Release Date: June 12, 2007
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
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!