The Changeling by Helen Falconer

ChangelingOriginal title: The Changeling
Year published: 2015
Published by: RHCP Digital/ Random House
Number of pages: 496
First sentence: “He was a handsome boy of seventeen when he chanced on her, washing her red-gold hair in the soft water of a pool surrounded by hawthorns”

 Plot: Some of us are born to be magic.

Aoife is an ordinary teenager, hanging out with her childhood friend Carla, putting up with school. The worst she has to contend with is that the boy of Carla’s dreams is trying to get off with her instead.

But then, after chasing a lost little girl no one seems to be able to see, Aoife starts to develop mysterious powers. Eventually her parents confess that she isn’t their real daughter. Their human child was stolen by the fairies, and Aoife is the changeling left behind in her place.

Shocked and disorientated, Aoife turns to Shay, the taciturn farmer’s son who is the only person who might believe her story. Together, they embark on a dangerous journey, which takes them deep into the underworld and changes everything they thought they knew about fairies.

 Kayla’s thoughts: As per usual I’m not sure where to begin. I got this from NetGalley (as I sometimes do). And though I read it before it was published I haven’t had time to write this review until now. Sad I know. To be honest, the thing that first caught my eye was the title. I love all things fae and about Changelings, as you probably know the Trylle series by Amanda Hocking – which deals with Changelings – is one of my all-time favorite series. Dissonance by the lovely Mariella Hunt also has the element of Changelings. Anyway I’ll continue with the book in question. The second thing that caught my eye was the cover, I mean it’s gorgeous is it not? I was sold right there. Then I read the synopsis and I had one of those moments when the three cherries flash before my eyes. Like this but with the cherries 😉

lucky

Then I started reading and I can’t remember why but for some reason it took me a while to get into it. I think that maybe I wasn’t interested enough. I’d left the book until the very last moment so I was “forced” to read it. Thankfully I got over that. I also had some problems with how you pronounce the name Aoife, haha. Now I know it’s pronounced like Eva but with an F instead of a V, kind of. Which brings me to the next thing!

They are in Ireland. IRELAND!

leprechaun

Yes I know this is very stereotypical but I don’t care, they’re in IRELAND. They’re Irish. The accent and the everything *dies*. I love Ireland. Sadly I’ve never been but I’m hoping to change this very soon.

Aoife is a great character, I like her. She’s kind, funny and most importantly, a teenager. Most often teenagers aren’t actually teenagers in books, so I was very happy to see that Aoife actually continued being a teenager even after everything that happens to her. And believe me a lot of stuff happens to her. I will not reveal too much because I honestly think that you should read this book. I like to believe that you also learn some stuff about the Irish culture when you read this. The story takes place in Mayo and the author lives there so I like to believe that the folklore and stories used in this book is there because that’s what they believe over there. I don’t know this just got weird didn’t it? Let’s move on to something you all will understand. A boy. Of course I can’t read a book without crushing on at least one boy. His name’s Shay (short for Seamus, adorable!) and he’s so cute.

cosima

lip-bite

Aoife and Shay go on a journey to like this magical fae land. It’s weird and amazing at the same time. I kind of felt like I was in Alice in Wonderland for a while. There’s this huge cat thing and – you’ll know what I mean once you read it. Anyway, in this fae land there’s this really creepy guy who was kind of like a consort to the fae queen I guess? He’s totally creepy and I felt like vomiting all over him. Not a nice guy.

It ends with something… I’m not going to spoil but here’s what I felt when it happened:

mr darcy

When Shay tells Aoife he doesn’t have grá for her:

castiellll

crying

nicolekidman

If you want to know what grá is your just going to have to read the book 😉

So I loved this book! I gave it five stars and you guys should definitely read it!

Erika’s thoughts:

This was such a brilliant book and I finished it in no time. It was so entertaining and so well written. It had me hooked from page one and didn’t let go of me until the final page. To be honest. it didn’t even let go of me then. The writing was superb and it truly made the story come alive.

Aoife is a lovely main character and so very likable. Seeing her handle the knowledge of not being human and that her whole life was a lie, made her seem real and alive. It was reactions that an actual person might have and she was the perfect combination of teenage girl and badass heroine.

Shay was fantastic too and I would love to have my own Shay. The interaction between Aoife and Shay felt very realistic and the whole relationship felt natural, something that  some YA-books fail at.

Aoife’s “parents” are just lovely and the whole family relationship going on just made me so happy despite being heartbreaking at times. The ending will have you crying, no lies.

The fairie world felt very realistic and I loved how it was combined with the human world. The whole world build up was fantastic and it did feel like you were actually there. The plot was great and it never got boring. It made sense from start to finish and even with the magical elements it felt like something that could actually happen. I absolutely loved it and I hope that there will be something more, at least a short novella taking place a few months after the ending of the book.

Do I recommend it? 

Yes, I do! It was brilliant. Be prepared to read the whole thing in an Irish accent though, I sure did.

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