THIS REVIEW CONTAINTS SPOILERS!
Addition: Review paperback

Genre: Young adult, fantasy

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis:

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 finds out her mother might’ve been telling the truth.

With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed – and it’s one she’s not sure if she wants to be a part of.

This is the first book in The Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking and the series has a been a great hit in America. I received this as a review book from Think Jam. The novel was released on 5th January 2012 in the UK and is available on Amazon as a paperback and in a Kindle version.

The story follows Wendy; a girl with a very traumatic past. At the age of 6 her mother tries to kill her, claiming that she is not her daughter and that she is evil and a monster. Her mother is taken away to a psychiatric hospital and Wendy is raised by her brother Matt and her aunt Maggie. Wendy has never really fitted in, has always caused trouble and never settled at school. She has recently changed schools and her world is turned upside down when the weird boy who keeps staring at her – Finn Holmes – appears outside her bedroom window at 3am. What is particularly strange about this is that her bedroom is not on the ground floor. Earlier that evening they had been at the school dance and whilst dancing together Finn had said some horrid things. Upset by him, she uses the mind control powers that she has to persuade another classmate to drive her home. Finn realises what Wendy has done so turns up in the night to confront her and take her home – to the land of Trylle. It seems her mother had been right, Wendy is not of this world. It turns out she is a troll – not the kind you imagine hiding under bridges, but a beautiful, powerful woman, who is remarkably like a human. She does not want to leave Matt and Maggie and does not believe Finn until a few nights later she is attacked by trolls from a different tribe, who want to kidnap her. Rescued by Finn, she agrees to leave and to set up life as a troll. What she finds when she gets there completely surprises her – life is not what she imagined. She is the Princess, switched at birth to a wealthy family so that she will get a good education and a trust fund. All seems to be going well, until at her debutant ball her home is attacked, and they are after her…

I really enjoyed this book, in fact I read all of it this morning, in one sitting! It is not a long book – only 280ish pages long. The story is easy to follow, and very enjoyable. My favourite character was probably Matt. I loved how much he loved Wendy. He named her when she was born as their parents didn’t want her, and he has spent his life protecting her. I found Wendy an interesting character – and depending with who she was with, depended on what I thought about her! I found myself feeling sorry for her when she was with the Queen – her real mother – but when she was with Finn or Rhys – the human she was swapped with, I wasn’t so keen on her as she seemed to lead them both on. Finn had to grow on me too, as he was so hot and cold. I found that very frustrating!

Switched reminds me of both The Iron Fey Series and the Twilight Series. It reminded me of Twilight because of the house Wendy was taken too. Although the house in Switched is a lot bigger it was very modern – not what you would expect in this sort of novel – like in Twilight. I was reminded of the Iron Fey series for a number of reasons: – the lead character growing up in the human world; – the tracker being at school, like Puck; – and the lead character falling for the wrong guy, like Meghan falling for Puck.

This book is full of adventure, tense moments – the sort of “what is going to happen next” moments, a romance and a great plot. This is a young adult book, but such an enjoyable read anyway. I wasn’t keen on the swearing, especially as this is a young adult novel, but fortunately there wasn’t too much of that. This is a great book – it kept me gripped, and I’m still reflecting on it later on in the day. I will definiately be looking out for the next book in the series! This is well worth reading – especially if you like series like The Iron Fey Series.

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I have bad news for all you Twilight fans (yes, for me too): Stephenie Meyer is “burnt out on vampires” which means she has stopped writing Midnight Sun – the novel which was to be set from Edward’s viewpoint. Gutted? I am too. She is quoted as saying:

“I want to wait until I’m excited about the material again, and I’m excited about Edward, and that it’s something that’s motivating,” she told MTV News.

“Right now, it feels like homework. And when things feel like homework they go very, very slowly for me. So it’s still not a ‘It’s not gonna happen!’ I want to do it when I can do it right.”

I hope she gets her vampire mojo back quickly! I want more Edward!

Source: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/showbiz/news/a232341/twilight-writer-burnt-out-on-vampires.html
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Synopsis:

Fans of The Twilight Saga will be enthralled by this riveting story of Bree Tanner, a character first introduced in Eclipse, and the darker side of the newborn vampire world she inhabits. In another irresistible combination of danger, mystery, and romance, Stephenie Meyer tells the devastating story of Bree and the newborn army as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its unforgettable conclusion.

I love the Twilight Saga and therefore I was excited and sceptical about this novella. This story follows Bree, a girl we meet at the end of Eclipse as she is prepared to go into battle against the Cullens. This means that we don’t see Edward, Bella and co. until the end of this story. Is that a problem? At first yes, but once I adjusted to that fact even though this is Twilight we wouldn’t read about the original characters the story picked up. This novel is more gory than the others. We do read about the odd blood bath, which we don’t get with the Cullens. That surprised me but didn’t put me off the book.

