Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston.
Publisher: HarperTeen.
Pages: 336.
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!


  1. I was working on A Midsummer's Night Dream production last semester, and loved every bit of it- it was also when I got closely acquainted to the play.

    This has been on my list for a long time. I really should get around to ordering it. Awesome review!

  2. I've wanted this one for a while now! thanks for the great review :)

  3. I like your review-I'm also not a fan of faerie books but this one is amazing and I bet you'll like the second book too.

  4. Looks like a charming read. I've studied Shakespeare and his story, so I suppose that's a plus.

  5. This book is such a cliche. Every girl in these types of romances is snarky, rude, and selfish. They isult the guy they "love" at least twice in every paragraph, and is an idiot on top of everything. Kelley has the learning curve of a doorbell. I can't think of a more annoying character. The plot was miniscule and convoluted...I didn't quite hate the book, but it is so typical, there is no point to writing it. Not one original point.
    Where did you get the idea that the typical female hero in these paranormal romances is "serious and determined" Name one. They are all snarky and little elese. BTW being a bully, even when you have no power isn't strength, its stupidity. If she were not the hero of a story she would just be dead.