Wondrous Strange

By Lesley Livingston

Source: Purchased

My Rating: 3 / 5

This book has been on my TBR for so long (since I first got my Kobo!). I kept putting off reading it, stuck between being interested enough to purchase it initially and contemplate reading it every time I finished a book, and not feeling quite intrigued enough to start reading it. Here is the Kobo store’s summary:

Kelley Winslow is living her dream. Seventeen years old, she has moved to New York City and started work with a theatre company. Sure, she’ s only an understudy for the Avalon Players, a third-tier repertory company so far off-Broadway it might as well be in Hoboken, but things are looking up- the lead has broken her ankle and Kelley’ s about to step into the role of Titania the Faerie Queen in Shakespeare’ s A Midsummer Night’ s Dream. But Faeries are far more real than Kelley thinks, and a chance encounter in Central Park with a handsome young man named Sonny Flannery plunges her into an adventure she could never have imagined. Sonny and Kelley find themselves drawn to each other- and into a terrible plot that could spell disaster for both New York and the Faerie realm alike.

Kelley Winslow is 17, pursuing her dream of acting as understudy in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, living in a tiny apartment with a roommate. One night, while rehearsing in Central Park, she encounters Sonny, who finds himself drawn to her.

Throughout the novel, Kelley and Sonny bicker while he tries to protect her and she refuses to believe she’s in any danger. Kelley thinks Sonny, with his talk of Faerie and changelings and magic, is crazy, but Sonny knows he needs to protect Kelley. As she comes to accept the things he tells her, things become more dangerous for both of them.

I don’t want to get too spoiler-y with the plot, because part of what I liked about this book was that, despite the length of time it’s been on my TBR, I didn’t know that much about it. I enjoyed learning about the Faerie world, which seemed both beautiful and dangerous, and which has its own power / political struggles. I thought the world-building was pretty good for this first book in a trilogy.

I also liked the main characters, Kelley and Sonny. Kelley was strong-willed, a bit stubborn, and seemed quite independent, as she had moved to New York at 17 to try her hand at acting (and it’s a good plot device to ensure that there are no parental/adult figures around! Although I should mention that Kelley does have an aunt, but they only speak by phone in this book). Sonny was a more intruguing character for me, given his history, which I appreciated. Sometimes the boy in YA romance novels comes across as fairly bland, but Sonny definitely has his own personality and motivations.

Sonny and Kelley’s pasts came together in a way that I saw coming, and you probably will too, but I thought it was a good twist for the story, and am looking forward to seeing where the rest of the series takes things.

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. If you like urban fantasy and/or YA romance, this may be a book (and series) for you.

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