by Melissa Marr
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 328 pages
Summary: 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. Faerie intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning 21st century faery tale
I picked up Wicked Lovely last week, partly to read for my YA Week, but also because I've been wanting to read Melissa Marr's writing for a long time and just hadn't gotten the chance. Her book did not disappoint. It's creative, eerie, romantic, suspenseful and kept me on edge right up until the end of the story. The only character I was truly convinced was being truthful was Aislinn, or Ash as her friends call her. She is a haunting young woman who has been able to observe the fae her entire life, but was warned there were three rules she must abide by at all times:
1. Don't ever attract their attention.
2. Don't speak to invisible faeries.
3. Don't stare at invisible faeries.
Ash is a strong character, but at the same time she is young and inexperienced. Suddenly the rules she's been taught by her grandmother throughout her life are no longer holding true. She has never told anyone else that she can see the fae. She needs a friend to confide in as things change and overwhelm her. Seth, her best friend, wants more than friendship, the fae want her as well, and her grandmother wants to hide Ash until it all goes away. I loved Wicked Lovely for many reasons, including the characters, the writing, and the plot, which kept me guessing and moving forward at a quick pace just to see what would happen next.
It was really refreshing to read a YA novel without vampires for a change. Don't get me wrong, I love to read vampire fiction, but it's also nice to find a book with a unique fantasy world. Melissa Marr has created an unseen world of the fae, who can be beautiful but deadly. Appearances are almost always deceiving, and manipulation is a way of life. I don't want to give any more information about the plot because it's best to read it with no spoilers.
Mom Notes: Wicked Lovely is a mature YA Novel with mentions of drugs, drinking, sex and swearing. I would say it's for age 16 and older because of the mature themes. I thought the topic of sex was handled very well. Ash is a virgin, and her attitude and that of her boyfriend is a good one. It's realistically handled, written as I remember feeling as a teenager, which is confused, and wanting to go farther but not wanting to make a mistake. Ash's boyfriend is experienced, and lives alone, which will be uncomfortable for some parents, but I know the situation is not an uncommon one. I always recommend that parents read books along with their kids (before or after they do) so they can discuss it with them. I do this with my 16 year old son quite often.
Harper Collins has released a free electronic edition of Wicked Lovely with bonus materials. On this page you can download that, plus a two part story in the Wicked Lovely world.
Wicked Lovely Series
1. Wicked Lovely (2007)
2. Ink Exchange (2008)
3. Fragile Eternity (2009)
4. Radiant Shadows (2010)
5. Stopping Time, Part 1 & 2 (ebooks)
You can visit Melissa Marr on her website, her blog and on Twitter: