Wondrous Strange

Title: Wondrous Strange
Author: Lesley Livingston
Genre: YA, fantasy
Source: Library

It's a quirk I have, but in my opinion there is very little that William Shakespeare ever got wrong. This charming story only reinforces that thought. My thoughts keep turning to the immortal line, "what a tangled web we weave." Contained within the world of this novel is a definitely tangled, sometimes sweet, sometimes painful web.

Kelly is a 17 year old girl trying to make her way in the New York theater scene. She's even landed a dream job...playing Titania, Queen of the Fairies in Midsummer. Sonny has a job to do. He's been raised / trained by the King of the Fae to be a guard. He's been charged with the task of helping control the unrully fae who manage to slip through the rifts between the Otherworld and our, human, world. However, on this particular Halloween the gates between the worlds threaten to swing open and something terrible is rumored to be coming through. All is rolled together, being tangled up thanks to tricks, lies, half-truths, and love.

There MAY be SPOILERS here. I don't mean to...but can't necessarily keep it all to myself.

What I liked:

1. I love, love, love the blending of Shakespeare's play "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and the various characters from the Otherworld. They interact and mirror each other so perfectly! It's a fun thought that one is an inspiration for the other.

2. The romance aspect is sweet and innocent. So many novels, even YA ones, seem to be going straight into the love equals hormones and kissing - immediately! This novel doesn't do that. It just wouldn't have felt right. Instead, there are so many sweet moments, sideways glances, almost kisses, and hand holding. OMG-handholding! My heart melted at that moment.

3. Lucky, the Kelpie. All that needs to be said.

4. Did you know that Puck is real?!?!

What I didn't like:

1. I don't understand the casting of the play. Granted Kelley is the understudy originally, but she's 17. Oberon is played by a man in his 50's. Huh? I know youth equals beauty in most people's perceptions, and that Titania is the most beautiful example of fairies......but really? Shouldn't Oberon be similar?

2. It leaves me hanging. I'm engrossed in the story and then suddenly the novel is finished. I want more! It makes me strangely happy to know that the sequel is coming out soon out now.

Overall: This novel is a treat to read. It's sweet and innocent while still containing elements of the tricky playfulness the fae are so well-known for.  Fans of Shakespeare and YA fantasy should most definitely pick it up!


Wings said...

glad you liked it!

i loved this book too!

ParaJunkee said...

Some good points. I was thrown off with the fact Kelley was playing Titania matched with a 50 year old. Excellent review, thanks for sharing!

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