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Review: Torn (#2)

The following review contains NO SPOILERS!

my thoughts in a few sentences: Although I wasn't reduced to fangirl gushiness over Switched, Torn rapidly makes up for any lack I felt from its predecessor. The stakes are cranked up to a nearly unbearable volume, all but suffocating our relatable, mistake-making heroine who is doing her best to learn on her feet, hoping to pick up all the right cues and etiquette, not to mention the unyielding mentality of a princess while trying to balance her innate compassion into the equation. Wendy has the power to change things, to make a difference in this world she's only just been introduced to yet has quickly fallen for. It's her world now, and she has people to fight for. Fans of The Princess Diaries and The Iron Fey series combined will enjoy Wendy's tremulous journey into a character and ruler we can all adore.

hooking first line: "When Rhys and I showed up at my "brother" Matt's house at eight in the morning, he was happy... in the sense that he was glad I was alive and hadn't disappeared forever."

Rating: Sud-Kissed | St. Martin's Griffin • Requested • Paranormal Romance • 2/28/12 • $8.49



DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T READ SWITCHED.

Amanda Hocking is an indie publishing sensation whose self-published novels have sold millions of copies all over the world. Step into the world of the Trylle, and prepare to be enchanted…

When Wendy Everly first discovers the truth about herself—that she’s a changeling switched at birth—she knows her life will never be the same. Now she’s about to learn that there’s more to the story…

She shares a closer connection to her Vittra rivals than she ever imagined—and they’ll stop at nothing to lure her to their side. With the threat of war looming, her only hope of saving the Trylle is to master her magical powers—and marry an equally powerful royal. But that means walking away from Finn, her handsome bodyguard who’s strictly off limits…and Loki, a Vittra prince with whom she shares a growing attraction.

Torn between her heart and her people, between love and duty, Wendy must decide her fate. If she makes the wrong choice, she could lose everything, and everybody, she’s ever wanted…in both worlds.

As a special gift to readers, this book contains a new, never-before-published bonus story, “One Day, Three Ways,” set in the magical world of the Trylle.
5 Reasons Why Torn Worked For Me

1. The character growth is stunning. While it may not be as elegantly done as we've seen in other series, it's subtle and perfect for us because we've enjoyed these characters up until this point and now have a chance to watch them develop and become better people. We've already grown attached to them, so we can't help but feel warm and giddy as we read Wendy's gradual transformation into a more cautious, more considerate person, equipped with fine-tuned supernatural abilities and well-honed compassion that has all the impact of a hammer bearing down on rock, capable of cracking the most tormented and reluctant of hearts and powerful enough to bring others onto her side of the cause.

2. There's a war brewing. Not only do we retrieve more insight into the circumstances of Wendy's birth and her parents' tragic history, we learn of the makings of the war that's percolating between the Vittra and Trylle kingdoms. There's kidnapping, a bit of espionage, seductive, willing prisoners, and a malicious king involved, all intertwined to jumpstart the plot and set a match to the intensity that barely sparked in Switched and blazes more truly in Torn.

3. We have a love triangle on our hands. YES! Finally. I was deathly afraid Wendy would be pathetically in love with Finn all her life. Crisis averted, or the process has begun to ensure that. We are immediately intrigued and a tad seduced by the newcomer infiltrating Wendy's already notso peaceful life, an enemy wavering in his resolve to stand by his ruler because of a precious something he discovers elsewhere, a certain queen-in-training who dazzles and intrigues him instantly with her bewildering kindness. Cocky, witty, strong, and a bit vulnerable, this new arrival couldn't be more welcome if I stamped the words across my forehead in blazing red.

4. Familial relationships are re-aligned. A huge part of why I couldn't enjoy Switched the way I wanted to was because of Wendy's abandoning her older brother for safety and the promise of a new, better-suited life. Matt and Wendy's bond suffers from the shock of her origins and the powers she possesses, but, eventually, they work through it and that bond deepens, swelling with love and pride in each other, a well-rooted family connection that can't be severed no matter how much others in the Trylle community look down upon it. And while we are introduced to Wendy's ice queen of a mother, we come to understand that that harshness and distance isn't all there is to this woman who birthed her and whom she has never had the chance to know.

5. The princessing is so much fun. For reasons revealed in this sequel, Wendy is forced to take the reins on a lot of subject matters regarding her kingdom, pushed into tight situations and constantly having to exercise her small-scale power. Taking charge, commanding, the balls, war strategics, interviews with sexy prisoners, and power plays and struggles at court all make Torn a more dynamic, compelling read.

Overall, Torn by Amanda Hocking is a notably impressive improvement to its much more tedious predecessor. It beats out the first book while simultaneously preparing us for the unmatched urgency, intensity, and romance living in the third and final book in the series, Ascend.

Really nervous about reading this review? Want to make sure I didn't sneak any spoilers in? Read my review of Switched by Amanda Hocking!

19 comments:

Lux said...

I have a copy of Switched and I’m more eager than ever to crack it open, just so I can get to this book faster! I’m REALLY looking forward to starting this series, and that cover is sensational!!

Tiffany said...

I enjoyed the first book and this one sounds even better! I definitely need to get a copy soon. I wasn't a fan of Finn at all in the first book so I'm definitely glad to hear Wendy gets another love interest in the form of Loki, who sounds hot! I can't wait to read this one and your review has made me even more excited to read it. Fantastic review :)

Asher_Knight said...

