Series: Wondrous Strange, #1
Author: Lesley Livingston
Pages: 328 (Hardcover)
Release Date: December 23, 2008
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.
Kelley is a normal teen girl and aspiring actress. She final lands her big break as Titania in a production of A Midsummer's Night Dream. One evening, she heads off to Central Park to practice her lines, and has no idea how close she is to the real creatures of Shakespeare's work...
I absolutely loved this starting from the moment a Kelpie appears in Kelley's bathroom and runs itself a bath! Kelley saved the Fae horse from drowning and it unexpectedly followed her home. At least her high maintenance roommate handled it well:
"My eighty-dollar bar of hand-milled Japanese herbal complexion soap. From Japan. He ate it. He also ate your two-dollar bar of Irish Spring. I let him eat that one. Actually, I gave it to him to eat."
This book is so fun, and cute, and magical, and humorous! I love Kelley; she doesn't let anyone push her around, strives towards her dreams, and can throw a mean punch. Of course she has no idea that she's not much different than the character she's portraying in her first major role. Sonny, a mortal who guards the gates to the Otherworld, notices that there's something special about the seemingly human Kelley and follows her around. This gets him a fist in the face. Eventually Kelley learns the truth and needs Sonny's help to evade the magical creatures which are after her.
I also appreciated that romance wasn't immediate and in-your-face. There is no insta-love, cosmic connection, "we're meant to be together" nonsense. In fact, Kelley brushes off Sonny as a stalker and weirdo in the beginning (and of course punches him). Their romance doesn't even begin to develop until near the end, and it's very sweet. But almost as soon as it arises, their love must take the backseat to the action of the Wild Hunt.
A wonderful mix of mythology and Shakespeare, Wondrous Strange exceeded my expectations and stood out from other YA Urban Fantasy books. I most definitely recommend this one!