Book Review: Ascend by Amanda Hocking.

Title: Ascend
Author: Amanda Hocking
Published: April 24, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin.

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The Summary:
Wendy Everly is facing an impossible choice. The only way to save the Trylle from their deadliest enemy is by sacrificing herself. If she doesn’t surrender to the Vittra, her people will be thrust into a brutal war against an unbeatable foe. But how can Wendy leave all her friends behind…even if it’s the only way to save them?

The stakes have never been higher, because her kingdom isn’t the only thing she stands to lose. After falling for both Finn and Loki, she’s about to make the ultimate choice…who to love forever. One guy has finally proven to be the love of her life—and now all their lives might be coming to an end.

Everything has been leading to this moment. The future of her entire world rests in her hands—if she’s ready to fight for it.

The Review:
Ascend is the last in the Trylle trilogy, and never again will I be drawn in by a pretty cover. I’ll listen to the majority of the reviews. Wendy is still flat, moody and constantly whining about everything. She’s also added a couple more tricks to her vile resume: cheating on her spouse and not caring about anything other than the third man who’s vying for her attention. This book is rushed, with everything being tied up in a pretty bow at the end. And I do mean everything. All the loose ends, every possible story-line, and every character gets a happy ending. Well, the characters that you’re supposed to like get a happy ending. There are battles, which are poorly written and have unrealistic outcomes. I just wish this series were better. I know there are a lot of people out there who like it, but I just can’t get behind it. It pushes a lot of my DNF buttons, but I can’t not finish a book, it drives me crazy.


Book Review: Torn by Amanda Hocking

Title: Torn
Author: Amanda Hocking
Published: February 28, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

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The Summary:
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.

The Review:
Marginally better than the self induced train wreck that Switched was, Torn was a little bit better. Not much, a whole half umbrella, but I rounded it up to a rating of 2. Things I did like about this book were that we got more information about the Trylle, and more world building in general. We get to learn more about the characters and some of their motivations for doing as they do. I felt that there was less whining about Wendy not fitting in, but on the other hand, she was constantly complaining about everything else. She didn’t like her ability, and didn’t like training her ability, but at the same time she used it on lots of people.

I do not like the inclusion of yet another love interest, though Loki is far more entertaining than Finn. I genuinely like Tove’s character, but the ‘big reveal’ concerning him seemed a bit contrived and thrown in there for ‘teh dramaz’. I’m still going to read Ascend, but I’m not expecting much from it. I have a feeling I know where this series is going, and it’s a massive blinking neon sign that I would normally avoid. I wanted to like this series, because the premise is still cool–but I’m so not into it.

Overall: Leaps and bounds better than Switched but still not the greatest thing in the world. It’s kind of frustrating.

Book Review: Switched by Amanada Hocking

Switched by Amanda Hocking.

Release Date: January 1, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin.

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The Summary:
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…

The Review:
I should have listened to the warnings. I should have listened to the other reviews of this book. I shouldn’t have looked at the cover and said “But it’s so pretty!” or gotten carried away in my head about the idea of changelings. I started this book the day before I started Anna Dressed in Blood and finished it yesterday before a write in started. I’m really disappointed in myself, and in this book. The concept of Changelings is something that fascinates me. Alternate worlds, and fantasy make me really happy when it comes to things I read.

Things that do not make me happy when I read a book:

-Insta-love between the two characters. Chemistry is great, lust is great, planning your wedding and your children’s weddings? Not so much. Wendy didn’t go to that extreme yet, but it seemed like every male character she encountered, including the brother she was raised with, she had warm squishy feelings for.

-Whiny lead characters. Wendy probably couldn’t tie her shoe without having an existential crisis about it. She can’t do anything on her own. She also falls into the “special snowflake”, and “But everyone’s prettier than me!” trope.

-Everyone knowing everything about the main character, but said character is in the dark. This is especially true when she and Finn go to the Trylle. Everyone knows everything about Changeling culture, and troll culture, and Wendy is left out of it. No one tells her anything, meaning we as the readers are just as much in the dark as she is. Which is exponentially frustrating.

I can’t recommend this book. If this style of writing is your thing, and you enjoy not knowing what’s going on the entire book, go ahead and pick this up. Unfortunately, I disliked it, but I have to finish this series because I have a thing when it comes to completing books/series.

So, let’s talk about the last book that disappointed you. Tell me all about it.