Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on October 20, 2015
The first time I read WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr I did not like it. It was too dark. I was too young to catch the deeper connotations that Marr was communicating. If it hadn't been published in that weird in between time when I was pretty current on all the interesting series in my preferred genres (and therefore desperate for reading material), I probably never would've read the second book.

But it was, and I did . . . And it remains my favorite YA series about Fae.

Aislinn, like all of her female ancestors, has the Sight. She can see through faery glamour, magic used to either make the Fae invisible to humans entirely or to make them appear to be human themselves.

There are many rules her grandmother taught her to ensure her safety, but they're all extensions of a single concept: keep the secret.

Faeries don't want to be seen, and if they discover a human who <i>can</i> see them, that human will be lucky to simply have their eyes gouged out.

Like I said. Dark.

But that by itself isn't unusual . . . and I love Fae, sooooo . . . what was my problem?

This time around, I finally figured it out. B/c despite improving with the reread, I enjoyed it for the authenticity, for the underlying message I had previously overlooked, for the anticipation of what I know will come next . . . not for <i>this</i> story. Not for <i>these</i> characters.

Aislinn and Keenan . . . Not a huge fan of either of them at this point. Donia, yes. Niall, also yes, but not nearly as much as I will in INK EXCHANGE. Seth . . . meh. For now, at least.

Part of my dislike of the main characters (Aislinn and Keenan) is superficial---I don't like their names. #sorrynotsorry Maybe you can completely overlook MEH to blergh names, but I can't. A rose by any other name and all that.

By itself that would never be enough to make turn my nose up at a book, but when I have other issues with those same characters . . . it compounds.

And with Keenan, especially . . . He embodies the capriciousness that categorizes the Fae, but he lacks the whimsicality, the charisma, that endears the "good" version of Fae to me. Instead of liking him for his Faeness, I was irritated by his narcissism.

There wasn't anything specific about Aislinn that I that disliked, but there wasn't anything I <i>did</i> particularly like either.

As for Seth . . . I'm not even remotely attracted to this incarnation. I got over my fascination with über pierced Bad Boys who may or may not have a pet snake (*rolls eyes*) when I was in high school.

BUT.

Marr is a true scholar when it comes to fairy folklore, and the aforementioned authenticity is fantastic. It's not limited to the physical descriptions of various types of Fae, she weaves the rules for dealing with Fae, the practices, the consequences, the temperaments (Keenan excluded), ultimately creating a captivating Fae world overlapping our own.
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 <i>her</i> power, making the best of a situation she wants no part of, but can't escape.

Aislinn accepts the world as it is and makes it work for her.

I may not have connected with her, but I respected her.

SO. 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.
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