YA Romance Reviews

WONDROUS STRANGE By Lesley Livingston — Dramatic YA Paranormal Romance

wondrous strange
Image from goodreads.com

I recently finished WONDROUS STRANGE by Lesley Livingston, and though fairy-focused books aren’t usually my favorite in paranormal fiction, I was won over by this Shakespearean-inspired tale.  WONDROUS STRANGE is exactly that.

Here is the summary from Amazon.com:

Since the dawn of time, the Faerie have taken. . . .

Seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow always thought faeries were just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery. He’s a changeling—a mortal taken as an infant and raised among Faerie—and within short order he’s turned Kelley’s heart inside out and her life upside down.

For Kelley’s beloved Central Park isn’t just a park—it’s a gateway between her ordinary city and the Faerie’s dangerous, bewitching Otherworld. Now Kelley’s eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her, but to the heritage that awaits her . . . a destiny both wondrous and strange.

The first thing I love about this book is Kelly herself.  She’s determined to make it as an actress in New York, but the director and Kelly’s own nerves play against her.  Then, of course, her fey blood and fairy mischief make it waaaay worse.  She’s the underdog deluxe.

The play her company is producing just so happens to be A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the lines and themes of which are artfully woven throughout the book.  The book begins with “Up and down, up and down / I will lead them up and down..” — a set of lines given new life with Livingston’s own imagery of a carousel and the drama of the final battle.  There are also dedications of love from the play of which Livingston takes full advantage.

Which brings me to the love story itself.  Sonny is a sweet, hot guy who kicks fairy butt and is completely dedicated to Kelly.  They come from different worlds, but find common ground in Central Park.  The question as to whether they will be able to remain that way.  Their story is linked to that of Pyramus and Thisbe, and we must read to the end to find if their love will end in tragedy or triumph.

Livingston’s description of magic is detailed and distinct.  Her references to fairy lore are fun and illuminated by passages from Midsummer’s.  Overall, it was a fabulous read which I hope you’ll check out if you’re in the mood for a little fairy magic.

Be sure to check out Lesley Livingston’s webpage.

Michelle Joyce Bond


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