Book Review: The Changeling by Helen Falconer

23346539Title: The Changeling

Author: Helen Falconer

Genre: YA Fantasy, Paranormal, Faeries

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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.

The Changeling offers compelling writing, a complex story and an engaging main character. Aoife – the nickname of Eva – is an ordinary teenager who likes texting with her BFF Carla, chatting about boys and doing all the things ordinary teens do. But when one of her friends, Sinead, invites her to the movies, en route Aoife sees a little girl hopping between the trees. She goes out to look for her, along with Carla, but the girl doesn’t show up and the others suspect it’s just in Aoife’s imagination.

But afterward, Aoife starts to develop strange powers, and when she kisses Shay, the only boy who believes her story, she discovers she can flying. After jumping / flying off the cliff, she and Shay end up in a mysterious underworld where nothing is as it seems and some of the local folklore might turn out to be real after all.

Aoife was an engaging character. I liked her fun friendship with Carla. They’re obvious best friends and I feared Carla might dump Aoife after she saw a girl no one else saw, but Carla remained a good friend. Aoife was a bit stubborn at first though, and a little slow. I wondered how many more signs she wanted that she had special powers. The pacing picked up once they entered the underworld. Her personality became more developed, she grew stronger and overall more likeable.

I loved Shay from the start and I only started loving him more as the book developed. He’s a genuine good guy, and I liked how there was no love triangle for once, like you see so many times in YA books. The romance between Aoife and Shay seemed just as geuine as either one of them was on their own. Genuine good people who deserve a relationship filled with love and care.

What I enjoyed the most were the little details: the Irish folklore, the setting, the dialect. This made the book sounds all the more real and made it all the easier to connect to Aoife and the other characters.


  1. I read a very early version of this a couple of years ago and I’m so glad it’s finally been published. I’m excited to read the finished version of it as I’ve head it’s great and judging by your review, I will love it! So glad you enjoyed it, lovely review!


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