17 year-old Kelley Winslow doesn’t believe in Faeries. Not unless they’re the kind that you find in a theatre, spouting Shakespeare—the kind that Kelley so desperately wishes she could be: onstage, under lights, with a pair of sparkly wings strapped to her shoulders. But as the understudy in a two-bit, hopelessly off-off-Broadway production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, wishing is probably the closest she’s going to get to becoming a Faerie Queen. At least, that’s what she thinks...Wondrous Strange was a magical mix of fun and adventure. With every faerie story I’ve read, it’s either been strictly intense or dolled up, but I love that Lesley Livingston found a happy medium.
Kelley is probably one of my favorite literary characters of all time. She’s snarky, sarcastic and strong, and she doesn’t let the sudden intrusion of powerful faeries into her life get her down. Her stubborn but highly entertaining attitude stayed in check throughout the entire novel, and I loved every minute of it. Her interaction and budding romance with Sonny, a human who guards the faerie Samhain Gate, was hilarious and refreshing - a definite role reversal to the usual “guy is laid back, girl is serious and determined” cliché.
I love that I felt so educated afterwards! Prior to reading this book, besides seeing an episode of Suite Life Of Zack And Cody, I knew absolutely nothing about A Midsummer’s Night Dream. I learned enough about the play to actually interest me in finding out more about it. And despite my lack of knowledge on the play, it was adapted wonderfully into the rest of the story, making Kelley’s self-discoveries and adventures a bit more relatable and a lot more ironic.
Overall, I really enjoyed Wondrous Strange. I’m a not huge fan of faerie books, but when they’re informative yet enthralling such as this one, I can’t help but be drawn in! Mixing magic, romance, some intense action scenes and a lovable kelpie that lives in Kelley’s bathtub, it’s a fun thrill-ride. I definitely recommend!