Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Series: Wicked Lovely #1
Published on: June 12 2007
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
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Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty - especially if they learn of her Sight - and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.
Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.
Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.
But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King, who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost — regardless of her plans or desires.
Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.
Faery intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning twenty-first-century faery tale.
The first time I read WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr I did not like it. It was too dark. I was too young to catch the deeper connotations that Marr was communicating. If it hadn’t been published in that weird in between time when I was pretty current on all the interesting series in my preferred genres (and therefore desperate for reading material), I probably never would’ve read the second book.
But it was, and I did . . . And it remains my favorite YA series about Fae.
Aislinn, like all of her female ancestors, has the Sight. She can see through faery glamour, magic used to either make the Fae invisible to humans entirely or to make them appear to be human themselves.
There are many rules her grandmother taught her to ensure her safety, but they’re all extensions of a single concept: keep the secret.
Faeries don’t want to be seen, and if they discover a human who can see them, that human will be lucky to simply have their eyes gouged out.
Like I said. Dark.
But that by itself isn’t unusual . . . and I love Fae, sooooo . . . what was my problem?
This time around, I finally figured it out. B/c despite improving with the reread, I enjoyed it for the authenticity, for the underlying message I had previously overlooked, for the anticipation of what I know will come next . . . not for this story. Not for these characters.
Aislinn and Keenan . . . Not a huge fan of either of them at this point. Donia, yes. Niall, also yes, but not nearly as much as I will in INK EXCHANGE. Seth . . . meh. For now, at least.
Part of my dislike of the main characters (Aislinn and Keenan) is superficial—I don’t like their names. #sorrynotsorry Maybe you can completely overlook MEH to blergh names, but I can’t. A rose by any other name and all that.
By itself that would never be enough to make me turn my nose up at a book, but when I have other issues with those same characters . . . it compounds.
And with Keenan, especially . . . He embodies the capriciousness that categorizes the Fae, but he lacks the whimsicality, the charisma, that endears the “good” version of Fae to me. Instead of liking him for his Faeness, I was irritated by his narcissism.
There wasn’t anything specific about Aislinn that I that disliked, but there wasn’t anything I did particularly like either.
As for Seth . . . I’m not even remotely attracted to this incarnation. I got over my fascination with über pierced Bad Boys who may or may not have a pet snake (*rolls eyes*) when I was in high school.
Marr is a true scholar when it comes to fairy folklore, and the aforementioned authenticity is fantastic. It’s not limited to the physical descriptions of various types of Fae, she weaves the rules for dealing with Fae, the practices, the consequences, the temperaments (Keenan excluded), ultimately creating a captivating Fae world overlapping our own.
This setting, the WICKED LOVELY world, is so well-established in this first installment that, in hindsight, it’s not at all surprising given new main characters, I loved the next book.
Beyond that, Marr gives us a heroine who despite being backed into a corner, despite escaping the Fae free and clear being an impossibility, grabs the reins of her power, making the best of a situation she wants no part of, but can’t escape.
Aislinn accepts the world as it is and makes it work for her.
I may not have connected with her, but I respected her.
SO. While I consider this first installment to be significantly weaker than those that follow, it isn’t terrible, and I still highly recommend it to anyone who loves the Fae.
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I read Wicked Lovely for the same reasons, Jessica! And I found the world fascinating. It’s one of my favorite series even though it is definitely dark. As I was reading your review, I was trying to think about why this series stuck with me and I think it is the world building. I remember I started stalking Melissa Marr’s blog, etc., and liked the research she put into her fae. I agree with you about Keenan – he did love himself. 😉 And I like what you said about Aislinn making the best of a situation she couldn’t change. You’ve made me want to pick up the series again…ah, if only I had some extra time. 😀
Bookworm Brandee recently posted…#OctobeRecFest Review #9 ~ Close Enough to Touch ~ Victoria Dahl
I read the first one a long time ago and I remember liking it but for some reason never picked up the rest.
Stormi recently posted…Book Review: A Red Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire
I read this years ago and I did love Seth – I’m pretty sure if I read it now I would roll my eyes – but the character I really loved was Donia.
I never continued with the series but I did read a novella about Donia and ______ (no spoilers lol)
Karen @For What It’s Worth
I’ve wanted to read this one since it came out. I will get to it one day. *sigh*
I do love the idea of rereading a book you loved in the past. I might have to do that and see what has changed for me.
Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Audiobook Review with Crafts!: A Sorceress of His Own by Dianne Duvall
Gosh! Girl this book is SO dark! The whole part of gouging out eyeballs and THAT still not being the worst that can happen to you?? Goodness gracious! This seems like one that would be a perfect read for Halloween, eh?
I didn’t realize this was a bit on a dark side, thought I shouldn’t be surprised, its fae
Lily B recently posted…Review: Christmas at Twilight (Twilight, Texas #6) by Lori Wilde
I never finished these :/
blodeuedd recently posted…Half a war – Joe Abercrombie
Great review, Jessica! I actually enjoyed Aislinn quite a bit, but Keenan was like a toddler being denied his favorite toy, and he continued to act like a spoiled brat for too long in the series.
Can you believe I have trouble remembering Seth? How is that possible?
Maybe it’s time for a re-read for me as well 🙂
Lexxie recently posted…Review: Surviving Ice – K. A. Tucker
I read this book years ago and though I remember liking it, I didn’t move on to the rest of the series. I’ll have to rectify that thanks to your review.
This is one of my favorite YA fae books as well. I love the darkness in it.
kara-karina recently posted…The Postman Knock #139
I agree, Wicked Lovely is definitely the weakest book in the series. Admittedly I always liked Seth and Aislinn, but maybe that’s because I *was* in high school when I read these books..so I may have been more susceptible to the pierced bad boy thing then. 😉
Ink Exchange and Radiant Shadows are the real standouts, though. They’re extra dark and angsty, which is typically what I want when I’m reading about the Fae. I also really like Melissa Marr’s writing style.
Danya recently posted…Review: Owl and the City of Angels by Kristi Charish
I enjoyed this series too, Jessica. It was one of my first fae reads when I began reading a few years ago. I purchased the boxset and devoured the books. Come to think of it, Aislinn and Keenan are weird names!
Naomi Hop recently posted…Reckless Abandon by Jeannine Colette ~ Release Day Review & Teaser Tuesday
I haven’t read a lot of Melissa Marr but what I’ve read I’ve really liked. Since I’m not a big fan of Fae stories I haven’t started this series, but I’m gonna keep an eye on your reviews for the whole series, in case you end up convincing me as usual…
Pili recently posted…Saturday Pages: Mini Reviews for Maxon and Portia by Christina Bauer!