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Wicked Lovely

by Melissa Marr

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Wicked Lovely (1)

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5,8273031,639 (3.76)316
Seventeen-year-old Aislinn, who has the rare ability to see faeries, is drawn against her will into a centuries-old battle between the Summer King and the Winter Queen, and the survival of her life, her love, and summer all hang in the balance.

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Aislinn Foy has spent years hiding the fact that she can see the fey - stopping herself from swerving around them, stopping herself from reacting when they're near and doing everything she can to prevent them from noticing her. But then the fey start taking on human appearances and walk straight into her life.

Keenan, the Summer King, has spent centuries looking for his Queen - a mortal girl who can help to release the bindings he's subject to and allow him to overcome the power of the Winter Queen - his mother. When he finds the latest possibility, he thinks she'll for him like all the others - but Aislinn has other ideas.

This was an odd read. It took ages to get to the actual plot. Instead the story waffled on about Aislinn and her fear of the fey for way longer than necessary. The narrative would be stronger for having cut down some of the whining. For all Aislinn decides she wants to take a path other than what her grandmother and mother did, she never actually commits to anything - she just goes on about how scared she is interspersed with how Seth makes her forget everything.

Aislinn was full of bravado rather than actually brave. I don't know. I didn't really like her all that much. I didn't get her relationship with Seth and I seriously didn't understand the attraction to Keenan. She mentions how scared she is of him and the fey but then she makes stupid decisions that put her firmly in the domain of them. If she wants to question them - question them. Subtly or blatant - just do something.

Plus I didn't understand how her family have had the Sight and are terrified of the fey but never bother to actually educate themselves on them. I mean if I could see terrifying creatures I'd want to know everything possible to arm myself against them. Seth was smarter in that regard, going to the library to read up on the enemy.

The only character I really liked was Donia. Her suffering was palpable. Her loneliness and the struggle she's had being the chew toy of two strong beings was sad. I liked that she did her best to help Keenan and Aislinn but I would've liked it better if in addition to that she had given up on Keenan and any romance with him. It would've been stronger had they remained friends rather than pursuing romance. I would've liked to see her take a chance on someone new - the tree dude, Evan who seems to have a bit of a crush perhaps?

A lot of the world building happens at the end but it's too little, too late. By that point I just didn't really care enough about Aislinn or her mother or grandmother to hear the whole story of how Moira got entangled with they fey or how her grandmother knows Keenan. Not that that part was really explained. It was all Moira was chosen, the end. But the point stands. In any case, the world building is thin and is more of a sketch than a full artistic rendering.

A strange read with unlikeable characters, thin world building and terrible paranormal romance. 2 stars. ( )
  funstm | Sep 22, 2023 |
Aislinn has been hiding a secret her whole life: She can see fairies, and has resisted attracting their attention for as long as she can remember. Unlike popular belief, fairies are capable of mischief, torture, cruelty, and harm. Despite Aislinn’s best efforts, she found herself stalked by two fairies, Keenan and the Summer King, who had been seeking the lost Queen for decades. Donna, the Winter Girl and ex-lover of Keenan, who always suffered from Keenan’s betrayal. What chance did Aislinn have of being the Summer Queen Keenan was looking for? Which would she choose, a life as a fairy or a mortal life beside her love interest, Seth?

Let’s start with the positives. Marr’s fairy mythology concept intrigued me and I liked the ideas behind it. Although this book isn’t great by any means, her apparent grasp of fae lore and the interesting concept of Summer and Winter Courts makes it worth reading. My favorite parts of the book were the prologue and the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I appreciate detailed research.

Why did it not work for me? It’s definitely the writing. This book seemed overly simplistic in its sentence structure, but I found the narration itself to be confusing. It was difficult to follow the flow of the sentences within the paragraphs. I didn't feel emotionally attached to any of the characters as well. Aislinn was annoying in the book but got better by the end. Seth was presented as good but had many sexual encounters, and Keenan was uninteresting.

The long-suffering Donia is the only character that holds my interest. It filled the relationship between her and Keenan with conflict and raw emotion, and it is the bright spot in the story for me. Donia’s strength and resilience in the face of adversity make her an interesting protagonist. I root for her and hoping for a happy ending. Her story arc is the most intriguing part of the narrative for me.

The first book of the Wicked Lovely series has potential, but the author had put little effort into making the most of them. In this book, the author shows she did not plan well before beginning the series. The characters are flat, and the world building is weak. As a result, the story lacks depth and does not draw me in.

This series is not something I would discourage anyone from reading. For me, Wicked Lovely didn’t work.

