Sunday, May 15, 2011

Book Review: Wicked Lovely

Author: Melissa Marr
Release Date: June 12, 2007
Pages: 328
Read it in: 5 days

Praise: "Riveting and dark: I love this tale of a smart, tough girl who walks the razor's edge between an ancient faery curse and her future!" ~Tamora Pierce

Summary: (Goodreads) All teenagers have problems, but few of them can match those of Aislinn, who has the power to see faeries. Quite understandably, she wishes that she could share her friends' obliviousness and tries hard to avoid these invisible intruders. But one faery in particular refuses to leave her alone. Keenan the Summer King is convinced beyond all reasoning that Aislinn is the queen he has been seeking for nine centuries. What's a 21st-century girl to do when she's stalked by a suitor nobody else can see? A debut fantasy romance for the ages; superlative summer read.

LC's Take: 

Sigh... OK, so I really, really wanted to like this book-- I had been so excited to get into the Wicked Lovely series! But honestly-- for whatever reason-- I just could not get hooked. In fact, it almost got (gasp!) DNF-ed. Let me explain:

When I first picked up Wicked Lovely I was pretty excited-- the cover is gorgeous and I'd never read a book focusing exclusively on fairies. However, I have to admit that I had some difficulties with it from the very beginning, simply because it starts right in the middle of the action with very little explanation for what the heck is going on: there's a girl named Aislynn and she's pretty freaked out because she sees faeries everywhere, but she can't tell anyone so she just tries to run away where they can't find her. (Ummm... OK.) Maybe it was so hard to follow because it felt like the author assumed the reader knows all about faeries, or "fey." Well, I don't know anything about faeries so I felt pretty out-of-the-loop for the first 100 pages or so. (They have "glamours?" There are fey courts? They're deathly allergic to iron or something?? Yeeeah, I felt clueless!)

For this reason, I found it kind of difficult to connect with the characters or get into the plot because I had no idea what was going on. The author seems to know a lot about faery lore, but the way she goes about telling the story left me totally confused. The writing seemed very clunky to me, and this made it hard to read quickly because I just couldn't stay focused. And to be completely honest, this just made me kind of bored with the whole book. I mean, if you don't get what's going on, how are you going to maintain interest in it?

There were definitely other issues I had with this book, besides not knowing what was going on throughout the first third of the story:

  • I felt like the writing style was somewhat sloppy and it wasn't until around p.160 that I finally could get into the plot a little. Because of this, it was just really difficult to stay interested in what was going on.
  • You know those incredibly annoying plot holes that you just can't get over as you're reading a book? Oh wow, there were so many here! One that stood out: One of the number one rules that Aislynn lives by is she can't stare at fairies because they can't know that she can see them. So how is it that the fairies are described down to the last detail from Aislynn's POV all the time? Isn't she supposed to not be looking at them?? Ahh! Logic!
  • There wasn't much in the way of character development: Aislynn never had much of a presence in the story. I felt like things just happen to her and she passively reacts-- I couldn't connect with her on an emotional level at all. 
  • There were definitely more than a few typos throughout the book which is always a turn-off, because it makes you think that the entire thing was poorly edited. Usually I can pass by a couple typos, but in this case, added to everything else that bothered me, my end impression was that it was just sloppily done. 

To be fair, there were some things that I liked about this book: The snippets from old 18th/19th century books about faery lore, published in Ireland, Scotland and England were very interesting to read at the start of each chapter, and it shows that the author did her research about the subject she's writing on (it just wasn't translated well enough so that I could understand it, too!) Also, Aislynn's love interest Seth? Yum-my haha :)

I don't want to totally knock this book just because I could not connect with it personally-- I think that while it may not be for everyone, there is definitely a reader base that will enjoy Wicked Lovely. I would say that if you love the subject of fairies, or you can follow a plot that isn't completely straight-forward, this may be a great book for you. Unfortunately, I was not a fan, but I know that there are many fans of this series out there-- so it may be worth a shot!

LC's Rating:
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If you are into fairies and know a lot about fairy lore before you begin this book, you might be able to get into the story being told. However, if like me you don't know anything about this subject, you might be highly confused about everything going on!
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13 comments:

  1. Finally someone who had a similar problem with this book! I have heard so many good things about this series and was a little bit disappointed when I realized that I didn't like it as much as I expected. Thank you for sharing your opinion. Great review. :)

    Carina

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  2. I know a lot of people who hate this book or love it. I'm not sure if I want to read it though...I like faeries. I totally understand how that could be confusing, to not know anything about faeries. Awesome review!!

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  3. I'm glad to see that there's someone else who didn't love this book! I liked it, but I don't think it's as good as everyone says it is.

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  4. I hate plot holes!!
    hmm, I don't think this book will be for me.

    Great review! :D

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  5. I hated Ash! Blah...

    But I freaking LOVED Donia! She's probably one of my favorite characters ever! ;) great review chick!

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  6. This cover is sooo beautiful -- too bad it didn't come through for you. So disappointing when that happens. I don't know a thing about fairies, either.

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  7. Carina~ Glad I'm not the only one! I guess I can undestand (a little?) why this series has a fan base, and I've heard that the second one is better (actually author Melissa de la Cruz told me it was when I met her at a Teen Book Festival the other day) but I don't know... I just think it wasn't for me :/

    Katie~ Yeah, I think this is def one of those love it or leave it kind of books. Kinda hard to take a middle ground.

    Emily~ I don't want to judge other peoples' reading preferences, but I thought the writing style in this book was so darned confusing, I don't know how it could be a fave. But hey, that's just me.

    Jules~ I know right?? Stupid plot holes! Whenever I stop and am just like, "Wait a minute..." and think how the heck something could make sense, I can't even pay much attention to the main story anymore!

    Ashley~ Yeah she was a real dud haha. But agreed- Donia rocked. And thanks, glad you liked the review :)

    Georgia~ Definitely a bummer when the story doesn't live up to the cover/marketing. I'm going to be giving fairies another chance though, with the book Tithe by Holly Black-- I've heard it's pretty amazing!

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  8. I am so sorry that you are no into this book.

    I read the translation. The book about fairy that I read last year. I enjoyed it. I am waiting for the forth book.

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  9. Aleetha~ The next book I am reading is called Tithe by Holly Black-- I heard it was realy good, so hopefully I will enjoy that one a little more :) Glad you like this series though!

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  10. Ah, I'm a little hesitate now to read her newest novel Graveminder. I won an ARCC awhile back and still haven't gotten to it yet, but I hope it's good!

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  11. Lea - I love your blog! This is the only book that you've reviewed that I have actually read, and I wanted to see if we have similar tastes. I totally agree with everything you said (save that I thought Seth was a bit of a creeper). Are you going to read more in the series? I wonder if it gets any better. For example, I thought that Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series started out pedantic and got better. I don't know if I have enough hope in this series to try again. -Allison

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  12. Allison~ Thanks, I'm glad you like my blog :)

    Honestly, I don't think I will read more in this series. Now, sometimes, I admit, I will read a series even though I think it's bad because it's entertaining-- but this book was just SO bad in my opinion that I wasn't even entertained-- I was just bored and confused! Maybe it gets better, but seriously, if I can't become even slightly invested in the characters in the first book, I see no point in continuing u know?

    There are so many series out there-- I would rather spend my time and effort reading something that captures my attention :)

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