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Wicked Lovely #1

Wicked Lovely

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Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty - especially if they learn of her Sight - and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.
But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King, who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost — regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.

Faery intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning twenty-first-century faery tale.

328 pages, Hardcover

First published June 12, 2007

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About the author

Melissa Marr

123 books12.7k followers

Melissa Marr is a former university literature instructor who writes fiction for adults, teens, and children. She is best known for the Wicked Lovely series for teens, the Graveminder for adults, and her debut picturebook Bunny Roo, I Love You.

Her books have been translated into twenty-eight languages and been bestsellers internationally as well as domestically (NY Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal).Accolades include starred reviews on numerous books, YALSA Popular Paperbacks, IRA Notable Book Pick, Book Sense Pick (YA and adult), Good Morning America Summer Pick for Teens, Scottish Book Trust, Red Maple finalist (in both Ontario and Manitoba), and Goodreads Good Choice Award (Horror), RWA RITA award (YA).

She also write romance for adults as Ronnie Douglas.

She co-authored (with Kelley Armstrong) a MG trilogy as M.A. Marr.

In addition to novels, Melissa has co-edited several anthologies, as well as published short fiction, manga, and prose non-fiction.

She currently lives with her family in Arizona.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,384 reviews
5 reviews8 followers
January 14, 2008
Readable but bland.

Most of my dissatisfaction with this book stems from the fact that what passes for a plot with Wicked Lovely would have been used as a sub-plot in any other. It can be summarised like this:

KEENAN: [gives Aislinn a choice between two options]
AISLINN: [flees]
SETH: [waits for Aislinn]
KEENAN: [waits for Aislinn]
DONIA: [waits for Aislinn]
BEIRA: [issues occasional Ursula-like threats]
AISLINN: [makes choice]
BOOK: [ends]

So the entire book revolves around Aislinn, which could have been interesting if Aislinn's interactions showed the slightest spark. But no. Towards the end, it feels as if other characters start kicking her towards character development because she's not going there by herself.

There's also the fact that Seth was a cardboard-prop boyfriend with tattoos. If he were secretly an interesting character made one-dimensional by love for Aislinn, I would be fine with it (well, okay, I wouldn't, but I would be more willing to adjust to that than I am to Seth as he is now). But in every scene, he's doing something to help Aislinn, or that revolves around Aislinn. There's not even a hint that he ever does anything else -- or that this is wrong. Seth would make a wonderful RL boyfriend, but in fiction, he is extremely boring.
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,258 reviews8,704 followers
February 7, 2018
2/7/18 - ON SALE for $3.99:


Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

3.5 stars

The first time I read WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr I did not like it. It was too dark. I was too young to catch the deeper connotations that Marr was communicating. If it hadn't been published in that weird in between time when I was pretty current on all the interesting series in my preferred genres (and therefore desperate for reading material), I probably never would've read the second book.

But it was, and I did . . . And it remains my favorite YA series about Fae.

Aislinn, like all of her female ancestors, has the Sight. She can see through faery glamour, magic used to either make the Fae invisible to humans entirely or to make them appear to be human themselves.

There are many rules her grandmother taught her to ensure her safety, but they're all extensions of a single concept: keep the secret.

Faeries don't want to be seen, and if they discover a human who can see them that human will be lucky to simply have their eyes gouged out.

Like I said. Dark.

But that by itself isn't unusual . . . and I love Fae, sooooo . . . what was my problem?

This time around, I finally figured it out. B/c despite improving with the reread, I enjoyed it for the authenticity, for the underlying message I had previously overlooked, for the anticipation of what I know will come next . . . not for this story. Not for these characters.

Aislinn and Keenan . . . Not a huge fan of either of them at this point. Donia, yes. Niall, also yes, but not nearly as much as I will in INK EXCHANGE. Seth . . . meh. For now, at least.

Part of my dislike of the main characters (Aislinn and Keenan) is superficial--I don't like their names. #sorrynotsorry Maybe you can completely overlook MEH to blergh names, but I can't. A rose by any other name and all that.

By itself that would never be enough to make me turn my nose up at a book, but when I have other issues with those same characters . . . it compounds.

And with Keenan, especially . . . He embodies the capriciousness that categorizes the Fae, but he lacks the whimsicality, the charisma, that endears the "good" version of Fae to me. Instead of liking him for his Faeness, I was irritated by his narcissism.

There wasn't anything specific about Aislinn that I that disliked, but there wasn't anything I did particularly like either.

As for Seth . . . I'm not even remotely attracted to this incarnation. I got over my fascination with über pierced Bad Boys who may or may not have a pet snake (*rolls eyes*) when I was in high school.


Marr is a true scholar when it comes to fairy folklore, and the aforementioned authenticity is fantastic. It's not limited to the physical descriptions of various types of Fae, she weaves the rules for dealing with Fae, the practices, the consequences, the temperaments (Keenan excluded), ultimately creating a captivating Fae world overlapping our own.

This setting, the WICKED LOVELY world, is so well-established in this first installment that, in hindsight, it's not at all surprising given new main characters, I loved the next book.

Beyond that, Marr gives us a heroine who despite being backed into a corner, despite escaping the Fae free and clear being an impossibility, grabs the reins of her power, making the best of a situation she wants no part of, but can't escape.

Aislinn accepts the world as it is and makes it work for her.

I may not have connected with her, but I respected her.

SO. While I consider this first installment to be significantly weaker than those that follow, it isn't terrible, and I still highly recommend it to anyone who loves the Fae.

Jessica Signature
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
531 reviews34.5k followers
April 17, 2021
I'm on BookTube now! =)

“Faeries could make themselves seen or not seen at will. And when they took people they took body and soul together.”

Before I start this review I’ve to be honest and tell you that I’m super biased when it comes to this series. *lol* It was the first faerie book series I ever read and I loved it so much that I bought all five books and even the accompanying novellas. XD Funnily enough I started this series all wrong and actually read “Ink Exchange” – the second book – first. Back then I found it in my library, was intrigued by the cover and after reading the blurb I just borrowed it, completely unaware that it was already the second book in a series.

Well, after reading the first couple of chapters I realized that I was right smack in the middle of a series but I was already way too hooked to stop reading. And looking at it in retrospective this was actually a good thing! “Ink Exchange” made me WANT to read this series and if I’d have picked up “Wicked Lovely” first I’m not sure if I’d have continued. Not that “Wicked Lovely” isn’t good. It’s great in its own way, but it’s definitely a really slow start. After reading it for the third time I can appreciate its beauty and recognize what a nice job Melissa Marr did. There is just a lot of info in this first book and most of it only starts to make sense when you continue with the series and get to know the world better.

This said, I think “Wicked Lovely” is some sort of series that slowly grows on you. If you make it through the technicalities of the first book you’ll most likely enjoy the rest as well! Plus if you read it once and reread it again, you’ll find so many interesting hints you missed the first time. XD Like for instance the brief appearances of Irial and Niall. ;-) I really can’t wait to review this properly so I’ll jump right into my characters section and relish that I’m finally able to gush about this!

The characters:

You asked for the Sight and I’ll grant you your wish! Be aware that everything I do has its price though. If you consent you won’t only be able to see through the glamour of faeries but you’ll also see a lot of spoilers! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! It’s your choice, so I’d recommend choosing wisely. ;-P


”She leaned against him, needing his comfort, his support. She was afraid, but she couldn’t just sit around waiting for someone to save her. She had to try to save herself, try to figure it out.”

I have no idea why I never liked Aislinn. *lol* I mean considering it all she’s actually a great character and I love that she isn’t just accepting everything fate is throwing at her. She might have no choice when it comes to her being the Summer Queen but I think it’s really amazing that she decided to do it on her own terms. She isn’t giving in because Keenan seduced her; she’s giving in because she knows she has no other choice than to do what is best for her and her people. Maybe that’s exactly what made her the Summer Queen. She’s the only one that didn’t fall for Keenan and his charms and decided to take up the staff because she actually wanted to. She wanted to help him and she didn’t want to be a summer girl or a wraith so she chose the only choice she could live with. And just as a side note: There are worse things than being the Summer Queen. *lol* ;-P

”Simply willing it away had never worked with the Sight, and she was beginning to believe that this was much the same. She knew she was changing, despite how much she’d been trying to deny it.
I’m one of them.”

”While he stood there, fighting not to falter under the chill Beira had released, Aislinn pulled him down and kissed each of his bruised cheeks, her lips soft as balm on the painful bruises. “I can’t stand a bully.”


”He was lovely, tempting in ways so different than Keenan: dark and still, shadows and paleness.”

