ARC Review: The Changeling by Helen Falconer

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Original Title: The Changeling

Year Published: 2015

Published by:  Corgi Childrens (an arc was kindly provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

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.

Goodreads Rating: 5/5

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.

My 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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