Thursday, February 4, 2010

Review WONDROUS STRANGE by Lesley Livingston

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

December 23rd 2008 by HarperTeen (first published 2008)

Hardcover, 328 pages 

Placement in the Pile:
Reaching New Heights

17 year-old Kelly Winslow doesn’t believe in Faeries. Not unless they’re the kind that you find in a theatre, spouting Shakespeare—the kind that Kelley so desperately wishes she could be: onstage, under lights, with a pair of sparkly wings strapped to her shoulders. But as the understudy in a two-bit, hopelessly off-off-Broadway production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, wishing is probably the closest she’s going to get to becoming a Faerie Queen. At least, that’s what shethinks... In this fun, urban fantasy, Kelly's off-stage life suddenly becomes as complicated as one of Shakespeare’s plot twists when a nighttime trip to Central Park holds more than meets the mortal eye.

I wasn't going to read this book. At all. First off, could there be a lamer title? The first thing that comes to mind is another book about faeries (a.k.a. fairies — for those not so cool) called Wicked Lovely. Does that strike anyone else as total knock-off weirdness? Two books about faeries . . . two books with adjective-adjective titles?

It was almost enough to turn me off. Almost.

But after I gave in and bought the book down at my local Barnes and Noble, I rushed home, locked myself in my room, and read the entire thing. It was surprisingly good and I would even go as far as to call it a page-turner. The prose is beautiful and even eloquent at some points, supporting the mature voice of the protagonist. Kelly, a girl trying to make it on off-off-off Broadway, finally gets her break. And when she does her world changes dramatically.

I found the main voices of the book, Kelly and Sonny, to be brilliant. Great story telling and character voice and excellent chemistry.

To be honest, I thought the author could have done without the 'strange' (ha, ha, snort) prologue of a first chapter, oh, and the lame-arse title—thus my reason for the Reaching New Heights Placement. But other than that, the book definitely hooked me. I'll be running out today to purchase Darklight, the sequel that just came out!!!


Elle Strauss said...

I haven't read many fairy/faery books, (okay, one)but I might give this one a try.

thanks for the recommend.

Aubrey (AKA Stacey) said...

Thanks for the review E! I have had this one on my radar for a while. Once again, another one I have to pick up soon!

inthehammockblog said...

Great review!

Guinevere said...

I read this one a while ago, and while I liked it, I seem to remember feeling like it was a knock-off of more than just a similar title. I don't remember what book I thought it reminded me too much of, if it was Wicked Lovely or some other fairy book, but though it was well written, I just remember thinking that something about it (the plot or something) reminded me too much of another story. Now it's bugging me that I can't remember! ha ha. I did like it enough to want to read the sequel. I'll look forward to your review of it.

SB said...

what a funny honest. almost makes me want to read it!