Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Wicked Lovely is the first novel in Melissa Marr's young adult urban fantasy series that mixes faeries and humans. As both Barnes & Noble and Sony have recently offered free ebook copies of Wicked Lovely for download to digital device, we here at Vamps R Us decided it was high time we give Wicked Lovely the review it deserves.
Aislinn lives her life by a clear set of rules. She must not, under any circumstance, let faeries know she can see them. Too bad for her Keenan, the faery Summer King, has chosen Aislinn as his future queen. Suddenly, it doesn't matter what Aislinn wants and all her rules are tossed. Her humanity quickly disappearing, Aislinn has a difficult decision to make. If she consents to be the Summer Queen and can pass the test, she'll be joining the faery world she's hidden from her whole life and sacrificing her mortal love, Seth. If she fails or refuses, the evil Winter Queen will rule unchecked, leaving all Summer Fae and humans alike to suffer. And time, like Aislinn's humanity, is running out.
Wicked Lovely is an addition to the paranormal landscape that twists what have become cliched plot elements to create a story both engaging and unique. Instead of a mortal girl falling in love with a beautiful paranormal creature and choosing to abandon her humanity for a paranormal life, Aislinn is a tough but world weary young woman who is aware of the paranormal - and wants to remain human. Aislinn longs for the normal life so many other paranormal heroines long to leave behind. It's refreshing to read about a human content in her own humanity.
Just as Wicked Lovely doesn't have a typical heroine, the love story at its core is likewise atypical. Keenan is a handsome faery king who's charmed dozens of women into giving up everything for him. Aislinn, however, wants nothing to do with Keenan. And I don't mean in the cliched "I want you but can't admit it so instead I'll pretend to hate you" way of so many stories, YA and adult alike. Aislinn has seen what faeries are capable of and refuses to be charmed by someone who may want her only for what she can offer him. She prefers the mortal Seth over the fantasy Keenan presents her, and she stands by her choice.
Aislinn is a YA heroine adults could learn from. Yes, she's still a teen. She makes some impulsive, foolish decisions, but instead of collapsing in on herself and crying for a savior, she owns those decisions. She accepts the consequences of her actions and the reality of events beyond her control. There is no divine intervention to save Aislinn from a future she doesn't want, but she never becomes a victim. When she is unable to create an ideal situation, she accepts her circumstances and finds a solution that is livable, if not perfect. Aislinn acts with a strength and grace some adult fiction heroines lack.
Wicked Lovely is not only an enjoyable read, it contains a strong YA heroine readers can actually look up to. Not because she's perfect, but because she's strong and - despite the paranormal elements of the story - real.