I LOVE Seth!! I mean I always loved Seth but when I read this series for the first time I only realized how amazing he was when I read “Fragile Eternity”. This time around I already appreciated him in the first book and I realized that I adore him. I mean this boy is basically the embodiment of a bad boy with a heart of gold. He has lots of piercings and the respect of a lot of people, he loves to read and he listens to great music so OMG! He’s like perfect! Plus he never pushes Ash! He always lets HER decide what to do and this is just awesome. The world needs more guys like Seth! I mean who wouldn’t want to date a gorgeous, caring, selfless and intelligent boy? =))

”He didn’t move any farther, didn’t close the distance between them. He might tease, flirt, but he didn’t pursue her. It was her choice. In a world where so many choices weren’t hers, it was a wonderful feeling.”


”He glowed faintly all the time, as if hot coals burned inside him. His collar-length hair shimmered like strands of copper that would slice her skin if Aislinn were to slide her fingers through it – not that she would.”

I think in many ways Keenan is exactly the opposite of Seth. He pushes Ash and wants to sway her in his favour. He tries to score with his charms and good looks and yes, he’s kind of selfish. Or at least he seems to appear like that. There’s more to Keenan than initially meets the eye and everything he does, he’s doing because he doesn’t have a choice. For him there’s no grey. He either finds his Summer Queen or his people die and the world is going to drown in endless winter. With all those responsibilities it’s really no wonder he’s so pushy. Keenan is desperate and when he said that hope is all he lives on I really felt sorry for him. He is a good and nice person, but Beira definitely didn’t make it easy for him to show his sweet side.

”What makes you think I won’t resent it today?”
“Hope. It’s what I live on ...”

”I wish it didn’t trouble you. But I’m begging you to accept me. Simply tell me what you want, and I’ll try.”


”Donia still wasn’t sure whom she resented more: Keenan, for convincing her he loved her, or Beira, for killing that dream. If he’d truly loved her enough, wouldn’t she be the one? Wouldn’t she be his queen?”

Ahhh Donia! My fierce, stubborn and upright winter girl! <3 I hated how much she doubted herself because of Beira and her bitter fate still gnaws at me. She was the only one who had the guts to take up that staff and in the end the cold claimed her. What happened to her wasn’t fair and I really would have wished things would have turned out differently. Donia is such a great character and even though she could have been corrupted by Beira’s blackmail she didn’t even think about betraying Keenan. I’m kind of glad she’s the Winter Queen now. It will make things between her and Keenan even more complicated but I’m sure she’ll be strong enough to handle it. ;-)

The words came to her from the white world, sliding through her lips like a winter wind, “I am the Winter Queen. As those before me, I will carry the wind and ice.”


Beira let go of the staff and wrapped her arm around Donia, holding her up, and whispered, “If you fail me, it’s well within my power to take away this body of yours. He can’t stop me. You can’t stop me. You’ll be a shade, wandering, colder than even you can imagine. Think about it.” Then she let go.

Beira is such a WITCH!! I swear that woman is as cold as her icy exterior. How a person like her got a son like Keenan is beyond me. Also Beira’s relationship with Keenan was super abusive and I really felt for him. The worst thing about her was that she relished hurting others and abused her powers. She even turned against her own people and tried to cheat. The rules of how Aislinn would become the new Summer Queen were pretty exact, yet Beira still tried to interfere. It’s good that she died and that Donia is the new Winter Queen now. I’m sure she will be a way better monarch than Beira ever was. XD

”Mortals are such fragile things. Just tender feelings walking around exposed in their delicate shells ... Easy to crush.”

The relationships & ships:

Ash & Seth:

”Talk to me.”
She stood up, but he caught her hand before she could walk away again. He pulled her closer.
“I’m here. I’ll be here. Whatever it is.”

I really liked the chemistry between those two! Seth is one hell of a guy and the fact he wasn’t jealous when Aislinn told him that Keenan wants her to be his Summer Queen is actually quite amazing! All he said was that Keenan has bad timing! *lol* Like seriously!!! Find yourself a Seth! Also I’m still not over the fact that he waited 7 months!!! for Ash to finally admit to her feelings for him! That boy is PATIENT!!! If I’d have been Ash nothing would have been able to keep me away from Seth. XD I really love that boy! <333 So yeah, those two had quite a lot of sizzling moments and I can’t wait for more of them. Totally on board of this ship. ;-)

”He lifted her onto the counter where she’d sat and talked to him countless times. But this time her hands were in his hair, wrapping her fingers in it, pulling him closer.
It was the most perfect kiss she’d ever had until she realized, Seth. This is Seth.”

”Since you don’t seem the jealous sort, I’m guessing she was a faery.”
“Wings and all.” She went over, pulled him down to her, and kissed him. “But I might be a bit more the jealous sort than I realized.”
He grinned. “Works for me.”

She shook her head. “No. But when he, it’s not him, it’s some faery thing ....”
He tipped her head up. “Don’t give up. Don’t leave me before you’re even here.”

Ash & Keenan:

”You’d be surprised at what I know about you. And you know what? None of it impresses me. Not one little bit.”
He laughed then – joyous and free, like the anger that’d flared in his eyes hadn’t existed. “Then I shall try harder.”

Aislinn definitely didn’t make it easy for Keenan to win her over. Sometimes she was just downright rude and I felt really sorry for him. I mean that boy is trying really hard and it’s not like he could do anything against it. His hands were bound and Ash giving him hell for it must have been tough. I guess they both tried to deal with the situation as best as they could and considering both of them are already in love with someone else will only make it even harder to cope with their new roles. Keenan is trying to play the long game with Ash though so this is going to be interesting. After all Seth is a mortal still. ;-) I think it’s good that Keenan accepted Seth at Ash’s side and that her happiness is more important to him than forcing a relationship. They are both fey though and their chemistry is there even if they don’t want it... Mhmm... XD

”I thought you’d be angry if you woke up with me, and” – he paused, mouth curled in a sardonic half-smile – “and I don’t want you angry.”
“I don’t want you at all. Why can’t you just leave me alone?”

”Keenan looked at Aislinn, curled up against Seth, seeming happy. It was what he wanted for her, happiness. There was little she could ask that he’d deny – even if that meant she would be in another’s arms for now.”

Donia & Keenan:

”Go away, Keenan. I don’t like you any more today than I did yesterday, or the day before that, or the –“ He interrupted, “But I still like you. That’s the beauty of this, isn’t it? I still miss you. Every single time we do this, Don.” He lowered his voice to try and hide how close it was to raw. “I miss you.”

The epitome of star-crossed lovers! I’ve to say that I felt really, really sorry for Keenan this time around. It’s obvious he loves Donia and the fact that she turned into the Winter Girl had nothing to do with his love for her. I know Donia thought that he just didn’t love her enough but as we could see with Ash love had nothing to do with becoming the Summer Queen. Keenan loved Donia for decades and she hated and resented him because she thought it was his fault that she turned into the Winter Girl. I certainly didn’t envy him his position as the Summer King. Poor boy! Despite of their new roles I can’t wait to see more of this power couple and I’m so ready to read the other books! =)))

He moved farther away from her – crouched on the floor, head bowed – where they couldn’t touch. He sounded as broken as he looked. “If you stop Aislinn, I lose everything. If you don’t, you die. What am I to do?”
“Hope I lose,” she suggested softly.

”He stroked her face, gently, as if she were something delicate and precious. Tears ran down his cheeks and dripped onto her face, melting the ice that still clung to her. “I thought I’d lost you. I thought we were too late.”

Ruling the Winter Court had come easily; she could be just, fair, to her fey. But having power over Keenan – that was a dangerous thing. She wanted him to sway to her wishes as she’d done so long to his. She licked her lips and was rewarded by a flash of darkness in those summer eyes.
He moved closer, hesitantly, but the look in his eyes was hopeful. “Why are you here?”
“For you.”


I still love this series with every fibre of my heart and I’ll continue to love it until I die. It was the first faerie series I ever read and therefore will always hold a special place in my heart. Yes, the first book is slow-paced but it’s still great and I’ll never get tired of recommending this series. <333
I can’t wait to read “Ink Exchange” and to be reunited with Irial, Niall and Leslie! XD
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16.2k followers
July 1, 2010
People tell me I have a short attention span. They mention, on some rare occasions, that I tend to space out easily. That one moment I'll be listening and paying attention and the next moment... Oh sparkly! With that I'm lost! It's amazing how many teachers have been the ones to remind me of my poor ability to pay attention. Remarkable really...

What was I saying?

Oh yeah! So it takes a little bit to capture my attention and to keep it. Usually an abnormal amount of sex, violence or suspense will do the trick. Or if the writing is super-duper fabulous!

(By the way, if only you knew how many times I've gotten distracted and forgotten to keep typing, you'd be surprised! Or maybe not...)

Anyway, point of the matter is that Marr has my number. She knows what people like me are like. It's insidious really. Her nefarious schemes to keep my wavering attention with sex and horror have not gone unnoticed though! I'm onto her! What does she think of her audience? That they'll overlook the TERRIBLE editing job and shaky story-telling with sex?

