Wondrous Strange

Lesley Livingston, Author . HarperTeen $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-157537-2

It's not just the jacket that's strikingly similar to Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely : debut novelist Livingston, too, delivers a lost-now-found faerie princess; a dark, brooding changeling love interest; faerie royalty and warring faerie courts (summer and winter), with accompanying threats to the human world. As a read-alike, this book inescapably invites comparison, and fans of Marr (or Holly Black) may be disappointed. The author offers a promising variation: she uses Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream as a window onto the faerie world (17-year-old heroine Kelley Winston, an aspiring actress, steps from understudy into the role of Titania). But the Shakespeare device will also be familiar to many YA readers, and it embellishes rather than advances the plot. The shining performance belongs to Sonny Flannery—neither human nor faerie, he is a member of the changeling guard that watches the gates between the human and the fey realms. Sonny is detailed to the gate in Manhattan's Central Park, where he and Kelley meet. Readers may want less Kelley, who comes across as naïve, and more Sonny, finding in him a worthy hero and romantic interest. Ages 12–up. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 10/06/2008
Release date: 12/01/2008
Genre: Children's
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-172485-5
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