When your back starts to hurt because you're trying to drag your eyes across the heavy pages of a non-event insipid book like this one, it's time to call it quits. Everybody is going around their daily lives without any kind of issue; the only one who has an actual problem is Donia, but she was so dull I started skipping chapters whenever her name appeared under the nonsensical quotation. Reading this book was like sitting at the back of the school bus while everybody talks about how they went to a party at the weekend and this person was rumored to have boned this person, but when you go and actually ask whoever it was whose name was inserted into Generic Party Event Template they tell you they either didn't go to the party or their parents were there and everyone spent the night playing checkers. It's not like the actual personalities of the characters are at all interesting, either. Sorry, but if a heroine is going to appeal to me, she needs to a) not be a Mary-Sue, b) have a significantly larger emotional range than a sesame seed, c) and do something other than lie around complaining about her lot. In fact, Seth is such a wet lump of charcoal that I couldn't take this Goth image as anything other than a pose or this lame book's attempt at distancing itself from the whole dreadful floppy-haired prep situation that's been sniffing around suspiciously in the YA section of late. That's what this book is like, and especially when Aislinn is around Seth. Aislinn may as well have just dated herself because Seth has absolutely no personality. He doesn't speak in a certain way, has no interesting mannerisms, and really, he's just there to be a pillar to which Aislinn talks about her problems. Seth fits in just perfectly with the floppy-haired preps in terms of total and utter personality lackage and a terrible attempt at being limply sexy. I get that Keenan wanted a Summer Queen, and that something happened to his father, and Beira is somehow more powerful, and there was something to do with touching a staff amid lots of faery sex, but really, that's as far as it got.
2/7/18 - ON SALE for $3.99: http://amzn.to/2xKCD3Q Reviewed by: Rabid Reads 3.5 stars The first time I read WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr I did not like it. And it remains my favorite YA series about Fae. Aislinn, like all of her female ancestors, has the Sight. Aislinn and Keenan . Part of my dislike of the main characters (Aislinn and Keenan) is superficial--I don't like their names. There wasn't anything specific about Aislinn that I that disliked, but there wasn't anything I did particularly like either. 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. 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.
There's also the fact that Seth was a cardboard-prop boyfriend with tattoos.
I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. Here's the thing about the writing, I felt like this was a good book. And that colored how I was reading the rest of the book, I wanted her to have to struggle more -- but she didn't, but neither did I? But if you have a huge history of reading faery books -- this one might not be your favorite.
But Marr set a beautiful stage, perfect characters with bright promises of illuminating lives. I hope Ms. Marr becomes a great author she has it in her, but she needs to learn, as we all do, that life is lived beyond physical desire, in what we sacrifice for others and ourselves to gain wisdom and love.
People tell me I have a short attention span. So it takes a little bit to capture my attention and to keep it. Okay, so maybe it worked a little... I had to keep refocusing, shaking it off and trying to see the book for what it was as opposed to imagining half-naked men with incredible bodies all oiled up and posing... Marr must figure that if fails, at least there's lots of pretty to look at. I suppose of course that if it wants to fall back on pretty sparkly men (oh, I'm sorry, this one GLOWS. It's for books like this one (don't be deceived by the stars, it's not really 3, it's 2 1/2) that aren't terrible, aren't fantastic, and that I'll barely remember in a week or so. Maybe if I keep reading books like this, I'll cure my insatiable fascination with sparkly things. I was looking for a diamond in the rough but this book was pretty much mostly rough.
The reason I didn't like this book is because it was one of the first YA titles I ever read, and I was really put off by the content.
Aislinn has always followed the rules. Aislinn always knew if she could make it there she'd have peace because the faeries could never follow her into the train yard. Aislinn really begins to worry when two faeries, Keenan and Donia, approach her and speak directly to her. She hears them say things like, "Do you think she's the one?" Aislinn realizes that in order to figure out what they want from her she is going to have to break the rules she's grown up with all her life. Another problem of course is Aislinn doesn't want to be Summer Queen. Especially when her feelings for Seth have developed into more than friendship and becoming the Summer Queen would mean spending an eternity with Keenan. If you aren't usually a fan of faerie stories, you might want to give this one a try.
Marr is a nice teller, I like her style, I adore the world-building (you may not see it in the first book, but I've already read 3 parts and 2 bonuses of this series and have seen more) and fae-mythology of Wicked Lovely (these faeries are super close to canon). Winter Queen and Dark King were stupid enough and didnt come up with an idea to choose a girl from the other part of the Earth? Keenan, their young king (hes only 9 centuries old and others call him a boy, so) is cursed and his powers are bound by his mother (the Winter Queen) and Irial (the Dark King). Beira - the Winter Queen - was romancing his father and eventually killed him, but she was already pregnant, thats how was born a new Summer ruler. Keenan had to search for his queen among mortals, pick them, change them into fae and then ask them to take his mothers staff (this is a kind of a test) or become a Summer Girl. Choosing the first, they risk to become a Winter Girl and to lose Keenan (cause sex with burns and freezburns isnt that good, you know), choosing the second means being addictive to their king presence and mood, without him they would wither and die, and when hes unhappy, they are too. There is another risk, one of these Summer Girls could be the queen but she was afraid to test herself and now Keenan would be always cursed, winter would last forever, Summer Court would die and people would do the same. Her main goal is not to let Keenan meet his queen, all she does is irritating him and visiting Donia, who was the last that risked her future and mortality for Keenan for nothing, now she contains winter cold in her body and soul plus has to talk every girl Keenan picks against taking the Winters staff, she has to convince them that Summer King is dangerous and he cant be trusted. Beira threats to kill her if she let the newest of Keenans girls to try herself with staff and stuff. Their king is Irial, hes a gancanagh, a solitary Fae whose touches and kisses are lethal to mortals, they become addictive and without him they die. High Court is the one which exists not in the real world but in a magical one. We wont see much of High Court and its rulers until Old Habits bonus and until book #3, but well hear about them for sure. Now let me introduce you to our future Summer Queen Aislinn or simply Ash. She sees faeries since childhood and keeps it in secret. I like how many different characters Marr created, I like how unusual and complicated ships are here, but this author tortures me with her story, I wanna one thing and she gives me another every freaking time, in every freaking book.
It really is a huge letdown to read the whole book realy enjoying it only to reach the end knowing that it's all going to end up awfully. The thing is, I loved Donia and Seth. I loved Keenan and Aislinn. Keenan and Donia, and Seth and Aislinn.
Melissa Marr is a former university literature instructor who writes fiction for adults, teens, and children.