Wicked Lovely is another one of those books that I’d heard so much hype about, I almost didn’t want to pick it up, for fear that it would be terribly disappointing. I mean, the blurb on the cover is from Tamora Pierce! It fits, too; though Aislinn is a modern-day heroine, she’s much like some of Pierce’s strong female characters. Aislinn doesn’t let anyone else control her–she is very much in charge of her own fate, despite ancient faery curses working against that independence!

Anyway, Wicked Lovely does not disappoint. It is the story of Aislinn, a teenage girl who can see faeries. She’s always lived with the rules her grandmother has set to keep her safe, ignoring the faeries. If they knew she could see them, if the wrong faery found out, she’d be in grave danger.

Of course, keeping her secret may not keep her safe after all. She’s being stalked by two faeries. One of whom just happens to be the Summer King, Keenan, who has been searching for his queen for centuries. Those who are chosen as possible queens cannot escape; they either become Summer Girls, slutty faeries without a care in the world, or they try their chances at becoming the Summer Queen–and when it is discovered they are not, they are filled with Winter’s chill, vowing to try and convince other mortal girls not to try and become queen, despite the fact that the current Winter Girl can only escape and be free if another takes her place.

While there’s all of that faery drama going on, Aislinn also has some real-world problems. Like, her relationship with Seth. They’re very, very close friends, but nothing more. Aislinn might like to be more, and Seth’s always flirting with her, but he doesn’t date; he just sleeps around. Aislinn wants to keep their friendship, rather than being used and discarded like she fears.

Melissa Marr’s novel is brilliant. Her writing slowly but surely draws you in until you (like me) are reading under your desk in World History to finish it as quickly as possible, to find out what happens to the characters who seem so real! This urban faery tale is remniscent of Holly Black, with faeries who aren’t at all what we see in those fluffy, pink cartoons and books for little girls. These faeries are beautiful, dangerous, dark, and terrifying, even the so-called good faeries.

This marvelous debut is dark, beautiful, and unputdownable. Luckily for readers who will be aching for more after finishing, the sequel (well, more of a companion book than a sequel; same world, different focus), Ink Exchange, will be out in April. I was lucky enough to snag an advance copy, and am in the middle of reading it, so expect a review here soon!