I found myself liking Bree. Riley, her coven’s leader was trying to keep the new vampires stupid and away from Victoria, but Bree, even though a newborn was intelligent. She kept herself hidden in the coven’s hideout and was able to see the truth in the situation. I liked Fred as well. He was also in the coven, but he had powers which meant he could repel others and make himself invisible. He protected Bree and I liked reading about the way he made people gag if they got too close – that made me laugh!

I can’t say I’m a fan of the ending – although having read Eclipse I did know what was going to happen to Bree. I did love meeting the Cullens and Bella though. The first sighting we get of them is with Carlisle, and he is showing compassion, which reminded me why I love his character!

I read this in a day and did enjoy it. I can’t say I was gripped like I was with the other novels in the Twilight saga but I do recommend it to Twilight fans. The effect of the book is I now want to re-read all the Twilight books and I cannot wait for the film. It has ignited my Twilight spark but I would have preferred a novel about one of the main characters. I’m still hoping Meyer will finish writing Midnight Sun. I think I would have enjoyed a novel about the Cullens or Jacob more, but this is still a good read.

I read this online at: http://www.breetanner.com/ It is free until 5th July 2010

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Are you a Twilight fan? Do you already own The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer? If so, you are one of the many who have helped this book hit the bestsellers list, after just one day of sales! On the first day of release, Bree Tanner sold 90,000 copies, sending it straight to the number one spot. And this is even though the book is free online at http://www.breetanner.com/ until 5th July 2010. Impressive? I think so!

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breaking-dawn

Synopsis:

To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, she has endured a tumultuous year of temptation, loss and strife to reach the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fate of two tribes hangs. Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating and unfathomable consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella’s life – first discovered in TWILIGHT, then scattered and torn in NEW MOON and ECLIPSE – seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed…forever?

This is the final part of the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. I was wary to begin with because it is a large books – 755 pages, and because I had heard some negative reviews about the book. However, although not as good as the other three books in the series, this is an enjoyable book, and worth reading.

For the final installment we attend the wedding of Edward and Bella, and then the honeymoon – which has interesting consequences. Faced with the repercussions of the honeymoon, the Cullens group together ready to face the Volturi – the vampire royalty. But this is not a fight they can win alone, so they call upon all friends and alliances for the final fight…

Interestingly, a section of this story is narrated by Jacob. I liked this. Although not my favourite character, he is vital to the storyline and Bella’s life. It was fascinating to read the book from a werewolf’s point of view, especially someone as close to the protagonist as Bella. It was well written and I enjoyed it.

There were, however, story lines in this book that I didn’t like/wasn’t convinced by. The main one is the Jacob and Renesmee story. It just didn’t work for me. Although these are fantasy books, for me that was just pushing a little too far towards the extreme.

My favourite character throughout the whole Sage has been Edward. I just love him – the way he looks, how he thinks, how he loves, just a great character. I would love it if Meyer did go ahead and publish Midnight Sun, Edward’s version of the Twilight book. In addition to Edward, I loved Renesmee – everything about her except the name. That too was a little far-fetched for me, however her character was adorable – just too cute.

For the most part, I loved this book. Maybe it was a little too long but it was engaging and fun. A nice way to end the Saga. I definitely encourage people to read this series if they haven’t – they are really good books.

8/10

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eclipse

Synopsis:

‘Bella?’ Edward’s soft voice came from behind me. I turned to see him spring lightly up the porch steps, his hair windblown from running. He pulled me into his arms at once, and kissed me again. His kiss frightened me. There was too much tension, too strong an edge to the way his lips crushed mine – like he was afraid we had only so much time left to us. As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob – knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which? Following the international bestsellers Twilight and New Moon, Eclipse is the much-anticipated third book in Stephenie Meyer’s captivating saga of vampire romance.

Well Meyer has done it again, created an amazing book. This is up there, equal to Twilight, the first in the saga. As always, Bella is hunted down by danger – one particular vampire intent on taking revenge; mate for mate. As Victoria builds up her army, Bella is faced with problems of her own. Edward wants to keep her safe – which to him means away from Jacob. It looks like she will have to choose – best friend or boyfriend? And on top of that, she has to decide if she wants to become a vampire. As vampires and werewolves unite against this new evil, we watch Bella struggle with love, friendship, danger and the prospect of immortality.

I loved this book. Yes maybe it was predictible, but that did not spoil the story. It is written in a simple but engaging and fast-moving way. It is clear why this series is such a success. There is adventure, love, danger and awesome battle scenes, with the odd death along the way. This book is thrilling – energetic and gripping. And I found myself laughing in places too.

