By Melissa Marr; HarperTeen; $16.99
Melissa Marr’s debut novel, Wicked Lovely, is an exceptional addition to the ever-expanding list of fantasy novels intended for young adults. Her style is similar to that of another up-and-coming YA faery writer, Holly Black: highly imaginative, blending the worlds of fairy with urban, contemporary life. And, like Black, Marr’s writing is accessible, focusing on characters rather than the minutia of the faery world.
However, Marr manages to give the reader enough background to fully flesh out what is happening and why, as well as thorough character development.
Aislinn lives with her grandmother, who has always stressed the three cardinal rules for living with the Sight: “Rule #3: Don’t stare at invisible faeries. Rule #2: Don’t speak to invisible faeries. Rule #1: Don’t ever attract their attention.” Up till now, adhering to these rules has kept Aislinn safe from the sadistic, libidinous faeries she and her grandmother, and only them, can see. But now Aislinn is confronted with a stalker fairy: The Summer King, Keenan, has decided that Aislinn will be his queen and help him regain the power his mother, the Winter Queen, took from him after his father died. But there is a price. If Aislinn fails the test — if she is not the rightful Summer Queen Keenan has been searching centuries for — she will be bound to the Winter Queen as the Winter Girl, taking the place of the wolf-riding ice faery Donia, the last girl to take the test.
The story takes many interesting — and unexpected — turns. Characters reveal their innermost workings to create a gripping story you won’t want to put down.