Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

All of us have had that sense, at one time or another, of seeing something inexplicable out of the corner of our eyes. It may be a flash of light, a reflective glint, or just a shimmery difference in the air around us. And then it usually goes away. But for Aislinn in Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely, it’s a different story. She has always been able to see faeries around her, and they aren’t cute and precious like Tinkerbell. The fey are at times hideous or breathtakingly beautiful, cruel or mocking, and always a danger. They often pinch and mock the humans that they follow and then don glamours to blend in with humans (and often lead them astray) when it suits the faeries’ needs.

Aislinn’s grandmother shares this gift of sight and she has helped Aislinn cope by drilling firm rules into her: #3. Don’t stare at invisible faeries. #2. Don’t speak to invisible faeries. And #1. Don’t ever attract their attention. The only way that Aislinn can survive being in a world shared by both faeries and humans is to never, ever let them know that she can see them. She keeps her head down and spends most of her time at her friend Seth’s house – a converted railway car – where she feels strangely protected. Unfortunately, she has attracted the attention of a new, strikingly handsome student at school, Keenan, who doggedly pursues her.

Because of Aislinn’s power, she can see immediately that Keenan is one of the fey – but not just any faery. He exudes a power that she hasn’t encountered before and has an obvious effect on all of the faeries around him. All that Aislinn knows is that Keenan is bad news for her – and for everyone that she cares about. But what she hasn’t yet discovered is that he is the Summer King, one of the faery world’s most powerful leaders, locked in a centuries-old battle with the evil Winter Queen, whose powers are slowly growing and threatening the future of both the fey and human worlds.

I found Melissa Marr’s first book in the Wicked Lovely series compelling in terms of plot and appealing in terms of characterization. I enjoyed how the characters were not merely black and white but much more complex, with different motivations and hidden pasts. At times Aislinn did seem a little too reticent and Seth a little too perfect to believe, but it offered the escapist entertainment that I was looking for. You can continue the series with Ink Exchange. If you enjoy Wicked Lovely, you may also like Tithe by Holly Black or Lament by Maggie Stiefvater. We also have a book match with more read-alike suggestions.