I have to admit, I approached Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely with more than a little trepidation. While I was growing up, the Point Horror series was at the peak of its popularity, and the emphasis there was definitely on the supernatural side of things, rather than the sexual chemistry between the two main characters.
Since reading a certain series of books within the past two or three years, I’d begun to think that plot in YA novels now comes second to how totally hot the main male character is, and how much the female protagonist wants him. Wicked Lovely, the first in Melissa Marr’s bestselling series of the same name, was a refreshing change.
The novel revolves around faeries, and one teenage girl’s ability to see them, despite the fact that most humans can’t. The trait is hereditary, and her grandmother has passed down rules to keep the girl, Aislinn, safe: never let on that you can see faeries, never speak to them, and above all, never attract their attention.
The story begins when, despite following the first two rules, Aislinn inadvertently breaks the third: the Summer King of the faeries, weakened by his lack of a Summer Queen, decides that Aislinn must be his. The novel details Aislinn’s struggle against this fate, and her desire to hold onto her life, family, plans for the future, and her human boyfriend. Refusing, however, will have dire consequences for the faeries and the world in general…
This novel’s strongest point is definitely its protagonist. Aislinn is a very positive role model for teenage girls; instead of giving herself over to the inevitable and allowing herself to be seduced by the Summer King, Keenan, she rejects the plans he has for her and makes her own decisions. She has a sensible head on her shoulders when it comes to drugs, alcohol and sex, and there’s definitely a lot to relate to in her character.
The concept of faeries running around the world, completely invisible to humans and wreaking havoc amongst their own kind, really did appeal to me. There has been such a huge focus on vampires and werewolves in teen fiction lately that it was good to read something a little different, where the supernatural race is mostly mischievous rather than intense.
The one thing I did feel let this book down was that the plight of the faeries didn’t feel all that severe. The Summer King seemed more confused and petulant at Aislinn’s resistance than dismayed and desperate. It was never properly specified what would happen if Aislinn refused, and the Winter Queen, the book’s antagonist, didn’t seem to have a focused goal except to stop Aislinn becoming the Summer Queen. A little more depth and detail would have helped, here.
Overall, though, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. There were some fantastic little moments between Aislinn and Seth, her friend-turned-boyfriend, and the faery lore was well-researched and explained. I’ll be picking up the next book, Ink Exchange, the next time I’m wandering around the local book shop!
Wicked Lovely – Melissa Marr
11 September 2008 by Harper Collins
Paperback, 336 pages
ISBN: 9780007263073 (ISBN-10) 0007263074