Wicked Lovely is the story of a girl who can see faeries. Not shiny, happy, sparkly, petal-wearing fairies—scary ones. Thus the spelling: fairy = Tinkerbell, faery = awesome. And of course, by awesome I mean, you know. Frightening.
Aislinn (That’s the girl’s name. Coincidentally, it is also my name. It’s pronounced Ash-lin, not Ah-is-lin, or Ay-es-lin, or Bill, or however one chooses to butcher it.) catches the eye of a faery named Keenan, who turns out to be something called the Summer King. This makes him an important person (or faerie). He’s also kind of a jerk. Keenan has been searching for a bride for nine centuries (faeries are immortal, if you were wondering) and thinks that Aislinn may be the one. I won’t go into all the details, but, basically, Aislinn is given a choice: become a Summer Girl (one of many simpering idiots who die if they go too far from Keenan), or take a test. Obviously, I’m not talking about a math test. It’s a magical test. You know, like slaying a dragon or pulling a sword out of a stone (though slaying a dragon is more about brute strength and/or battle prowess). If Aislinn passes, she becomes the Summer Queen, Keenan’s bride (also, a curse gets broken and some other stuff happens, but I won’t go into that). If she fails, she becomes the Winter Girl, forced to endure constant cold and bound to serve the Winter Queen (who is evil, of course). And no, I’m not going to tell you what the test is. You’ll have to read the book. It isn’t slaying a dragon, though.
Anyhow, while all this is going on, Aislinn is getting into a romantic entanglement with a boy named Seth. Unlike Keenan, Seth is wonderful. He is also mine—sorry, Avery dear. Seth lives in a train car. And has tattoos. And a snake. Also, he’s hot. And did I mention mine?
Wicked Lovely is Melissa Marr’s first novel, and she had better write more now, because it is most absolutely utterly wonderful fantabulous. It starts out a little slow, with a scene that is supposed to introduce you to the concept of faeries and the fact that Aislinn can see them. But Aislinn’s fear at seeing them seems a bit forced—she’s been seeing them all her life, and you’d figure she’d be used to it. The book recovers quickly, though, and has very few weak moments after that. There were some times when I wanted to scream at the characters because they were making bad decisions and don’t be stupid and ack don’t do that you idiot because can’t you see that other thing? But I’m not sure that this is bad. I scream at characters a lot, see.
I give this book 4.5 daggers out of 5.
Sincerely, book-reviewingly, Seth-kidnappingly, faery-lovingly yours,
Faeries have been a part of my life (self? soul?) since I was very, very young. Because of this, I just happen to have an affinity for books about them. Often, I will be excited about a book on the subject of faeries, only to be monumentally disappointed. Fortunately, however, this was not so with Melissa Marr's 'Wicked Lovely'.
The book, as Aislinn (Nyx, not the main character) stated, began shakily with an awkward "I see fairies" scene. It recovered quickly, plunging the reader into an epic clash between winter and summer, love and obligation, mortal and faery. You know... everything that my daily life would be if it weren't... normal.
One thing that I really loved about this book was its love story. The high ranking fae creature verses the best friend is a common love conflict/scenario, popular among many fantasy writers. The great thing about Wicked Lovely is that Marr took a common theme and made it original and complex. And entirely awesome.
(And actually, Aislinn darling, Seth is not yours. He may not be mine, but if I can not have him, neither can you. So there.)
All in all, Wicked Lovely was, well... lovely.
I pierce the icy heart of the Winter Queen with four and a half daggers.
Fae at heart...