Okay, so maybe it worked a little... just a little bit. Because every time you start getting bored, some hot guy starts putting the moves on, or his fingers start roaming, or flirting starts happening. That, or you think you're about ready to yawn and some evil person shows up and starts hurting other things.

It took me a little while to get what she was doing. What with the oral sex and the obvious lust inducing moments, it was hard to force my brain into action. I had to keep refocusing, shaking it off and trying to see the book for what it was as opposed to imagining half-naked men with incredible bodies all oiled up and posing...

Okay, never mind, back to the point. In a market flooded with cookie-cutter YA paranormal and Urban Fantasy novels, this one is trying to be different. It's trying to be contrary. Marr must figure that if fails, at least there's lots of pretty to look at.

Well, it did fail to be different. It was entirely forgettable. In fact I'm having trouble remembering everything already and I just finished it today. I suppose of course that if it wants to fall back on pretty sparkly men (oh, I'm sorry, this one GLOWS. It's different, see? At least this one doesn't try to hide the fact that he's a fairy) that's ITS prerogative, however on a hawtness scale of 1 - 10, I rate Keenan and Seth a bit, fat, walloping 'meh'. How could they possible compare to Clayton? Or Barrons, V'Lane or Howl, Christoph, Con or any of the other REAL literary crushes I have!

In fact I've had to create a whole new bookshelf in honour of this book. I'm calling it my 'Meh' Shelf. It's for books like this one (don't be deceived by the stars, it's not really 3, it's 2 1/2) that aren't terrible, aren't fantastic, and that I'll barely remember in a week or so.

So if you want to read some fairly PG schmexing and some interesting Fae mythology then go ahead. Give it a shot.

Maybe if I keep reading books like this, I'll cure my insatiable fascination with sparkly things. It's what got me into this trouble to begin with. I was looking for a diamond in the rough but this book was pretty much mostly rough.
Profile Image for Kirsti.
55 reviews
February 19, 2008
Oy vie! What a horrible book. I decided to change it's title to "Beautiful and Vapid Hormones" Melissa Marr held so much promise for a feisty female protagonist, willing to fight the allure of immortal beauty and power for our mundane yet necessary mortality. Sadly, Aislinn (the main character) faded into nothingness in the last few chapters. It seemed as though Marr couldn't sacrifice either of the two worlds for her Aislinn and so gave her both, which in my opinion, gives her nothing. Life demands sacrifice for true happiness. Hormones ruled, not love or the quest for right, just penises and breasts, sorry to be so blunt, but it's too true. I'm thoroughly disappointed. Perhaps if the story started the way it began I wouldn't be so upset. But Marr set a beautiful stage, perfect characters with bright promises of illuminating lives. It's as if Marr put all her energy and wit into the first act. It was perfectly coordinated, hopeful lives waiting for tough decisions to show their true beauty and strength. The happy ending never came because as the curtain ascended to reveal the last act the actors, once graceful and awe-inspiring, crashed into each other, tripped, pulled down the beautiful set, ripped their glittering costumes, shouted profanities and uncovered their base savage hormones. I hope Ms. Marr becomes a great author she has it in her, but she needs to learn, as we all do, that life is lived beyond physical desire, in what we sacrifice for others and ourselves to gain wisdom and love.
Profile Image for Nadia.
10 reviews33 followers
June 6, 2007
I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. I mean, usually when a book is hyped up a lot my immediate reaction is to roll my eyes and wonder if it's worth the hype (I didn't start reading the Harry Potter series until the third one was already out - and then I read them all in one sitting). So, I'm a book-cynic and was worried that I would mind-trash this baby.

Ok, first of all -- the most gorgeous cover ever. Provocative, beautiful, and... well, well done Harper Collins. Here's the thing about the writing, I felt like this was a good book. I really enjoyed it, i got caught up on it. I liked the concept a lot... it just felt like it could've used one more polish... if that makes sense?

Some of the sections feel disjointed from one another, just in terms of narrative. I absolutely love how the main character avoids the fey, but then suddenly it's a huge about-face that I didn't quite follow with her. I also thought that the relationship between her and the two male characters was interesting but....

I wanted to fall more in love with the King and instead.... I dunno. I liked the human boy more. And that colored how I was reading the rest of the book, I wanted her to have to struggle more -- but she didn't, but neither did I?

So, here's my rec'd, since I saw a god-awful one in VOYA of this book:
I'd buy it. I'd read it. I think this author is only going to get better and better, so I'm looking forward to the next book on your pub-list.

But if you have a huge history of reading faery books -- this one might not be your favorite.
Profile Image for Amelia, free market Puritan.
349 reviews35 followers
October 14, 2011
Well guys, for over a year I had a review of this. I gave this book 1 star, so to say the least, my review was not positive. But see, I got tired of constantly having to delete all the "troll-screaming" comments, so I ultimately removed the review.

The reason I didn't like this book is because it was one of the first YA titles I ever read, and I was really put off by the content. That's my prerogative. I know that probably sounds like a revolutionary concept, but whatever.

If you are curious about the book, I'll refer you here: http://sites.google.com/site/parental...
Profile Image for Karin.
Author 15 books230 followers
January 7, 2008
Aislinn has always followed the rules. Her Grandmother has drilled them into her since she was a young child. Don't stare at invisible faeries. Don't speak to invisible faeries. Don't ever attract faeries' attention. Aislinn has developed the skill to ignore them. She walks passed them without flinching even when the faeries are pinching or touching others around her like they love to do.

Faeries come in many shapes and sizes and Aislinn has seen them all. She's seen them in the glamours they wear in order to pass as humans and can pick one out of a crowd even when they are trying to blend in. Aislinn has never been surprised by what she has seen them do – that is, until they start breaking the rules.

Faeries don't like steel. It causes them pain and weakens them. Because of that, Aislinn's "safe" place has always been Seth's house. Seth is a long time friend who happens to live in a converted steel train car. Aislinn always knew if she could make it there she'd have peace because the faeries could never follow her into the train yard. But, something has changed. They are creeping closer and closer and paying more attention to her. They are even gathering outside Seth's place.

Aislinn really begins to worry when two faeries, Keenan and Donia, approach her and speak directly to her. She gets away from them as quickly as possible now hyperaware of the growing number of faeries surrounding and following her. She hears them say things like, "Do you think she's the one?" Aislinn realizes that in order to figure out what they want from her she is going to have to break the rules she's grown up with all her life.

Keenan is the Summer King. His mother, the Winter Queen, has limited his powers and is slowly taking over the elements. Days are colder and eventually everything will be covered in ice, unless, Keenan finds the girl who is meant to be his Summer Queen. Together they would have the power to overcome the Winter Queen's chill. Keenan thinks Aislinn is the one and she is in danger because of it. The Winter Queen will do everything she can to prevent her son from getting the power he needs to overthrow her. Another problem of course is Aislinn doesn't want to be Summer Queen. She has avoided faeries all her life and she sure doesn't want to become one now. Especially when her feelings for Seth have developed into more than friendship and becoming the Summer Queen would mean spending an eternity with Keenan.

Melissa Marr has written a wonderfully inventive story that incorporates actual quotes from books written on the subject of faeries dating back to the 1800's. Her ability to keep a complicated story with several important characters clear to the reader is phenomenal. The relationship she creates between Aislinn and Seth is heartwarming, leading the reader to fall in love right along with them. If you aren't usually a fan of faerie stories, you might want to give this one a try. The blending of the realistic world and the world of the fey is masterfully done. You'll almost believe faeries are all around you.

Profile Image for Hanneybean.
12 reviews
May 20, 2010
I don't even know what to say. This has been the first book that I've thrown across the room and felt extremely happy about it. Needless to say, I absolutely despised it.

The beginning was a wonderful solid four stars...and then the ending came. *SPOILERS*

Wicked Lovely is the story about a 17 year-old girl who's had the Sight her entire life. Aislinn lives in fear every day of attracting the attention of any faerie, only to have it all come crashing down when the Summer King, Keenan, claims her as the next Summer Queen. Keenan has been searching for "the one" for over nine centuries, only to condemn each wrong girl to the burden of being a Winter Girl, who has to carry the awful winter chill until the next unlucky girl comes along.

Reasons why it sucked (and yes, it sucked majorly in my opinion).
Seth, Aislinn's mortal friend/boyfriend (it takes the author a ridiculous amount of time to clear up which) is way too perfect. I love the idea that he owns his own place, yet has no job.

It really is a huge letdown to read the whole book realy enjoying it only to reach the end knowing that it's all going to end up awfully.
The thing is, I loved Donia and Seth. I loved Keenan and Aislinn.
How did it end up?
Keenan and Donia, and Seth and Aislinn.
The end.
Who wants this book? I would be glad to send it to you, some of the pages bend up of course from its impact on my wall.
Profile Image for vale pao.
644 reviews358 followers
February 4, 2010
So I was expecting to read a nice YA book, but let me tell you... this book was so good that I read it in 6 hours without stoping. I loved all the characters and the way everything developed. Specially the end. I really liked how the author gave a smart solution to every problem.

