Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Switched Audio

Switched Audio

Amanda Hocking
For ages 13 and up
Unabridged audiobook (CD)
Performed/read by: Therese Plummer
Brilliance Audio , 2012   ISBN: 978-1455857630

On her sixth birthday, Wendy Everly’s mother tries to kill her little girl because she is convinced that Wendy is “a monster” who “has to be stopped.” Not surprisingly, Wendy’s mother is arrested and then incarcerated in an institution for the mentally ill. Since she refuses to show any remorse for her attack on her daughter, Kim Everly will remain locked up for the foreseeable future.

After this traumatic event, Wendy is cared for by her aunt Maggie and Matt, her protective and loving brother. Despite their efforts to make Wendy feel loved and safe, Wendy is a troublemaker. She gets expelled from numerous schools, she cannot seem to make friends, and she has a dreadful temper.

Recently the family moved yet another new home, and Wendy is going to another new school. Wendy knows that Matt and Maggie are hoping that she will finally settle down, and she tries very hard to live up to their expectations. She tries to stay under the radar, and to stay clear of trouble. Then she starts to notice that Finn Holmes, a boy in her class, spends a lot of time staring at her very intensely. It is unnerving, and she finally dares to confront him, asking him why is behaving in such a creepy way.

At first Finn refuses to explain himself, but then one evening he climbs through Wendy’s bedroom window and he explains why Wendy has always felt like an outsider. Apparently Wendy is a Trylle, a member of a tribe of trolls. These magical beings use humans to raise their offspring, which means that Wendy is a changeling. It would seem that Kim Everly’s instincts were right after all.

Finn tells Wendy that he is a tracker, and that it is his job to take her “home” to her Trylle family. At first Wendy resists this idea. She loves Matt and Maggie and does not want to hurt them. Then Wendy is attacked by two members of the Vittra, another troll clan, and she agrees to go with Finn to Forening, the family “compound” in Minnesota.

When she gets to Forening, Wendy finally meets Elora, her birth mother. Elora is the Queen of the Trylle, which means that Wendy is a princess. It would appear that she is very valuable, and one day she, Wendy, will be Queen herself.

In this fascinating and compelling novel, Amanda Hocking gives listeners a modern day fairytale about changelings. Listeners will quickly get caught up in Wendy’s story, which brings fantasy, romance, and politics together in an interesting way. It is intriguing to see how Wendy tries to come to terms with her often terrifying birthright.

Therese Plummer’s performance of this audio title is gripping, and she perfectly captures Wendy’s fear and her confusion, as she does her best to understand her own story.