Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in 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.
Faerie intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning 21st century faery tale.
The thing that really sealed my decision to read this book was the blurb on the back cover from Tamora Pierce, one of my all time favorite authors. If Tammy says it's cool, then, chances are, it is. And it was really good! I loved the characters and how balanced they were. Faeries are big on balance, and I thought it was very clever of Marr to enforce that by having such a balanced cast. Patient and sweet Seth counterbalanced fiery and tempestuous Keenan, Ash was balanced by Donia, even Biera's Stepford Wife demeanor was balanced by Grams's modernism. The characters were by far my favorite thing about this book. For the sake of balance, I feel I must tell you my least favorite thing about the book too. The pace. It was slow. While I enjoyed the very original story, writing style, and especially the cast, it took me twice as long to read it because it was such a languid pace. There was a lot of life and death stuff, but the story just kept truckin' along at the same speed. It did pick up a little near the end, though.
I aslo really admired Marr's approach to teen sex. She handled it very responsibly by emphasizing the importance of waiting, being safe, and the fact that you don't have to! It was awkward when Seth decided to talk to Ash about his history, but it was necessary and I applaud Marr for not glamorizing the situation or skimming past it. Personally, I believe in waiting till your married to do the deed, but given other books where it's treated as a recreational activity, this was a huge step forward.
I heard somewhere that the next book is even slower, so I'm not sure I'm going to read it, but the good news is that I don't really have to. The story was tied up enough at the end to give you the option of letting it rest. There was definitely room for more story, but it wasn't, like, a cliffhanger. If I ever feel like revisiting the characters, which I very well might because I really loved them1, then I'll read the next book, but for now I'm happy with where we stand.
I give Wicked Lovely...
A good place to start if you've never read anything faery-ish before2.
1 Especially Seth, he was so unexpected!
2 I've read plenty of fairy tales, but this was my first faery tale.