I really enjoyed to read something different from all the books that are out there. Wicked lovely is a nice, refreshing and original story. Ash is a great heroine, with one of the best personalities I've seen and Seth is the sweetest thing.

If you like paranormal romance and YA books, you'll love this series. I'm glad I finally read it.

I would give this book 4.5 stars if I could. So good.
Profile Image for Katerina  Kondrenko.
498 reviews828 followers
December 31, 2020
5 out of 10

Ревью в моем блоге/This review on my blog
Living A Thousand Lives
(please use Chrome/Yandex browser or Android/IOS to see the page; otherwise, spoiler-tags I use to make my post compact may not work)

Gemma Hayes – Wicked Game
Followed by Ghosts – King, My Queen
Julee Cruise – Summer Kisses Winter Tears

Genre: urban-fantasy, YA
Stuff: canonical faery in the real world
Fail: urban-part
WOW: mythology
POV: 3rd-person, multi
Setting: Hunstdale (fictional city in USA)
Love-Geometry: strange, 'cause 95% of characters are polygamous

"Maybe you should slow down, so I can catch you."

Wicked Lovely is a wicked book or rather a wicked series. Why? Seems like you love the story and hate it at the same time. Isn’t it wicked enough? I had changed my rating more than once, ‘cause I had no idea what kind of feelings toward the book won after all.

Marr is a nice teller, I like her style, I adore the world-building (you may not see it in the first book, but I've already read 3 parts and 2 bonuses of this series and have seen more) and fae-mythology of Wicked Lovely (these faeries are super close to canon). And there is one more big plus: we have about 5 MCs (so far, there would be more) and each of them has his or her story, each of them is a person (though again you won’t see much in the first book), but more important is that Marr doesn’t promote any of her characters, she develops everyone without pressure, without favoring any of them. That’s why is so hard to get whom you like, whom you hate and about whom you don’t care at all. I knew only one thing: Seth sucks. He is Mal + Jeb + every annoying humanling from other series. I hate such a type of character, so I despised him at first sight.

What I disliked is an urban part of the story. I mean… such a good fae-society! Such colorful Courts and they live in an average city? Why they chose this particular place? And why Keenan was looking for his queen only here? Winter Queen and Dark King were stupid enough and didn’t come up with an idea to choose a girl from the other part of the Earth? It would be so much difficult to find the very girl if she was living in China or Russia or New Zealand. And faeries have to live in their magical lands, IMO. They should have some passages into the real world, those are connected with every corner of it. I see no reason for all the Courts to live in Hunstdale. Yes, it's a fictional place but this is a part of the human realm. Why Winter Queen lives there, while she could move to the South Pole? Why Dark Fey didn't choose a huge city? More people, more emotions (they need them). Why the Summer Court is here? Why not on a tropical island? This is illogical.

Let's go further. We have 4 courts.


Summer faeries are frivolous and lightheaded; they love vine, dances, and sex. They would die without joy and pleasure. And without their future queen too. Keenan, their young king (he’s only 9 centuries old and others call him a boy, so…) is cursed and his powers are bound by his mother (the Winter Queen) and Irial (the Dark King). Beira - the Winter Queen - was romancing his father and eventually killed him, but she was already pregnant, that’s how was born a new Summer ruler. She was afraid of him to grow as strong as his father was and decided to prevent such a thing. Keenan had to search for his queen among mortals, pick them, change them into fae and then ask them to take his mother’s staff (this is a kind of a test) or become a Summer Girl. Choosing the first, they risk to become a Winter Girl and to lose Keenan (‘cause sex with burns and frost burns isn’t that good, you know), choosing the second means being addicted to their king presence and mood, without him they would wither and die, and when he’s unhappy, they are too. There is another risk, one of these Summer Girls could be the queen but she was afraid to test herself and now Keenan would be always cursed, winter would last forever, Summer Court would die and people would do the same. So Keenan tries his best to break the spell, to find his lady, and to care about summer faeries. He has two advisers: an old one and a young one (watch the last, he’ll become an MC later).


Winter faeries are cold, cruel and impassioned. Beira rules them. Her main goal is not to let Keenan meet his queen, all she does is irritating him and visiting Donia, who was the last that risked her future and mortality for Keenan for nothing, now she contains winter cold in her body and soul plus has to talk every girl Keenan picks against taking the Winter’s staff, she has to convince them that Summer King is dangerous and he can’t be trusted. BTW, Donia still loves him and he still loves her (not amused, I am). Beira threats to kill her if she let the newest of Keenan’s girls to try herself with staff and stuff. But Donia understands that she has to risk her life again, ‘cause it would free Keenan and herself as well.


They are all about kinky things, sex, drugs and violence. They exist feeding on human’s emotions (not positive or pure once). We won’t see much of them in this book. Their king is Irial, he’s a gancanagh, a solitary Fae whose touches and kisses are lethal to mortals, they become addictive and without him they die. But since he is king, he can control this ability. He has a past with Niall, the youngest of Keenan’s advisers. And he is the one who helped Beira to bind Summer King’s power.


This is a court of reason, order and balance. High Court is the one which exists not in the real world but in a magical one. Their queen is Sorcha, she takes mortals with Sight into her domain, where they create beautiful arts. She has a twin-sister Bananac, who is a Dark King's subject and a solitary Fae of War, and a brother Devlin, who is her adviser and assassin. While Sorcha is Order's incarnate and Bananac is Chaos, Devlin is both. We won’t see much of High Court and its rulers until Old Habits bonus and until book #3, but we’ll hear about them for sure.

Now let me introduce you to our future Summer Queen Aislinn or simply Ash. She sees faeries since childhood and keeps it in secret. When a boy and a girl with a wolf start to stalking her, she panics and opens her problems to a new friend of hers — a womanizer Seth. Later we would learn that he has no STD (he would show us and Ash a certificate, yes, this is weird and still it would happen) and he hasn't slept with anyone since meeting Aislinn. Such a hero. She would love him muuuuch and would refuse Keenan. I won’t tell how it all ends, but you should know that Marr might surprise you (maybe not in a good way).

Now tell me why do I still reading this series? I was spoiled on the ending (thanks to Wikia), I disagree with the final and still keeping on. I like how many different characters Marr created, I like how unusual and complicated ships are here, but this author tortures me with her story, I wanna one thing and she gives me another every freaking time, in every freaking book. How is that possible? I understand when you disagree with some twists, but with the whole story? Incredible...

Wicked Lovely (Коварная Красота):
Wicked Lovely (Коварная Красота) #1/5
Ink Exchange (Роковая татуировка) #2/5
Stopping Time (Останавливая время) #2.5/5
Old Habits (Старые привычки) #2.6/5
Fragile Eternity (Темное предсказание) #3/5
Radiant Shadows (Смертные тени) #4/5
— Darkest Mercy (Жестокое милосердие) #5/5
— Faery Tales & Nightmares (Сказки и кошмары)
— Desert Tales (Рассказы о пустыне)
Profile Image for High Lady of The Night Court.
135 reviews5,056 followers
September 18, 2022
The best multiperspective series I've ever read. I write this review after reading all the books (no spoilers) and I wholeheartedly, extremely joyously feel that this was the ideal series it could be. There are many series out there like this that have a wonderfully enticing first book where you fall in love with the protagonists of the first book and gradually feel more detached from the protagonists of the sequels, this book is unlike any of its kind, that I’ve read so far. Rather than trying to show us the entirety of the world and the potential of the world in the first book in a show of extravagance the author’s skill is highlighted in her choice to hold back when she does. The choice of switching from perspective to perspective in each book is the absolute perfect way to tell the stories Melissa Marr does leading to the perfect culmination of the world and the characters.

I would normally give you an overview of the first book and hint at the rest at this point but It’s really not necessary and kind of useless for this series because it wouldn’t possibly give you an accurate estimate of the majesty of this world and the characters in it. Each book takes the world-building and the storyline to the next level and the characters grow so naturally through the series that you’re never hit with the feeling that suddenly you feel like you’re reading about a different person or that the author just created more plotlines to write another book. Each story flows seamlessly into the next and you find yourself falling in love with each and every character and I mean it.

Don’t let past experiences with paranormal series affect your decision to read this one, I cannot stress enough that these books are so very unique you will not ever find yourself in the position where you feel like you���re reading an over-written cliched storyline. There are moments while reading other paranormal books, where I slip out of that reading trance and feel like I would’ve done something differently about various aspects of the story but there was not one moment where I felt like was back-seat writing in my head, I was always the reader waiting to see what the author would bestow us with next.