My love for Edward continues in this book. He is dangerous, but so considerate and lovely. He adores Bella and will do all he can to keep her safe and happy. I quite enjoyed his battle with Jacob for her. I did think Bella was selfish, leading both on, and I didn’t like how Jacob played dirty, but actually that added to the depth of the book. And I liked the character Alice, Edward’s sister. She is a doll. She was the one who had me laughing – I want to know someone like her.

I can only praise this book really. I loved it. I love the series. I am well and truely hooked and am looking forward to reading Breaking Dawn, the last in the saga. I recommend you read these books.

10/10

The first two books in the series are:

Twilight twilight1 and New Moon new-moon1

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new-moon

Synopsis:

I stuck my finger under the edge of the paper and jerked it under the tape. ‘Shoot,’ I muttered when the paper sliced my finger. A single drop of blood oozed from the tiny cut. It all happened very quickly then. ‘No!’ Edward roared …Dazed and disorientated, I looked up from the bright red blood pulsing out of my arm – and into the fevered eyes of the six suddenly ravenous vampires. For Bella Swan, there is one thing more important than life itself: Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is more dangerous than Bella ever could have imagined. Edward has already rescued Bella from the clutches of an evil vampire but now, as their daring relationship threatens all that is near and dear to them, they realise their troubles may just be beginning …

This book is the second in the Twilight sage by Stephenie Meyer. In this book Edward leaves, in a bid to protect Bella, although he is not hugely successful. Whilst he is away, to fill the void he has left, Bella starts spending more and more time with Jacob Black. But little does she know, he has a secret of his own… Around Forks at the time there are many mysterious killings, and the sightings of werewolves. Bella soon learns she is still being hunted, and that Jacob’s secret is as deadly as Edward’s. The book sees heartbreak, reunion, werewolves, hatred, vampires, extreme sports and love – plus a trip to Italy!

Before reading this book I read many reviews and comments made by people stating this book is not as good as Twilight or the next book, Eclipse. However, although I agree that this book is not quite up to the standard of Twilight, this book is gripping and exciting. I read this book in two days, and it is a 600 page book. Meyer writes in an accessible and exciting way. Although there was not as much spine-tingling excitement as Twilight, when vampires met head-to-head, there were moments of anxiety.

I enjoyed how Meyer developed other key characters, such as Jacob Black. I liked his friendship with Bella, but I felt once we knew his secret he was insensitive to how much Edward meant to Bella, and just how much she was hurting. I didn’t like how he changed when Edward returned, but I loved how he protected her when he could. As also, Bella was easy to relate to, and when her heart broke, so did mine. Of course, my favourite character is still Edward. In my opinion, there was not enough of him in this book, but I could plainly see why and I think his absence has helped to build up a climax which I am looking forward to reading in the next book.

Although not as good as Twilight, I would thoroughly recommend this book. It was a quick, easy read. I loved it and couldn’t put it down. I have many questions left and I am eager to read the next book in the series. These are top-class books and well worth getting your hands on.

9/10

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twilight

Synopsis:

When 17 year old Isabella Swan moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father she expects that her new life will be as dull as the town. But in spite of her awkward manner and low expectations, she finds that her new classmates are drawn to this pale, dark-haired new girl in town. But not, it seems, the Cullen family. These five adopted brothers and sisters obviously prefer their own company and will make no exception for Bella. Bella is convinced that Edward Cullen in particular hates her, but she feels a strange attraction to him, although his hostility makes her feel almost physically ill. He seems determined to push her away until, that is, he saves her life from an out of control car. Bella will soon discover that there is a very good reason for Edward’s coldness. He, and his family, are vampires and he knows how dangerous it is for others to get too close.

I was nervous to read this book due to the fame surrounding it, but actually, I loved it. I was gripped from the start. All the characters affected me. It took me little more than a day to read it. The story was exciting and breath-taking. I loved how Meyer went against the grain of traditional vampire characteristics, and there were no coffins or garlic in the book. The writing was fluid and gripping. The story is easy to follow and engaging.

The story follows Bella as she moves to Forks to live with her Dad. Not the most popular girl in Phoenix, she is surprised by the reaction she gets in this new town. Except, there is one family who avoid her, the Cullins. Yet they are the most intriguing, especially Edward, who is Bella’s lab partner. He stays away from her, making her think he only has feelings of hate for her, until a van skids on ice and nearly kills her. He saves her and then disappears. She doesn’t understand, so takes up her own investigation into Edward and his family. This leads her into a world of love, fear, blood, fantasy and excitement.

I really connected with Bella; her hate for gym and her clumsiness, and of course her intrigue. It was genuine and easy to believe. And I think I fell in love with Edward too. He was gorgeous, and his love and protection of Bella was beautiful. Hard not to be drawn into that world.

Although essentially a vampire story, it is also a high school love story, and actually believable. This is a book aimed at young people, but I recommend everyone to read it. I don’t have a bad word against it. This is the first in a four-part series, and I can’t wait for the next installment. One of the best books I have read so far this year.

10/10

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