Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wondrous Strange

Title: Wondrous Strange

Author: Lesley Livingston

Publisher: HarperTeen

Copyright Date: 2009

Print Date: January 2009

ISBN: 9780061575372

Pages: 327

Series: 1st in the Wondrous Strange trilogy

Book Description (from dust jacket):
Since the dawn of time,
the Faerie have taken....
For seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow, faeries are just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery, whose steel-gray eyes mask an equally steely determination to protect her.

Sonny guards the Samhain Gate, which connects the mortal realm with the Faerie's enchanted, dangerous Otherworld. Usually kept shut by order of icy King Auberon, the Gate stands open but once a year.

This year, as the time approaches when the Samhain Gate will swing wide and nightmarish Fae will fight their way into an unsuspecting human world, something different is happening . . . something wondrous and strange. And Kelley's eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her but to the heritage that awaits her.

Now Kelley must navigate deadly Faerie treachery — and her growing feelings for Sonny — in this dazzling page-turner filled with luminous romance.

Wondrous Strange is a richly layered tale of love between faerie and mortal, betrayal between kings and queens, and magic . . . between author and reader.
The Author Speaks:

I wouldn't normally include both a trailer and an author interview. I felt, since there is a trailer, it needed to be included. However, since the trailer's so incredibly boring (IMO)...I also felt the need to include this...


I've been debating what I want to say in this review since I finished it yesterday afternoon. I guess I'll start at the beginning. Of the book, that is — not the story. The prologue is a glimpse at something the reader will come across later in the story. Sometimes this sort of intro works and sometimes it doesn't. I have to say, all it did for me this time was confuse me. I was tossed into a high action scene with no clue what was happening, and I felt lost.

Once the story really started in the 1st chapter, I was able to get into it. I started and finished it on the same day (around my class schedule). The story had a nice flow (between Kelley's perspective and Sonny's) that kept my attention on what was happening.

Regarding the overall theme...I've been reading more faerie books lately, and while this was another dark, creepy faerie sort of story, it did have an original take on faerie interactions with humans. I certainly wouldn't have thought of them being barred away from humans by a gate that just happens to be Central Park. (Although, Central Park has been portrayed as a place of magical beings before. Like in the animated A Troll in Central Park.) And the general faerie mythology was interesting.

As far as characters go, I liked both Kelley and Sonny, as well as some of the secondary characters. I thought some characters could have had bigger roles, and still have questions about others. I hope some of my questions will be answered in the second book, Darklight. For instance, why did Auberon take such an interest in Sonny in the first place? And what about Lucky?

Which brings me to the end. I suppose it might be what you'd call bittersweet. Since I'm the kind of person who likes happy endings, I figure I won't truly feel satisfied until the end of the trilogy... As it is, things are too up in the air. The ending isn't necessarily a cliffhanger, but it isn't complete either (in my opinion).

I've seen several rave reviews and a smattering of reviewers who felt the book, while enjoyable, wasn't anything special. I'd have to say, because of the ending, I fall somewhat closer to that second option. I did enjoy reading it, it kept my interest (which is important), and I will keep reading the series. Hopefully, the end of the trilogy will bring with it a satisfying conclusion to the story.

Blogging with Bite:

My first time! And hopefully a repeat experience...

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.?
Compared to what I've read it's both similar and different. I don't think it stood out as spectacular, but I certainly didn't think it compared unfavorably either.
2. How did you view the relationship with Kelley and Sonny, was it a believable romance?
I didn't find it unbelievable. Both Kelley and Sonny are likeable, and the relationship didn't move too quickly or abruptly.
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?
Stories like this are already fantastical and require imagination simply by being paranormal. When the protag is unaware of his/her powers, it makes it easier for the reader to imagine suddenly discovering such powers from whatever point of life the reader is opposed to imagining their life however completely different it would have been if they not only had supernatural abilities, but had also grown up with them. So no, as long as the story has something unique about it, I don't find these plot lines tiresome.


  1. Holy cow!?! Someone has been busy! I love the new look!!

  2. Your new look blew me away and I forgot to comment! I checked and our library has this book. I am picking it up. :)

  3. lol! It's not that different. I just changed the template and streched the heading out some (not enough - I'll have to fix that). I was tired of the posts being so narrow.

    Yeay for the library having books available! (That sounds duh, but you know what I mean...) Hope you enjoy it.

  4. im glad you liked it...

    i agree the intro didnt work at all

  5. Well I had this long comment written... but it gave me an error and then deleted my comment. Ugh. Liked your review. Thanks!

  6. Wings - I'm kinda glad you agree about the into. I was a little worried it was just me. I haven't seen any reviews that really say anything about the beginning (other than yours, which I just checked out).

    ParaJunkee- Oh no! I hate glitches like that! And I would have loved to see your full comments. But you stopped by anyway.


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