The world-building was *chef’s kiss* so mesmerising. The pace at which the world unveils in front of our eyes is perfect for the series there is never a moment where you feel like a bunch of information came at you out of the blue to continue the story or to start a new plotline. One of the things I respect the most is that we as the reader see that realistic lag of information between characters in different parts of the world, we see characters being held back by restrictions that others have overcome with newer information that couldn’t have possibly reached the former. We see the effect of being an amateur on the characters while trying to do the right thing and we see that change with the experience they gain.

We see real conflict within relationships, not that childish push and pull you see so much of, where the characters’ insecurities keep them in a limbo, where you know they are going to end up together and it’s just being dragged out.

When you feel like reading about faeries turn to this book and rest assured that you will only fall in love with the series more as you go on. Don’t stop at the first book to prevent being disappointed by the next ones. Just read it.
Profile Image for Kiera.
2 reviews2 followers
April 23, 2008
I loved the premise of this book- and invisible world of faeries that are about as unlike Tinkerbell as you can get. Unfortunately, the dropped plot lines and somewhat flat nature of the supporting characters was disappointing.

The faeries in this story are spiteful, cruel, and yes, wickedly beautiful. Aislin, the star of this urban fantasy, is a junior in high school with the unusual ability to see the faeries no one else can. She has been tortured by this knowledge her entire life and has been taught by her grandmother (a fellow seer) never to acknowledge their presence. Aislin goes about her life trying hard to ignore the atrocities she witnesses and the cruel acts that these barbaric faeries commit. So far, no faery has ever noticed her and she has remained as unknown to the faery world as it is to the humans. That is, until the day the Summer King, Keenan, picks up on a certain "vibe" from Aislin and decides she is "the one."

SPOILER ALERT!!!! While the details of the faery customs, dress, language, and history were well-developed, the author failed to make her human characters as compelling. Besides the relationship between Aislin and her boy-but-just-a-friend Seth, the humans in the story are either boring, do not progress the plot in any way, or are cliched teenagers. Most annoying was the introduction of several seemingly important plot points that went nowhere. Case in point (and here comes the spoiler) the revelation near the end of the book that Aislin's mother was also courted by Keenan. This fact, when first presented during a stressful time when the main characters are working towards a resolution, seems rather important. If nothing else, it would make sense, given her character's history, that Aislin would have *some* kind of reaction to this news. Rather, the characters move on to the next bit of action and by the end of the book, that plot point has been completely abandoned. Did some key dialouge get edited out in the final draft? Who knows. It was this inattention to developmental details of the story like the above that left me scratching my head and wondering what the editor was thinking.

Overall, however, it is a fluid read with a steady pace and enough sexual tension and drama to keep most teens and adults turning the pages. The use of the F-bomb and an oral sex scene make it more suitable to older teens.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,401 reviews11.7k followers
October 1, 2009
"Wicked Lovely" is a story of Aislinn, a teenage girl who has a rare ability to see faeries. This gift/curse troubles her, mostly because the fae world is cruel and ugly. For a long time she manages to hide this ability and stay unnoticed, but suddenly she finds herself a center of fae attention. We very quickly learn that Aislinn is chosen to have a special place in the faery world...

Once again a book so popular and trendy and such a favorite of many of my friends, disappointed me. But first the positives. I liked the concept of the book and the ideas behind the faery mythology Marr created. In fact, her apparent strong knowledge of fae lore and interesting idea of Summer and Winter Courts saved this book from being just a tolerable read. I enjoyed the prologue and the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I appreciate thorough research.

What didn't work for me? Definitely the writing. I found that while the sentence structure of this book was overly simplistic, the narration itself seemed too confusing for me. The sentences in the paragraphs didn't flow together. I didn't care for the 3rd person narration with 1st person thoughts (by multiple characters) thrown in together. Neither did I care for long descriptive paragraphs between lines of dialog. It made me very often go back to previous lines paragraphs before just to keep up with a conversation. I also didn't find myself emotionally connected with any of the characters. For me Aislinn seemed whiny most of the book (she did perk up in the end though), Seth appeared to be a guy who does nothing wrong and yet at 18 has so my sexual past that he has to have himself frequently tested for STDs (?), Keenan - just bland...

I would not discourage anybody from reading this series. It is after all very popular. I expect you will like this book if you are a fan of fairies and find guys with tattoos and pierced lips and navels attractive. Unfortunately these things are not quite within my scope of interest and therefore this book didn't work for me.

Reading challenge: #1 - W
Profile Image for Mizuki.
2,971 reviews1,176 followers
March 14, 2022
In Wicked Lovely, Aislinn was a girl who had been carrying a secret her whole life: She could see fairies and had always tried hard to avoid attracting their attention for as long as she could recall. For fairies, unlike popular belief, were creatures very much capable of mischiefs, torture, cruelty and harm.

Much to Aislinn's fear, she found herself being stalked by two fairies, Keenan, the Summer King who had been looking for his lost Queen for centuries; Donia, Winter Girl and ex-lover of Keenan, who suffered with Keenan's betrayal for decades. Would Aislinn be the Summer Queen Keenan was looking for? How would she choose between becoming a fairy or a life as a mortal beside her love interest Seth?

The first problem I have with the book is the main character Aislinn, I learn that she is a pretty girl, she has the Sight and had been tiptoeing to avoid attracting attention, pretending she can't see the fairies. Her grandmother who can also see the fairies is over protective of her. The friends she had in school only care about who's dating who. She has a crush on her sexy, older friend Seth. That's almost all I have ever learned about her. And these don't add up into much of an interesting, engaging character.

There're so many things we don't know about Aislinn, how she came to befriend Seth? What she thought had ever happened to her late mother? Did she ever know anything about her absent father? A little background information would help a lot, but after reading half of the book, I'm still in the dark.

Later Aislinn was attacked by some street gang and was rescued by Donia, but what I couldn't get is how come Aislinn could downplay the would-be-rape in front of both Donia and Seth? She kept saying 'It isn't so bad', 'It's nothing', but oh come on! Being gripped, cut and threatened by complete strangers ISN'T nothing! Please, a bit of common sense won't hurt anyone.

I also have problem understanding what's going on with Seth. He's supposed to be the good, wonderful guy, right? However, not only he comes out as flat as a cardboard cutout Perfect Boyfriend, plus through Aislinn's viewpoint we learn that Seth didn't like her friends from highschool, for those friends were...vain? Shallow? Self central? Whiny? Or were they just too ugly to look at? Or was it just the age-gap thing? There're so many possible reasons for Seth to dislike/avoid Aislinn's friends (for they're pretty annoying at times, I admit), but the author never gives us a clear explanation. In this minor event, Seth turns out quite arrogant, 'I'm too good/smart to hang out with you folks' type instead of the nice guy he's supposed to be. If things are a little bit better explained, it could have been avoided.

*slight plot spoiler warning*

Furthermore, we're told that right after Aislinn shared her secret with Seth, Seth immediately believed her claim about the existence of fairies. Oh really? Even though Seth is an artist and he might have an imaginative mind, still how could a grown man accept such surreal claim at once without any doubt or second thought? That's just unbelievable.

Just as unbelievable is the confident, sexually active Seth took time waiting for Aislinn to accept him for seven months. Frankly I'd thought that kind of cliche only exists in girl manga and Korean soap opera. I'd also thought that only love sick little highschool girls would do that 'waiting their love interests till he loves them back' stuff. In reality most guys would just shrug and move on to find another girl.

As a whole, Seth and Aislinn's relationship is High School Musical at best, except with the sex parts thrown in. After reading a number of recently published YA novels, it bothers me to learn authors seemingly love to write their heroines being hotly sought after by two or even more guys, even when those heroines barely have any adorable quality (...saves for their good look) or impressive characters to be spoken of. Goodness, how typical and wish-fulfilling can they get?

Not to mention that the only good scene with Aislinn interacting with the main guy(s) is the one she had with Keenan in the fairy carnival. All the scenes with her and Seth together look dull.

As to Keenan, he's difficult to relate to after we learn that he'd been ruining innocent girls' lives through out centuries. Plus he never talks/behaves like a fairy King who had already lived for nearly 1000 years. At best he sounds like any ordinary human spoiled brat rich young heir who tried hard to take power from his control-freak evil mother.

Speaking of the evil mother, Keenan's mom Beira a.k.a the Winter Queen is just a very stereotyped villain whose only purpose is to be evil. Why she is being so mean to her son? We never get a hint.

By the way, we're told that if Beira wins, all the Summer Court fairies will die, that much I can accept; but when the author claimed that the mortal world will also froze over and the mortals will be starving. Could she really expect we all buy this theory? Not only that the story takes place in the modern world where Global Warming is much more a problem than the coming of the new Ice Age, also in the book it was never ever being hinted that the weather is getting any colder than usual in where Aislinn lived. ARGH. Epic Fail at internal logic within the story.

