by Melissa Marr
Aislinn has the Sight; she can see the faeries all around. It’s a genetic trait that she inherited from her mother and her grandmother, who raised her when her mother died. Grams drilled the rules for survival into Aislinn: don’t look at the faeries, don’t speak to them, don’t attract their attention. If the fey know that you can see them, they may blind or kill you.
So when two faeries actually approach Aislinn and talk to her, she’s justifiably alarmed. But the danger is greater than even she imagines. For one of the faeries is the Summer King, who has chosen her to test to be his queen, a test with dire consequences for failure. The Summer King has been bound by his mother, the Winter Queen, who is a kind of supernatural version of Mommie Dearest. The Summer King’s powers are limited by this binding until he can find his true Queen, but any girl who fails the test is doomed to be subject to the Winter Queen until the next candidate tries. All Aislinn wants is a normal life, but she finds herself trapped in a situation with no good outcome possible.
I have to confess that reading Wicked Lovely immediately (minutes!) after reading Holly Black’s ironside, at first it seemed like a pale imitation. Aislinn even digs her fingernails into her palms just like Black’s Kaye does. However, as I continued reading, the book drew me in and became a fascinating book in its own right. Melissa Marr’s story is unique and surprising and quite delightful. The plot has some surprising twists, and the characters are interesting, including a sizzling love interest.
Note: I originally posted this review late Saturday night at the end of the 48-hour book challenge, and I don’t feel that I did the book justice. So I’ve gone back and edited the review to beef it up a bit.