Monday, January 14, 2008

Wicked Lovely is Wicked Awesome

It wasn’t long after Wicked Lovely was released in June 2007 that I started hearing news about it. It was displayed in the front of most bookstores, and websites had it featured on their front pages. I didn’t know anyone who’d read it, but it seemed like the rest of the world had. So, recently, I decided to check it out myself. And I’m glad I did.

Honestly, I don’t usually read about fairies, so I was a little skeptical at first. Most fairy books I’d heard of focused on little happy creatures with wings who played with butterflies or rode on ladybugs. Nice, sure, and great for some people, but they just weren’t my thing. Even the “dark” fairies just tended to be pixies, who would knock over the sugar jar or something like that. Minor things that, to me, just weren’t any cause for alarm or worry. But as soon as I started Wicked Lovely, I knew it wasn’t going to be one of those Disney-esque fairytales.

The mood was set right from the start with an amazing prologue that was enticing and delightfully perplexing and made me have to read on, just to find out what’s going to happen on the next page. And not once was I disappointed as I turned each page and read the story of Aislinn, Keenan, Seth, and the Winter and Summer Courts.

Melissa Marr did an amazing job of making traditional fairies her own while keeping with many folkloric customs and showing that not all fairies live in sunflowers and smile all day. At times I almost felt as if I was there, with Aislinn and the others, learning more and trying to decide what was right and wrong and good and bad and if those terms could even be applied to the new world I’d been thrown into.

The fey in Wicked Lovely are not the personality-lite happy-go-lucky sort that many would remember from their childhoods. They have motives, and secrets, and pasts, and futures. They’re almost human, save for the magic and immortality of course. It was refreshing, and eerie, to read of fairies portrayed in a fashion that could very well be plausible, making this one of few fairy-stories where I’ve felt it could truly be real.

I haven’t gone into much detail about the actual story here—this is more an introduction of Melissa Marr’s work then a full review of the text itself—but my fellow YAYAs will follow with their own thoughts and feelings on this novel that, to me, has to be one of the best fairytales around and one of the best YA books of 2007.

If I were actually certified to give some kind of ranking on books, Wicked Lovely would get five out of five stars (or maybe sunbursts), without question.


AmandaKMorgan said...

Very nice, Reen! :)

bethany said...

Great review! I really enjoyed it, too, and stangely enough, the buzz hasn't trickled down to the students I teach. I haven't found a single one who has read it, even my very well read library-aide buddies.

All I can say is that I think the popularity will only go up as more kids read it and particularly after Ink Exchange is released.

Trish Doller said...

I've been recommending it at my B&N, to teens and adults!

althrasher said...

Great review, Reen! Hope I didn't repeat you too much.;)

Melissa Marr said...

"sunbursts" . . . I like that a lot. Thank you :)