Most of the main characters in the book are just...flat. They're like characters from some badly written Japanese girl manga or mediocre fanfictions. Don't get me wrong, I'd read amazing girl manga and fanfictions, but when I saw novels which are really unimpressive fanfictions in disguise, I can still recognize it.

The long suffering Donia is the only character that holds my interest. My heart goes to her at once, and her relationship with Keenan is filled with conflicts and raw emotion that it's the bright spot of the story.

Still, credits must be given to the author, Miss Marr for keeping her fairies close to the Sidhe myth and she made use of the said myth quite well.

Half way through the book I started wondering: 'What if Wicked Lovely has a little more suspense instead of being written so blandly, with the readers knowing what's going on with almost every characters with hardly any effort on guessing?' Yeah, suspense is seriously lacking in this book, we learn what Keenan, Donia and even Beira are up to within the first 40 pages. Actually we can learn the main plot and everyone's intention by simply looking upon the introduction at the book's backcover. It's all there. The author probably don't want her readers to enjoy the pleasure of figuring the characters and their motives/schemes out by themselves. How great it'd be if only Keenan or Beira's scheme have been slowly revealed to us, if only it isn't being hinted so often that Aislinn is 'special' or we can't easily figure out which side Doina is going to choose till the last second!

Speaking of covers, Stephenie Meyer supposedly said that the one good thing about Wicked Lovely is its cover. It's really, really sad that I have to agree with her. *facepalms*

But honestly, Stephenie Meyer's remark on Wicked Lovely can very well be used on her own Twilight series.

By the end of the story, Aislinn had already made a few mistakes which someone who supposedly had been aware of the existence of fairies and feared them for her whole life SHOULDN'T be making. Why she seemed to be so ignorant of the tricks of fairies in those critical moments? Why must Seth be the one to research about fairies and their ways? Shouldn't Aislinn be knowledgeable about those detail already?

Things finally start to speed up by the last 40 or 30 pages, and Seth got his brief moment to shine. But it's a bit too late to tidy up all the loosen ends in a rush. Still I'm relief to see Aislinn finally, finally growing a backbone and deciding what she wanted for her future, what roles she wanted and didn't want to play. For that alone she at least redeems herself from becoming a loser such as Bella Swan.

To sum up, the first book of the Wicked Lovely series has potentials, but not much effort had been taken in order to make the most out of them. And this book shows that the author lacked planning before she went ahead with the idea of the series, e.g. In book 2 it's revealed that Niall had been around in the Summer Court even since Keenan's father was alive and the guy had been looking after Keenan even since, but in book 1 it'd never been showed or hinted at that he had such special part in Keenan's life.

If you want to read better fairies-themed texts, read Holly Black's Modern Fairies Tale series, or even the anime/manga My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away (all by Hayao Miyazaki).
Profile Image for Lazaros.
271 reviews524 followers
March 23, 2015
As much as I found interesting the fact that this had a dark vibe going on the entire time, I must say that I was completely let down by the writing. I don't know if it is because it's the author's first book but I guess that must be it. The story was equal parts intriguing and confusing, so I have mixed feelings about this entire book. I struggled giving a rating to this. I wasn't sure if it deserved 3 stars or 2 but I'll say that I'm somewhere in between.

Aislinn is a mortal, she has the Sight, which means she can see the faeries. She's always been able too and her grams always advised her to not let them know that she could see them because faeries can be unpredictable and vicious. Keenan is the Summer King, he's royalty and his mother is the Winter Queen so that means they are enemies. He's been trying to find the girl that will touch the winter staff without being consumed by the Queen's frost and so far he's only failed.

It's a multi-changing perspective book. There are four characters narrating the story. Aislinn is one, Keenan another, Donia who is the last girl who touched the winter staff and got consumed by the frost and now she's partially a ghost, and lastly, Seth, Aislinn's boyfriend of sorts.

This book has its pros and cons. It's fast-paced and the story evolves quickly, there are multiple p.o.v's so one does not get bored easily but it's not that well-written and the story can get baffling, to say the least.

I'm sure that whoever reads this, they'll enjoy it. You may won't love it, I didn't either. But I'm intrigued enough, by the ending and the twists, that I'm going to be reading the next book in the series and hope for the best.
7 reviews9 followers
December 28, 2008
Where do I start...
This book had me from the very moment I started reading. I just knew it would be something out of the ordinary.

17-year old Aislinn (how to pronounce that name?), or "Ash", is not like other girls. She can see fairies. And not good fairies, fairies that fight and do all kinds of bad stuff. She's learned how to control herself, how to not seem scared and to not start running as they approach; that only triggers them. The fairies doesn't know about her unusual talent... And she is determined for it to stay that way.
However, when devastatingly beautiful Keenan shows interest for her, Ash realizes that she can't ignore them anymore. Keenan, who is the "Summer King" of the fairies wants her as his Queen; NEEDS her to be his queen. But Ash doesn't want that. She already has a special someone, though Seth seems to be oblivious to her feelings, and Ash works hard to conceal them anyway. She doesn't want anything to mess up their friendship. As Keenan refuses to give up, Seth proves to be the only one she can count on, the only one she can trust.

This book truly was unbelievably good. It can't match Stephenie Meyers Twilight, but it was close enough.
Melissa Marr has a way with words that makes you FEEL everything. I found myself talking to Ash, trying to will her to get away from Keenan. In the parts where she was with Seth, my thoughts were going something like "Oh COME ON, just kiss him!". You could really feel the sexual tension there, and Marr does not seem to be afraid of writing about those kinds of things.
Along with that tension comes the tension of how in the world she's going to solve this. You want Ash to be with Seth, cause Seth's person is just so wonderful, and the harmony between them is so clear. But as the story evolves it doesn't seem possible. It seems as if Ash doesn't really have a choice...
Profile Image for Sara ♥.
1,355 reviews139 followers
July 30, 2009
Are there any books on your to-read list that you've been (consciously or unconsciously) avoiding because people keep harassing you to read them? Then, when you read them, do you kick yourself for being so stubborn?

On one hand, I'm really happy I waited to read this book, because the third (and final? Edit: No, there's a book 4, at least...) book just came out, so no waiting for me! On the other hand... WHAT WAS I WAITING FOR????? This book was AWESOME!!

I don't know that I was avoiding it because of what other people were saying, necessarily. I don't know where my prejudice against faery books comes from, but it's there nonetheless! (That's why I haven't read Holly Black's books, either...) Why would I not like them? Maybe I thought they were wussy little creatures... A Midsummer Night's Dream turned me off to them, perhaps?

But whatever the reason, I'm glad I got over myself and read this book! I haven't been so surprised by the twists and turns a plot has taken in quite some time! I just... I didn't know what was going to happen! I thought I knew, and in ONE respect, I was right, but I was wrong about all the others! And that's fun—being surprised by the character's decisions. I loved all the characters (except the Winter Queen, of course)! Aislinn was AWESOME! I was a little worried about her in the middle... but by the end, she was pretty kick-ass. Keenan even turned out pretty well! ;) I'm in love with Seth and all his scary body piercings! (Never thought I'd say that in my lifetime....) And Donia... oh, I felt for her... Really great characters....

About 20 pages from the end (the last chapter), I was spazzing out. I have no experience with Melissa Marr, so I had no idea if she was a happy-ending author or a depressing-ending author.... I had a HUGE grin on my face at the end. HUGE. I can't wait to read Ink Exchange and Fragile Eternity!! (Ink Exchange isn't due back to the library until August 17th! What am I going to do??!?!??)
Profile Image for  ♥ Rebecca ♥.
1,355 reviews373 followers
August 2, 2016
This book was very unique, not the usual YA formula. It is a tad darker than most YA faerie tales, although not nearly as dark as Holly Black's faerie series. I really enjoyed the story, lots of twists and turns and I never would have guessed the ending. But I think the most unusual thing about the whole book was the fact that the main guy was not the main girl's love interest. That is usually how it goes. If there is a main guy and a main girl, they fall in love. If they dont, its usually because its not a romance book. This certainly is a romance, but they just dont love each other. I dont know if that is something that will change over the course of the series, but I hope not. Although I am sure things will get complicated.

And I think readers should be prepared not to fall in love with Keenan. Some will of course, there are all types, but I think most wont. He had too many flaws for my liking. He was totally unsympathetic towards Aislinn's situation, and he basically had a harem, which is extremely unattractive. But I did feel sorry for him at times too. Especially during the scene at Rath and Ruin. But I cant imagine a woman who wouldnt line up for a turn with Seth. He is just too yummy to be true. He was perfection. And all the characters were great in their own way. Seth is just the most supportive, loving, and protective boyfriend anyone could wish for. Aislinn is strong and stable, able to hold her head high and not fall apart even as her world does around her. Donia, who has suffered for decades, remains kind and has never abandoned her love. And Keenan, despite his mistakes and his attempts to manipulate Aislinn to his will, in the end is understanding and accepts Aislinn (and Seth) just the way she is, for the good of his people.