 If you're thinking that way about Torn, wait til you read my review of Ascend. That was by far my favorite in the series :D And the covers are all gorgeous, but my fave is this one, the second one. I think it's sososo pretty.

Asher_Knight said...

 Well, if you liked the first one, I can't imagine that sequel wouldn't be much better for you. I think you will enjoy this A LOT. Loki is... Oh, boy, I can't even breathe when I say his name. He's my fictional boyfriend for this month. :D And I'm glad you're so stoked.

Jenny said...

Normally I would see the words "love triangle" and inwardly groan, but based on your description of things it seems like it's one of those rare triangles that's done well and adds to the overall story instead of detracting from it. I can't wait to give this series a try for myself, thanks Asher!

Sam @ Realm of Fiction said...

Awesome review! I completely agree about the character growth. Wendy became more and more likeable to me as the series progressed. I don't agree with the love triangle however. ;) Though I can understand why you would need a Loki if Finn wasn't doing it for you. :D

Rebecca (Kindle Fever) said...

I need to read this series. Now. o.o I'm glad this one made up for it! I should really get to it quickly when I do have a borrowed copy of Switched. It sounds so uniqueeeeeeee! 

Asher_Knight said...

 Dude. I get it. I'm pretty much the same way, but you don't know Finn. Loki was a much needed and very welcome reliever of the Wendy/Finn drama. I mean, I got the attraction and all, but after a while it wasn't enough and I'm so proud of Wendy for slowly coming to that same conclusion. And you do feel Wendy's dilemma. And it's not so much even really a triangle but more like realizing the difference between first love and true love, which makes it so much more powerful, in my opinion.

Switched was a little dull for me, but Torn kicks things up. And then Ascend hit it out of the park. :D

Asher_Knight said...

Wendy just wowed by the time I finished Ascend. I was so happy to love her once the series was over.

And, PFFT. Talk to the hand. *raises palm* I don't want to hear you traitorous thoughts about a certain broody, bossypants. :P

Asher_Knight said...

YES. You do. When I read Switched, I would've said borrow it, but I totally loved the series by the end. It's so much fun and the characters really grow on you and OH, LOKI :D Definitely read this and try it out. Tweet me when you finish it.

Sarah (saz101) said...

Ooooh, ASHER! STOP IT!  I CAN ONLY ADD SO MANY HUNDREDS OF BOOKS TO MY TBR!

I don't know why, but I'd kind of been avoiding reading this series... now I'm kind of like... huh? Is my brain broken?

Sounds SO GOOD, and I LOVE your 5-point review.

Err... I gotta tell you... I normally hate love triangles... HOW did you manage to make it sound so good?

Asher_Knight said...

NUH-UH. YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH.

I was the same, until I kept feeling like I was getting a backhand every time I read a glowing review of Switched. I didn't love the first book at all, I kinda liked it with reservations. Yet there was this pull for more, and I fell for Torn. And then ASCEND. Holy cow babies!? So, in summary, your brain isn't broken. Your reluctance is understandable.

And I'm glad you did, because I wanted to try something different.

Let's just say Loki makes it all worth it :D

Mimi Valentine said...

Because it needs to be said: I LOVE LOKI!!!! <3

And I love your review too, Asher!! The way you numbered off the reasons why this book was awesome made it so easy for me to go through my checklist and say, "Yes yes yes yes YES!" LOL I love how anti-Finn you are! But don't you have to admit that the one scene with him and Wendy in the end was SO SWEET? I wanted to cry!

Fun fun funTASTIC review, Asher!! <3 My copy of Torn is now screaming for me to read it all over again! x)

Asher_Knight said...

 OH, THANK YOU. Another Loki fan around here should do some good for those non-lovers (*cough* Sam *cough*) :P

Hehe, I myself love it when you can pinpoint all your favorite things about a book in another person's review, so I'm glad you could do that with mine. AND YES I AM ANTI-FINN... Until *sigh* the moment you mentioned, and then I was a bit sad for him. BUT MOSTLY ECSTATIC, SO FREAKING ECSTATIC.

I had to go through my copy again as well, at first just to refresh my memory for this review, but then I got sucked in again :) Surprisingly.

layne fulla said...

Amazing review! I have this series sitting on mys helf and I think I really really need to get started! x

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Wendy Darling said...

I liked this series too--I thought it was pretty entertaining! The princessing was fun for sure. Hope you enjoy book three just as much. :)

Becky @ Stories & Sweeties said...

Well, it looks like I might give this series another try after all! I wasn't wowed by book one, either, but hearing that book 2 is so much better definitely reignites my interest! 

Um...does she use the work "foxy" is book two? I just want to be prepared for that. lol

Asher_Knight said...

 I couldn't be bored at all. And I enjoyed seeing things from a ruling monarch's perspective. It's just loads of fun and the characters really grow on you, which I fully realized after reading the last book. I LOVED ASCEND.

Asher_Knight said...

Book two has this unidentifiable something that drew me back in and made me love it more. ACTUALLY. I know exactly what did it. And it's a person. A VERY lovable character who has quickly made it to my favorite male leads list.

And XD I don't remember the usage of that particular word, so I think you can let your guard down :DD