Summary (courtesy of GoodReads) : 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.
And here's what I thought: Wow, it all sounds so simple from that summary, right? Um.... not quite. And that's a good thing.
So, we start with Wendy, who seems mostly normal (except for how she doesn't really seem to fit in with everyone around her. And she doesn't like to wear shoes. And there's that thing she can do with her mind to influence people......), but who definitely has more to her than meets the eye. As you can see from the summary, she doesn't have the best relationship with her mother. She also doesn't have the best time at school, at least, not until she meets Finn Holmes. This is a really tricky review to write, because I don't want to give away any spoilers. However, suffice to say: this is a story where there are some good twists and turns --- just when you think you might know what's going on, the author will throw you a curveball. I can say this: Wendy's not of our world. She might look like one of us, more or less, but she's not. Finn's also not quite what he appears to be, either.
This story has a really quick pace, and I liked that the author took the changeling idea and twisted it around a bit. I also liked that she didn't give me a main character that I completely loved; sometimes, I just wanted to pinch Wendy. However, I think she's written as being true to her character. She's spent her life up until now feeling like she doesn't fit in, and once Finn takes her to Trylle, even though it's where she's supposed to belong, she still chafes a bit at times. It's understandable, given her life, and her personality, and I appreciated that the author didn't turn her into someone she clearly isn't supposed to be. I like this message: Just because you finally get to a place where you're supposed to fit in doesn't mean that everything's going to be easy.
I'm already looking forward to seeking out the next book in this trilogy, not just because I liked this book, but because the author left us with a cliffhanger ending!
The one thing I wasn't wild about in this book was: it's another Finn. I didn't realize this was such a popular name, but it seems I've been seeing a lot of Finns show up in books lately. Sigh.
This author's name may or may not be familiar to you, but she's gotten a lot of press lately -- she was a self-published author for some time, and then, St. Martin Press snapped up this trilogy (which has already been optioned for movies). I'd encourage you to visit her blog, if you'd like to know more.
Please note: I received an ARC of this book, so any quotes/page numbers may differ upon final publication.
First sentences: A couple things made that day stand out more than any other; it was my sixth birthday, and my mother was wielding a knife. Not a tiny steak knife, but some kind of massive butcher knife glinting in the light like a bad horror movie. She definitely wanted to kill me.
Thoughts on the cover: I like how the red sky gives a real sense of foreboding to the cover, along with the dark castle in the background and the pensive look on the girl's face. I also really like how the title is done -- this kind of thing always catches my eye in a good way.