first, but it definitely got better for as the book progressed. 

Asher_Knight said...

It was pretty enjoyable at certain points for sure, but it wasn't what I expected. I need more, and hopefully Torn will be better :)