But this series isnt all about Aislin and Seth, Keenan and Donia. The next book is about the king of the dark court, and book 4 is about other characters although I am not sure how they are connected. But book 3 and 5 are again about characters we met in this book, which is good. I usually dont like series that arent all about the same characters, but it doesnt seem like this one strays too much. This book has a great ending and I cannot wait to find out how things turn out for everyone. Aislinn and Keenan have a lot to figure out. Can they learn to work together? Can Keenan live with the terms they agreed on? Can Seth accept Aislinn's new life? I cannot wait to get through Ink Exchange and on to Fragile Eternity so I can find out.

Warning that the prologue of this book is extremely confusing and misleading. Although I still dont know for sure where it fits into the story, it is now clear that it did not happen to Aislinn. It was most likely Donia. But there is no reason to read it before even having read Wicked Lovely. I dont like that they added it and I would suggest you skip it so that you dont get confused. The prologue really took away from my enjoyment of the first half of the book because it led me to believe a lot of things that werent even true. You can go back and read it at the end, but by then you will already know what has happened and it wont even be important anymore.
488 reviews56 followers
May 27, 2008
The one where Aislinn can see faeries that no one else can see, and they're awful. But the young Summer King, Keenan (srsly, Keenan), wants her to be his queen, and if things go wrong, they're going to go very wrong.

I described this book to someone as "like mediocre fanfiction," and now I'm trying to pin down exactly what that means. First, of course, it means the book is quite self-indulgent when it comes to everyone being Special and having special names and special facial piercings and special eclectic reading habits and playlists (which are described in great detail) and so on.

Second, there's a very high level of what you might call emotional explicitness -- which means not only that the feelings are told rather than shown, but that everybody knows what they feel; nobody is confused or ambivalent or maintaining a successful wall of denial.

Third, an awful lot of what passes for conflict is actually meaningless, whiny rebellion. Keenan faces off his mother, and it says, "He couldn't afford to let her browbeat him," and so his courageous stand consists of clenching his teeth and saying, "Someday I'll win! Someday I'll beat you!" And then his companion has to meet up with his mother and do exactly the same thing.

I have to admit, I'm curious to know exactly what all the hints amount to -- what she has to say about Faery culture. But not curious enough.
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,862 reviews369 followers
May 6, 2020
3.5 stars

I can't in good conscience give this four stars, as I don't think I'll ever be tempted to read it again, but it was a pleasant experience the first time around. I do love fairy stories and this is a decent one, although definitely written for the younger crowd. I wouldn't hesitate to hand it to a young person in my circle.

I like the lines that the author draws for behaviour. Making sure that a partner is a good and caring person before sleeping with them. Staying loyal to friends even when doing so is difficult. Righting wrongs if you are able. Being compassionate to those who maybe don't deserve it. Finding creative solutions for life's big problems. Realizing that the adults in your life may not understand what your life path is, but that you still want them to be part of that path.

Aislinn and Seth are a charming couple, though perhaps their relationship does set a pretty high bar for real people to aspire to. No arguments, no overwhelming sexual pressure, seemingly utter trust. I've never experienced that in real life—two people who grow up in different households (as you usually do if you're going to be romantically involved) will have some incompatible ideas about how life should proceed, big occasions and little details both. And couples will fight over both.

But this is fantasy, so why not conjure a ultra-romantic relationship as well as the fairy world?
Profile Image for aphrodite.
389 reviews865 followers
January 29, 2020
2014 rating: 5 stars
2019 rating: 3 stars


are you interested in this book? have you just read it and looking for reviews to analyze the shit show you just read? IM HERE TO CONVINCE YOU ALL HOPE IS NOT LOST

is this book poorly written in both vocabulary, sentence structure, and plot? yes. but am I still going to convince you to carry on with the series? ABSOLUTELY

listen, I know this first book is a mess. but the world in which the author crafts in this series is one of the best examples of faerie lore I have read.

it is a series about immortal, power hungry faerie court politics that is told through incredibly flawed characters that go through development both within themselves AND as lovers.

if you want ANGST, if you want DRAMA, if you want 2000s fae that wear leather & listen to punk rock, READ THIS SERIES

Profile Image for Katya.
387 reviews49 followers
March 4, 2008
Maybe it was because I'd just finished reading Holly Black's Valiant and Ironside, two of my favorite books in this genre, but I really did not think very highly of Wicked Lovely. Compared with Black's books, I found this one to be badly paced, full of one-dimensional, undeveloped characters and lacking a lot of detail. Aislinn is rather whiny and unremarkable, with no defining characteristics except for the Sight, so it's hard to see why everyone loves her so much. Her friends are completely flat and expendable, judging by the fact that we don't see them past page 50 or so. Seth is also one-dimensional, a cardboard cutout of a boyfriend whose only purpose is to serve Aislinn. When have you ever seen a boy with a navel ring, anyway? Keenan is also dull, with no personality or characteristics beyond being the driver for the plot, and Beira is possibly the most archetypal, undeveloped villain with no motives other than being evil for evil's sake. Only Donia is somewhat enjoyable. The plot moves too slowly at the beginning, and we are forced to read about Aislinn whining about how faeries are evil for over a hundred pages. Then, suddenly, she changes her mind and decides that she kind of likes bossing people around, and everything is very neatly squared away at the end. The premise was interesting, but nothing was ever properly explained. The plot was full of holes and the detached, one-dimensional characters made it hard to care about getting through the book. Hopefully Marr's next work will be better, because this one was a sore disappointment. Don't be fooled by the pretty cover.
Profile Image for JenacideByBibliophile.
209 reviews126 followers
December 5, 2016
We might as well start out this wondrous review with me being completely honest…I totally picked up this series because of the covers. I mean come on, look at them…they’re GORGEOUS!

I know my mother taught me to never judge a book by its cover, but I think we can all agree that I could be doing worse things than buying a few books just because they look pretty. I’m a sucker for a cover I can get lost in, especially if the genre it falls into is Fantasy. *Sigh*…if only I lived in book world.

Aislinn has had a tough life growing up, mostly because she can see faerie creatures that nobody else can see. Well everyone besides her grandmother and her deceased mother. But the faeries that Aislinn sees on a daily basis aren’t the faeries that we all grew up visualizing, these faeries are terrible and mischievous creatures that love nothing more than to be cruel to each other and to humans. As Aislinn is forced to watch the faeries torment the unsuspecting humans around her, she also has the burden of pretending like she can’t see them at all. The risk of the faeries finding out that Aislinn has “the sight” is too great, and it can only lead to her death. But soon Aislinns’ efforts to stay hidden from the mythical world she sees starts to crumble when Keenan, the faerie Summer King, takes notice in her. For centuries the faeries have been trapped in cold by the Winter Queen, and Keenan has sought out his Summer Queen high and low in order to keep their world from becoming covered in ice. As Keenan makes himself visible to the humans in order to get to Aislinn, the perfectly careful world that Aislinn had created for herself starts to wither. She finds out that Keenan believes that she is the Summer Queen, but Aislinn wants nothing to do with the faeries. Not only is Aislinn afraid to live amongst the creatures she fought so hard to hide from all her life; but Keenan and Donia (the current Winter girl) explain that if the test does not work on Aislinn and she is not the Summer Queen, then she will be engulfed in frost and become the new Winter girl until the next girl comes along. Now Aislinn must decide if she can fight off the pull towards Keenan and resist the faeries, or if this is the path she is supposed to take.

This first installment in the Wicked Lovely Series really drew me in and got me hooked QUICK! I fall in love quickly with YA/Fantasy stories, but sometimes it can be hard to keep me enthralled since I have read so many of them. The author, Melissa Marr, did just that. Her style of writing for Wicked Lovely was amazing and incredibly descriptive. She completely touched my senses and it felt like she was literally drawing the world in my head with her words, it was fantastic! For some reason there aren’t a lot of Fantasy style books that really hit the nail on the descriptive factor for me, which is surprisingly considering what genre it is. I really felt as if I was walking with Aislinn down the street while these faeries were following her and doing terrible things to people around her. I could sympathize with her and understand her fears for these creatures that she tried so hard to ignore.

I think a great thing about this series is that the author decided to make the faeries mischievous and on the border of plain evil, rather than those happy little creatures we see when we think of them. It gave the idea of faeries a completely different outlook and really stretched the mythical plain for me. The dynamics of the characters are also really interesting and a tad out of the box. Aislinn proves to be a strong character right away because she shows the reader how much she has to go through on a daily basis just to look sane to everyone around her. Keenan, the Summer King, seems like a ruthless character with an egotistical problem. I was pleased to see our female lead push him away so many times and fight him off. What makes this story a bit more interesting is the character of Seth. Seth lives in an iron train car on his own, which proves to be very beneficial to Aislinn as an escape because faeries don’t like iron. Seth is a protective character for Aislinn, and a male in her life that she is attracted to but hasn’t made it known. Obviously the whole “love triangle” think starts to come into play, but the author makes a twist of it once the book is over. Trust me, it’s not a regular love triangle, so don’t let it turn you away from this series if that isn’t your sort of thing.

