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Book Review: Torn, book 2 of the Trylle trilogy by Amanda Hocking

Book Description from amazon.com: 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.

As a special gift to readers, this book contains a new, never-before-published bonus story, "One Day, Three Ways," set in the magical world of the Trylle.


The Review:

Torn, book 2 of Amanda Hocking's Trylle trilogy, is a very easy book to read and it wouldn't charge you too much time and effort, but the writing is so plain that it lacks tone, style, tension, foreshadowing and grace---Okay, just about everything which would make the book interesting.

Instead we are once again stuck with the uninteresting Wendy's first person POV throughout the entire book, and her narration is becoming counter-productive to the story. For most of the book Wendy is focused on three people: her mother, Finn and Loki, since we are seeing things through her eyes, so supporting characters like Matt, Tove and Willa etc become very flat and one dimensional,  lacking in personality.

I also didn't expect to get so angry with a fictional character when I started reading Torn. But it turns out I found Wendy Everly, the 'heroine' of the story, is so weak, selfish, impulsive and immature a character that whatever good things the book could have offered are outweighed by her, no kidding.

Plus I can't think of anything else which may be as endangering to the Trylle community as putting Wendy on the throne. I mean, look at her! She acts and talks like any other immature, air-headed teenager, she demands things without any presentable reason to back her demand up, e.g. when she demands the Trylle nobles to spare Loki's life. She just yells "No you can't kill him!" and her friends must come to her aid before she disgraces herself with her childish outburst. She has the intelligence, common sense and self-control of a ten years old kid. She was being described as kind and caring by her friends but I never see her being kind enough to go around making friends with servants and commoners, not even bothers enough to have conversations with members of the lower ranks to know their situations! What kind of 'heroine' and future ruler is that?

It also bothers me that after Wendy learnt her mother, Queen Elora is fatally ill due to overusing her psychic power, Wendy, who possesses awesome power of her own, never once offers up her own power to help Elora so the older woman might get a break from overusing her power! Not once! If it's how Wendy would treat her own mother (I don't care how estranged they're supposed to be!), then I really can't see why Wendy counts as a 'caring' person.

Last but not least, I also dislike how Wendy always thinks of her 'host mother', Kim, as a horrible woman and nothing else. From book 1 Switched, we learnt that Kim knew Wendy isn't her real child and tried to kill her. Okay, I agree your mother trying to kill you is a terrible thing, but why can you still keep blaming her nonstop after Kim had already suffered losing her son(Rhys) and never got to see him again, had been locked up for years, everyone thinks she's insane and her older son(Matt) hates her to boots? Wouldn't you think this woman deserves a little bit of sympathy?

In the first 100 pages, Finn, Wendy's love interest, is largely out of the picture and for that I'M GLAD, I had had enough of Finn/Wendy melodrama in book 1 already, I don't need more. I'm totally fed up by their "I love him, I can't be with him. He's ignoring me, but I want to get his attention!" mumbo jumbo.

*plot spoiler warning*

Wendy's affection toward Loki is as badly written as hers with Finn. Being the opposite of the law-obeying Finn, Loki is being painted as the bad boy who doesn't play by rules and is daring to go against his powerful, fearsome King. All these are fine with me but I can't get why he's so keen to get Wendy at all. Why would a bad boy like him choose to be with a boring, needy, goody-two-shoes Princess while risking his neck for it!? I would rather have Loki approaching Wendy for his own hidden agenda at first and then grows to be fond of her (still, pity tells what's there to be fond of!) later, it would make so much more sense.

And Tove, although I'm glad he got a larger part to play in book 2, but it's pretty predicable that he eventually turns out gay. Plus he's the only major male character who isn't romantically involved with Wendy. Oh great, everyone wants Wendy, saves the gay one. How terribly typical.

*end of spoiler*

And there is the ending, in which NOTHING of importance had happened. No complex, no plot twist, nothing. No, don't tell me Wendy getting engaged counts as an important affair, I'm reading a novel about two powerful supernatural races being at war! Not The Princess Diaries, damn it!

Here is a few of my suggestion for how things should go for the story and the Trylle kingdom:

(1) Elora desperately needs to continue ruling as Queen for the sake of her people, putting Wendy to sit on the throne would be a disaster. Plus, I'm glad that we got to see more about Elora and how she is really like both as a person and a ruler.

(2) To make things better for the Trylle's society, Tove, Finn and even his father Thomas need to be promoted as Elora's advisers. Maybe by working together they can change the inequality within their society. These guys make a lot more sensible decision and choices than Wendy ever did in an entire book.

(3) Matt and the other supporting characters should have more screen time and development. Oh hell, these supporting characters have more potential than Wendy and her love interests put together.

(4) More narrations need to be added into the story. I want to see what's going on with Elora, Finn, Matt, Tove or even Rhys more than I want to read about Wendy's ranting. For example, If the author really wants to make Loki into a worthy love interest, she should have developed a Loki's POV alongside Wendy's.  
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Book Review: Torn, book 2 of the Trylle trilogy by Amanda Hocking [link]
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