Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Switched: Trylle Trilogy Book 1

Switched  - Amanda Hocking Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker.I just got trolled.Yes, this is a paranormal romance about trolls, so technically, anyone that reads this book is getting trolled the way someone reading a vampire book gets vampired. That's not the kind of trolled I'm talking about. This kind is:Not my best work, sadly. The better version of this was tragically lost.The only reason I remotely enjoyed this book was because I superimposed Internet troll faces onto all the Tryelle/trolls much like I did in the image. That made Switched an unusually hilarious read and it gets an extra star for that, but when taken seriously on its own merit, this book is terrible. Maybe you'll like it if you're into unconvincing paranormal romances and don't mind if those "oh my God, I just discovered I'm royalty" stories like The Princess Diaries get mixed in.For all the things readers are told Wendy is, the only quality I can really see in her is that she is bratty. She's supposed to care a lot about her human family, right? Then why does she so easily forget them once she among the other Tryelle? I can't remember anything about the other characters either despite all the tell-don't-show characterization. Finn's role could have been better played by a cactus. At least it has living, working cells. That's more than Finn, who is pretty much a piece of cardboard with the ability to speak, can say.The second half of the novel takes a turn for the sickeningly vapid as details of the extravagance of the Tryelle royal palace take over and go down to the royal iPod (and yes, there is a royal iPod). It may be a princess book and such details are to be expected to some degree, but it was overblown in Switched. Time spent on talking about how wonderful and perfect the palace was and what Wendy's princess lessons were like could have been used to develop characters that desperately needed development and advance a plot that was hardly there.No one tells Wendy anything and it frustrates me considering everything they keep from her is something she actually needs to know if she is going to do what everyone says she will. There is no intrigue that justifies keeping secrets from her; this is her mother and the two men she interacts with most flat-out starving her of necessary information. How can they expect her to became a just ruler if she has no idea how her kingdom works and who is in it? Secrets are one way to drum up conflict, but it gets downright idiotic if there is no good reason to keep the secrets.In that vein, why does this book have to follow the misogynistic systems of human monarchies? According to the book, the female Tryelle develop powers more often than the men do (or something like that). Would this and the Tryelle being a completely separate race from humans not be perfectly good reasons to write a more female-friendly monarchy? That would get rid of the eternally stupid problem of royals indoctrinating princesses on what they can't do because it would make them ~impure. Why does Finn get final approval on Wendy's dress? What about Wendy?I'm just glad it's over. I gave Hocking novels a fair second shot (my first shot was My Blood Approves and I made it exactly one chapter) like I wanted to and now I'm washing my hands of her books now and (hopefully) forevermore. My best friend wants to read this after me and I'm tempted to refuse to give it to her. You don't want this, Kayla! You don't want this.In case anyone is curious about my thoughts on yaoi Amanda Hocking, this is the only time I will say it and fully expand on it. If you don't care, pretend the review ends in the paragraph above this.Amanda Hocking is a fantastic businesswoman worthy of my respect.Amanda Hocking is a terrible author not worth my respect.At any given point in time, there are two kinds of trends in publishing: the buying trend and the selling trend. The buying trend has to do with the kinds of novels being bought by a publisher so they can be refined any published a year and a half later, sometimes longer; the selling trend is what is already published, on the shelves, and selling well. Back a few years ago, the selling trend was vampire novels thanks to Twilight and meanwhile, the buying trend was dystopian novels. That is why we've seen a switch to dystopian novels as the selling trend.Like I said, it can be a year and a half between the purchase of a novel by the publisher and final publication. Hocking can produce a first draft in two to four weeks and likely has a final draft a month later. This means she can bypass the long process of a buying trend becoming a selling trend and can cash in on what the selling trend now is while preparing for what comes next, enabling her to make money quickly.With the takeoff of the ebook industry, consumers want inexpensive books to fill their Kindles and Nooks with and self-published authors can fulfill that need. Hocking's stories are inexpensive, superficially satisfying quick fixes and these are exactly the kinds of books that wildly succeed in the ebook market. She really couldn't have chosen a better market, and this is why she is a millionaire with a seven-figure deal with a major publisher for seven books, four of them brand-new. This entrepreneurship is beyond admirable.But where is the passion? Never once during Switched did I feel like there was any passion in the story being told. It feels exactly like what it is: an unoriginal novel charged with just enough originality shot in to satisfy most readers, written and published just to make money off current trends in YA. This is why I despise Amanda Hocking the author. There are plenty of copycat novels around, but at least those have some passion in them somewhere, something Switched never had for even a moment.But what do I know? Switched has spent nine weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. That must mean she's doing something right--and she is. I respect her when viewing her as an incredibly successful businesswoman who has made herself a millionaire through her methods. When viewing her as an author who latches onto trends and publishes sub-par, superficially satisfying novels for the sake of profit, she disgusts me. You will never be able to convince me she feels passionate about her books.And those are my thoughts on Amanda Hocking. /steps off soapbox