( )
  onlyfiction | Jul 18, 2023 |
Imagine going your entire life having to pretend you cannot see an entire segment of society because to acknowledge them could be detrimental. Imagine being one of very few humans who can actually see them or know of their existence. Aislinn, or Ash as she prefers to be called, wishes she could not see them and that she was not privy to their very existence. There are three basic rules her grandmother has ingrained in her: “Don’t stare at invisible faeries”; “Don’t speak to invisible faeries”; and “Don’t ever attract their attention.”

Ash had followed the rules very closely all her life, but when Keenan, the Summer King, sets his sights on her, all of those rules fall apart. As Ash, helped by her best friend Seth, attempts to sidestep the King at every turn, Keenan’s pursuit of her intensifies. He must find his queen and defeat the Winter Queen who holds all the power and is upsetting the balance.

Melissa Marr has created a world that I instantly found myself transported to. The fae of her world are both charming and terrifying. They are mischievous and playful as well as cruel and powerful. To draw the eye of the King of Summer means the end of one’s human life as she knows it.

For all his charm and good looks, it took me a while to warm to Keenan. The more I learned about him and his predicament, the more I sympathized with him and his situation. He really is a nice person at heart, with the best of intentions. He is used to getting his way, and isn’t sure what to make of Ash, who seems to thwart his every attempt to romance her. He comes to see it as a challenge, and a sign that she truly is meant to be the Summer Queen.

Ash, who is used to trying to hiding her ability to see the faeries, is rightfully scared when she realizes all the precautions she’s taken are no longer working. She is my kind of heroine though—resourceful and smart.

I appreciated how quickly Seth came to believe Ash’s assertions about the faeries living among them, despite his not being able to see them. While in other cases I might find it too convenient, in this instance, I felt it fitting. It spoke to Seth’s devotion to Ash.

I most felt for Donia though, the human who had given her life to be with Keenan, only to be felled by the Winter Queen’s curse. Even above Ash, Seth, and Keenan, I found her to the most interesting character—and probably my favorite. There is a bit of mystery and power about her. She is the underdog who should not be underestimated.

It is obvious from the start that Ash has a crush on Seth, and he on her, despite her protestations that they are just friends. If I had to complain about anything in the book, it would be that Ash ignored the signs as long as she did. For those who do not like love triangles (I rolled my eyes at the thought about this coming into play in this one too), I feel it is worth it to continue anyway. I really liked the way everything played out in the end in that regard.

In case you get the impression this book is all romance, it is far from it. The struggle between the Summer King and the Winter Queen is quite intense, and Ash finds herself right in the middle of it all. It was hard to tear myself away from the book because I had to know how everything would play out.

Wicked Lovely reads much like how I imagine Marr’s faery world—a dash of comedy, a dollop of romance, all swirled in with the darker elements. I loved the author’s imagery of winter and summer in their fae forms, especially when the Summer King and Winter Queen were around. I found this first book in the trilogy to be entertaining and thrilling. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. ( )
  LiteraryFeline | Jun 29, 2023 |
2020 ( )
  LydiaLeeAnn | Apr 5, 2023 |
2,5 stars ( )
  hagabrielah | Jan 16, 2023 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Melissa Marrprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bresnahan, AlyssaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Chapter 1:  SEERS, or Men of the SECOND SIGHT,…have very terrifying Encounters with [the FAIRIES, they call Sleagh Maith, or the Good People]. -The Secret Commonwealth by Robert Kirk and Andrew Lang (1893)
Chapter 2: [The Sleagh Maith, or the Good People, are] terrifyed by nothing earthly so much as by cold Iron. -The Secret Commonwealth by Robert Kirk and Andrew Lang (1893)
For Loch, Dylan, and Asia, who believed in me even when I didn't, and the memories of John Marr Sr. and Marjorie Marr, whose presences linger and give me strength when I would falter.
First words
The Summer King knelt before her. (Prologue)
"Four-ball, side pocket." Aislinn pushed the cue forwards with a short, quick thrust; the ball dropped into the pocket with a satisfying clack. (Chapter 1)
"Please let it be I'm looking for," he whispered to the scepter of the Winter Queen clutched in his hand and hoped - a brief moment of optimism. But then the ice is bored into them, spread out like shards of glass in her veins. "Keenan," she cried. She stumbled toward him, but he walked away, no longer lit, it did not look at it anymore. Then it was a wolf allein. Nur keeping her company while she waiting to tell the next girl, how stupid it was to love him, trust him.
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Seventeen-year-old Aislinn, who has the rare ability to see faeries, is drawn against her will into a centuries-old battle between the Summer King and the Winter Queen, and the survival of her life, her love, and summer all hang in the balance.

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The clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in this cool, urban 21st century faery tale. Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries. Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world, and would blind her if they knew of her Sight. Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries. Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer. Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention. But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King and has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost! Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working any more, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.
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