Saturday, January 30, 2010

HBIC Review:Emily @ What Book is That?

Title: Wondrous Strange
Author: Lesley Livingston
Page Count: 327 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: fantasy, young adult
Copy for review compliments of the public library

50 words or less: Kelley Winslow gets the opportunity of a lifetime when she gets promoted from understudy to Titania in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. For Kelley, though, faeries are about to become a very real part of her life.

Cue a dreamy sigh here, because this book is a cream puff wrapped in a doughnut with a big pile of whipped cream on top. I know the world of books is kind of saturated with faerie books right now, and personally I do find them hit or miss myself, but Wondrous Strange is a sure bet if you love creative plots, clever storytelling, enjoyable characters, and a sweet, blossoming love story.

The main character, Kelley, is an extremely likeable one- she doesn't have any kooky exceptional understanding of the extraordinary events in the story, she just rolls with the punches and tries to make the best of every day, which is admirable in the extreme. Sonny makes an excellent hero/knight in shining armor/love interest- Darklight cannot arrive soon enough at my house for me to find out what happens between them.

The politics of the faerie world are, as always, complex, and treachery lurks around every corner- Kelley finds out that she has a far more central role in all the faerie hoohah than anyone could have ever imagined. Sonny, too, finds out more about himself through the course of the book, and it'll be interesting to see what impact all these revelations have on future books. Darklight, I'm coming for you!

If you've never read a young adult book featuring faeries before or if you've read one and been disappointed, I really recommend giving Wondrous Strange a try. It's very different from other books out there and reminds me of all the reasons I fell in love with books and reading in the first place. Give it a shot!

Overall Grade: A
Blog with Bite Score: 4/4

Discussion Questions:
1.Faeries seem to be very big in YA lit lately, how does Wondrous Strange compare to others in its genre such as Lament, Wicked Lovely, etc.? Wondrous Strange is one of my favorite fey-related stories out right now, and I think it's as much because of the writing style as anything. I loved the Shakespearean parallels, and I thought the world building was very well done, and as everyone knows, I'm all about the world building.

2.How did you view the relationship with Kelley and Sonny, was it a believable romance? I thought their relationship was very sweet. I like that they didn't just jump all over each other and that they had a lot to learn about each other. It was very romantic.

3.Wondrous Strange was written in the typical fashion of paranormal literature, with the protagonist unaware of her supernatural abilities, meets boy who introduces her to the world... do you find these plot lines tiresome in their likeness, or do you believe there are always similarities within fiction and it is all about the deeper story? I admit, I'm a pretty big bossyboots when it comes to this element of stories. I don't mind if a character is just finding out about the supernatural world as long as they are not a complete doof about it. I can't stand books that go one and on and on about the character's inability to process what's going on. I find those stories repetitive. I'd much prefer a character who rolls with the situation and allows the story to keep moving to one that keeps asking "wait, what?" I think that this is one element of paranormal stories that does have to be addressed, but I think it can be skillfully done.


My 5 Monkeys(Julie) said...

great review

Jenn-ay said...

Great review. I'll be sure to check this book out!