Author: Amanda Hocking
Release Date: January 3rd, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 5 Stars
When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - a world both beautiful and frightening, and Wendy's not sure she wants to be a part of it.
I wasn't sure what I was expecting. I have heard so many wonderful things about this story and equally so many not so wonderful things about this story. But I saw it, and decided that I should take a chance and see what it's like because I have reviewed a lot of self-published work and a lot of these authors have more promise than what people give them credit for.
The story starts with Wendy, a young brat who comes from a troubled past when her mother tried to kill her. She know lives with her brother and aunt but she still causes a lot of trouble for them. When Finn enters the picture and plans to take Wendy away, to her home, because she's a changeling. And I don't mean as in faery, but as in troll.
Hocking takes an old idea of changeling and instead of riding the faery wave with it, she takes a different route and goes after troll, but these trolls are different. They look exactly like humans besides some minor things and they behave mostly like humans. The troll aspect to them is kept though because these changelings are put into place in order to steal from their host family, who are typically wealthy. I like that about this book.
And then there's the idea of powers and how some have it and others, like Wendy, are extremely powerful. But Wendy isn't just any troll, she's a princess. I like how Hocking was able to incorporate the personalities of these characters to match that of what most people would think of trolls, because Wendy's biological mother is just horrible. And then there's Wendy's own temper tantrum that she has.
While this book isn't packed with a ton of action at the beginning, it does have a quick start. I like how Hocking is able to take the readers into Wendy's head and see what her human life is like. She is super close to her older brother and feels protective of her family. And then there's the contrast to what she experiences when she's at Forening, her homeland.
Wendy is stubborn and I like how Hocking took a realistic situation with a child who doesn't really know what to do in a situation that she's in. Wendy does a lot of things wrong and her mother just gets worse and worse.
Hocking, also did a fantastic job in bringing in a variety of characters. They are rich, spoiled kids who come back in order to live with their biological families, after taking from their host families. But they all have their soft sides and their own personality. Like Tove and Willa, they are both very different and yet Wendy can connect with them each. Even though Tove's family is trying to take away Wendy's crown, the two teenagers form a weird friendship that works. And Tove in the beginning seems like the typical rich boy that doesn't care about anything, but when he speaks he talks insightful of the social and political world that surround them and how it needs to get fixed.
Willa, she came off as snobbish at first. I wasn't sure if I would like her, but she started to grow on me, especially when Wendy needed her the most.
What I didn't like much was the way that Wendy became so focused on Finn and her family doesn't seem as important for the middle section of the book. While at no time does she actually become comfortable in her new home, she doesn't think much about her old family.
Overall, this was a great book and Hocking did a fantastic job in bringing these characters to life. I wish there was a little more action, but for the most part the book went well.