Friday, April 30, 2010

Review: Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Format: Paperback
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (Jan 13 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1554682738
ISBN-13: 978-1554682737

From the Publisher:
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.

In My Opinion:

I vaguely remember seeing the movie adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream but haven't read the Shakespeare original, so I was very interested in reading a modern day YA version of this story (it's kind of like cheating a bit, I know or at least I thought so, lol)

We start off in modern day New York, meeting the main character Kelley. What struck me as unusual here is that Kelley is 17 and living on her own (though sharing an apartment with another girl.) But Kelley is fiercely independent and strong willed. I think in reality, this probably happens more than I'm aware of out in the suburbs, with young adults heading to the big city to realize their dreams. It also neatly tidies up the sometimes underplayed roles of parents in YA books. So, kudos to Lesley Livingston for making this believable!

As Kelley runs into Sonny and strange things begin to happen, Kelley's true identity is revealed. It also seems that New York is full of people more unusual than we humans could have imagined, though the Fairy King, Auberon, has been trying to minimize the exposure of otherworldly creatues for quite some time. The Celtic mythology woven through the story and the explanation of Old World versus New World was very well done.

I very much enjoyed the ethereal quality of Wondrous Strange. I loved the chemistry between Kelley and Sonny and had my heart in my throat towards the end, wondering if Sonny would escape unscathed from a certain enchantment. I found that the story wrapped up nicely but also left enough curiousity in me that I'll definitely be continuing on with Darklight.

It would have been nice to have had the background of Shakespeare's tale but it was not necessary to enjoy this book. I am curious to see if the Wondrous Strange version of the Fairy heirarchy is similar (or relevant) in both. So, I'll put Shakespeare on the TBR, but Darklight will be up much sooner. Overall, a very enjoyable read.

If you'd like to browse through Wondrous Strange, you can sample the first 20% of the book at the Harper Collins website by clicking on the book cover above. Enjoy!


佐漢 said...
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Melissa (My words and pages) said...

There has been a few remakes of the Midsummer Nights Dream books lately. It has been a while since I read the original, in high school. But I remember really enjoying it. So I am looking forward to this book and a few others. Thanks!

Jackie said...

I don't think this one was on our curriculum in school. I'm just about to start with Othello (which, I'm pretty sure I did read in high school) for an online Uni course, so at least some of my Shakespeare TBR will be cleared up, lol.

Jenny N. said...

Before I read this book I thought you had to know a lot about A Midsummer's Night Dream too. Thankfully that wasnt the case. I've already read Darklight and can't wait to see what you thought of it.

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