Donia, the Winter girl, is probably my favorite character in this series so far. Each girl that Keenan finds must take the ultimate test to see if she is truly the Summer Queen, if they are not, then the girl is turned into the Winter girl which entails her feeling the pain of the cold and frost unlike the Winter Queen who can control it. Donia is obviously in love with Keenan but cannot be with him because of the cold that runs through her, and because she is not the Summer Queen. Her character portrays a strong female character that can stand equally next to Keenan, and I like her because she doesn’t back down from him even though her love for him hurts her.

Simply put, I am really loving this series so far. I will say that I started book 2 in the series, Ink Exchange, right after I finished Wicked lovely. I am a couple chapters in, but have kind of put it aside while I read other books. Why? Well because Aislinn isn’t narrating the story now, it’s following another character. Call me negative, but I kind of like to keep my series going with the same character telling it. Hopefully I can throw myself back into the story and enjoy it, but we shall see.
Profile Image for Rose.
1,872 reviews1,055 followers
June 19, 2016
Quick review for a quick re-read. I read this book for the first time many years ago, and I remember it being one that stood out not only for its striking cover, but for being a YA urban fantasy title with dark imagery in the presentation of the world of the fey. Yet, even with Melissa Marr's writing being mostly clear cut in the presentation of the world as well as the emotions of the different characters this tale revolved around, I found my re-reading of it having more than a few points of irritation. It may be because I've read more YA urban fantasy titles since this one or buildings of the world of the fey, but I honestly think there were issues with this that didn't translate as well as it could've.

I'll admit I liked the lore surrounding this tale - a cursed prince with his powers bound but yet the girls he chooses in a ritual to determine co-ruling his kingdom and freeing him from the curse leaves them trapped/bound to ice by the Winter staff. The former girls that are trapped are tasked to warn the next young woman against trusting Keenan's motivations (and fair reason, considering). Aislinn is the latest girl to catch Keenan's eye, and she's had the sight for the fey for all of her life.

Aislinn, on the other hand, has been on the run from the fey, trying to pretend they don't exist in order to avoid detection or attention from them. Yet when Keenan sets his sights on her, she's torn between fighting him for the freedom to maintain her life and relationships and keeping to the warnings that her grandmother has given her all her life. Granted, the premise by itself on this level would seem intriguing, but the presentation this story gives it really isn't that strong. I'll admit I struggled through the narrative more than I should've considering the sketch of the plot. It has a dark premise and dark promises in its building of the world and conflict, but much of it feels forced along. I mean, Aislinn is far too quick to break her grandmother's warnings just for the sake of being able to go where she wants, do what she wants, go out with Seth, the goth friend who's sort of become something more but she keeps him firmly in the friend category for *reasons.* I was frustrated by how easily she cast aside the warnings only to end up in obvious danger (though she does refuse Keenan's advances - which I could applaud her for on some measures.)

Keenan is incredibly stalkerish and creepy through the beginning stages of this novel - and I had a hard time liking his character or finding a connection to his motivations in the narrative. I honestly didn't like him very much in my initial read of this book and not much really changed in my re-read. Seth is a bit of a convenient side-character, established to further the romance depicted in the book. One could also say that while the characters are drawn in such a way to further the conflict and lore inside the book, it's so thinly drawn and hard to palpate that the intrigue never measures up as much as it builds itself up to. I even felt the antagonist in this book was very weak for lack of expansion and true connection to the overarching conflict of the work.

The audioboook was well narrated, but even then made me feel like I had to push through it in points. Still, I think what kept me moving through it was the strength of the writing and impression of the realm it builds (alongside a few action sequences that were well drawn to me.)

I'll admit it's hard for me to know how the series will unfold after this book, but all things considered, I want to see if this series has the potential to improve with the new installments. It's a hard sell given the flaws this book had, but I'm in it for the longer haul.

Overall score: 2.5/5 stars.
Profile Image for Nicole.
Author 6 books38 followers
February 13, 2016
Finally! A YA paranormal romance that breaks the pattern! I was very concerned that the dark-haired mortal guy would lose to the light-and-shiny-haired supernatural guy. But he didn't. While the descriptions of Seth’s various piercings made me cringe (sorry, I’m just not into that), he is a wonderful character. Sweet, intelligent, loyal, patient, brave. (Okay, yes, he does have some wild history; but he’s put that aside for Aislinn, so kudos to him!)
Aislinn doesn’t instantly fall for the supernatural guy and tries to hold onto her mortal existence and Seth--yay for her! I would've liked to have seen more about what helped her maintain her sanity for seventeen years when she can see the faery world but must pretend she can’t and has been relentlessly drilled on faery avoidance and shielded by her grandmother. But at least she's a good student, has friends and interests.
Keenan, on the other hand, I didn’t like much. He is very much one of the fey, with the arrogance and sense of entitlement. There’s a bit of a sad, pathetic quality to him at times that kept him from being despicable; I did hope he’d get his act together and change for the better. He’s been playing the same game with his evil Winter Queen superbitch mother for 900 years, and he’s seemingly never tried to figure out any loopholes to unbind his Summer King power. It’s quite horrible how many girls Keenan has gone through in trying to find the one who will be his Summer Queen. Once he’s targeted someone, she loses her mortality whether she’s The One or not. The girls not brave enough to try their luck at becoming Summer Queen become Summer Girls, part of what’s essentially a faery harem; and the girls who do try but fail become the Winter Girl, tortured with cold and charged with trying to convince the next girls Keenan goes after to become Summer Girls. It’s twisted.
Marr has created a faery world that overlaps a Pennsylvania town and is very dark and sinister. Faeries roam in invisible or “glamoured” visible forms and bother mortals; and they also torment and attack each other. Keenan’s pursuit of Aislinn is relentless and disturbing.
But she resists. And gets help from Donia, the current Winter Girl--whom I like very much; she's very sympathetic and tries her best to help Aislinn, Seth, and Keenan. I liked that, in the end, love for Keenan or his love for the girl has nothing to do with who becomes Summer Queen. The bargain that Aislinn strikes is clever and benefits not only herself but others.
BTW--I wouldn't recommend this series for readers under 15 years old.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Briar's Reviews.
1,825 reviews506 followers
April 24, 2022
I severely wanted to read this book when it came out. I stared at this book every time I went into the book store but I never walked out with it. For years, I had hoped I would come across this book on my shopping journeys (because the hunt is half the thrill) but I never did. Finally, this year - time had come. I found the book! I grabbed it, bought it, and decided I would pick it up FINALLY. And, I wasn't disappointed!

This was one of those YA books that I snuggled up with a blanket, a cup of tea, and my cats. I binged the book rather quickly and enjoyed it thoroughly. Add in that this book DOES NOT leave off in a cliffhanger... Yes, Melissa Marr is on my good side. Wicked Lovely was FABULOUS. I am so happy I picked it up and I am screaming from the rooftops for people to give Melissa Marr some love. Fairies, prophecies, love squares AND NO CLIFFHANGERS AT THE END. It's my kind of book.

This book is a little darker than the YA I used to read back in the early 2010s, but it wasn't really all that dark. There are some rougher topics, but it's easily a PG-13 rated book. You know there's drugs and bad people around, but it doesn't linger on those facts for too long. It stays in the realm of mostly lighthearted deviance (since fairies are, ya know, pretty wild).

Aislinn is a fairly relatable character. She has a bit of a rough start in life, but she just wants to be a teenager and hang out with Seth (who may or may not be a good match for her, depending on your viewpoints of him). Seth does seem like quite the nice dude and a good friend to Aislinn. Keenan, fairy king bro, is not all that charming in my opinion, but maybe the YA book crowd will like him. I'm not sold, but hey - that's just my opinion. I did LOVE Donia. She was my favourite character and I will stand proud and say that.

Will I continue reading this series? Maybe. If I'm able to stumble across the books in my journey, sure! But, I'm also severely happy with the ending. I almost don't want to ruin it. Although, I now really want to support Melissa Marr because I loved her writing. Binging a good book and not wanting to stop doesn't always happen with me, and Melissa Marr cracked the code.

Overall, I liked this book! It's a twisted story of fairies who are manipulative and scary, but it also has quite the love story. It's a great read.

Four out of five stars.
Profile Image for Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen.
1,683 reviews597 followers
August 11, 2015
3.5 Need some Summer Stars

Ehhh...it was OK but not a book which captivated me. I enjoyed the different twist to the fantasy but found it very hard to connect with the characters.

I think after this one...I'm gonna quit while I'm ahead. So, I'm not saying that I hated or disliked the book, it's just one that won't stay in my memories for very long.
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