Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wondrous Strange (Wondrous Strange, #1)” as Want to Read:
Wondrous Strange (Wondrous Strange, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Wondrous Strange

(Wondrous Strange #1)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  20,790 ratings  ·  1,502 reviews

Since the dawn of time, the Faerie have taken. . . .

Seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow always thought faeries were just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery. He's a changeling—a mortal taken as an infant and raised among Faerie—and within short order he's turned Kelley's heart inside out and her life upside down.

For Kelley's beloved Centra

Kindle Edition, 338 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by HarperTeen (first published December 23rd 2008)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Wondrous Strange, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
jecama It honestly could go either way. Personally, I loved this book (five star rating) and my average rating for most books is about 3.2 stars. But then ag…moreIt honestly could go either way. Personally, I loved this book (five star rating) and my average rating for most books is about 3.2 stars. But then again, I read this trilogy when I was in 7th or 8th grade, so obviously, my tastes have changed. For a paranormal romance, it is a little simple, but I still love the characters! Instead of buying it, you could try to pick it up at a library to see how it goes?(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  20,790 ratings  ·  1,502 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Wondrous Strange (Wondrous Strange, #1)
Sep 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, own-arc
I think I’ve written and then rewritten this review about a hundred times now! And I know it’s going to come across one way, and that’s just how it’s going to have to be, because I simply cannot write it any other way. So here is goes... fangirly-ness and all. I hope you last through it.

I loved it, I LOVED it. I love it so much I want to marry it. If you are a fan of faerie books, you’ll want to read this one. If you’ve tried faerie books before, but didn’t like them, you’ll want to read this. I
Marcy Jo
Jan 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wondrous Strange is one of those gems that I stumbled across completely by accident. I was in the book store looking to grab the second book in the BIFN series and of course I had to spend some time browsing while I was there. The cover of this book (gorgeous yes?) caught my attention, as did the title. Both of them put me in mind of "Wicked Lovely."

It was too much to resist. Without even reading the inside flap, I grabbed the book and headed to the register. This was a fortuitous happening.

Nenia ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

I didn't post any status updates for this - stealth review!!!

When you're as busy as I am, you want to have a book on you at all times. At any given moment, I have one to two books in my purse, even if I'm just going to the hair salon. You never know when you might be kept waiting! WONDROUS STRANGE was my most recent book purse and I finished it in just two days.

I was a bit hesitant about starting this book. It came out in 2009, at the st
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Unreadably bad.

If I found a fairy horse in my bathtub, I'd call animal control. Come on, you're mature enough to move to NYC on your own and make a living as an actress but you don't know how to call the police?

It probably didn't help the book that the main love interest's name is Sonny, and when I think of Sonny, I think of an annoying, chubby little boy in 4th grade who annoyed the f*** out of me.
I see that most people seem to have really liked this book, but it really rubbed me the wrong way. It felt very flat and predictable. I would have liked to have had a sense that there was real danger at hand, but the writing lacked the necessary tension to pull off the New York City apocalypse scenario. (See: The City's End Two Centuries of Fantasies, Fears, and Premonitions of New York's Destruction) I generally really enjoy books like this, but it just didn't draw me in. I love the cover art, ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by The Story Siren for

I loved it, I LOVED it. I love it so much I want to marry it. If you are a fan of faerie books, you'll want to read this one. If you've tried faerie books before, but didn't like them, you'll want to read this. If you aren't a fan of faerie books, you'll still want to read it. It's that good.

Incredible characters, incredible writing, incredible plot. It was really just so fantastic, it's hard to find the words to describe it. I never in a million
Alethea A
Dec 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: faerie-lovers, romantics, and wannabe princesses everywhere
Recommended to Alethea by: the book cover faerie!
Always choose a book by its cover... ahem.

First, a disclaimer! I liked this book. Despite what I am about to say next.

Definitely better written and far less angsty than Wicked Lovely, somewhat lacking in the descriptive area (esp. in comparison to the Marillier I just read--Wildwood Dancing) but the story ties up nicely and the characters are amusing. It was more humorous than I expected, which was good. It was less dramatic than I expected, which was not so good. (I know, ambiguous, huh? I exp
Actual Rating: 1 star. I did not like this book.

The story is meh.
The characters are dum, it is appalling how stupid Sunny is. This is another case of TSTL characters.
No, thank you.
*Slight spoilers*

I write this review as I stare at my Pretty Pretty Princess board game.


Because this book makes me wish I was a ginger fairy princess myself, so that I could take Kelley's place and think rationally rather than try to save a half-ton horse, especially when it's a kelpie and trying to kill me so it can eat me. Or try to prevent hypothermia by taking the hottest shower ever. THAT'LL help me...

I got to page 80 something, and I just couldn't kid myself, I was bored out of my fuck
Colleen Houck
I'm a huge Shakespeare fan so I loved all the references. Also really liked Bob and the kelpie horse. There's a great twist you won't see coming. If you're in the mood for fairies, give this one a try. ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
At seventeen, Kelley Winslow has finished school and moved to New York to pursue a career on the stage. Being promoted to understudy for Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream is a dream come true; when the actress playing Titania has to pull out and Kelley is given the role, it's so much, so suddenly, she's terrified and messes up all her lines. She finds a quiet spot in Central Park to practice, and it's there that she meets Sonny Flannery.

Sonny is a stolen child in Auberon's Fae realm, now serv
Amelia, free market Puritan
Wondrous Strange to me offered a very clever, very interesting amount of mythology and folklore to explain the faerie world. This is particularly interesting because the entire story takes place in New York City - the "Otherworld," as it is known, is only referenced.
There's something in particular that I found really neat: So often in faerie fiction, you hear the same things over and over: Seelie/Unseelie, Winter & Summer Courts. Well, those concepts are all here, but Livingston brings more to t
Apr 18, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 25, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
this book was hilarious but in a bad way. intrigued me because it was a modern take on shakespeare's a midsummer night's dream but it was so poorly written and executed that it had me laughing at it's sheer stupidity. ashamed to say i finished it. dialogue could've been written by a 12 year old. ...more
Anne Osterlund
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kelley is an actress. Well, actually more of an understudy/glorified stagehand, but when the person playing the faerie queen breaks an ankle it’s . . . show time! Or more accurately time for Kelley to forget half her lines and stomp off to Central Park for some serious rehearsal AKA self-reproachment.

Which results in . . .
A. Kelley receiving a rose from “the mysterious good-looking guy” (whose real name is Sonny, and who is actually a changeling human in charge of guarding the gate to faerie and
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a Shakespeare lover would help with this book. That's not really me. I mean, I like Midsummer Night's Dream, but actors, especially theater people who do Shakespeare are annoying as hell. I was born and raised in L.A., every other person I knew in my twenties was an actor. Most of them are fine, unless they are in character, but this brand, the Renaissance festival folks...ugh!

My next gripe is the love interest guy's first name is Sonny. Really? My dog's name is Sunny - a big yellow lab. I
Mike (the Paladin)
The rating is a gift, I know it's a book certain people will really enjoy. I didn't finish it. I didn't care for the way it was written, the tone nor the way the story was laid out. I suppose it might be that I'm just too old, too male, and too well read.

Please enjoy this if it's your cup of tea...or fairy wine. It's not mine. I have a long to be read list and I really wasn't enjoying this, so please my "friends" who have enjoyed this series, don't hold it against me...I just didn't care for it
Kimberly Derting
I got this one for Christmas...YAY!!!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The UHQ Nasanta
It had such promise, and it disappointed.

The premise intrigued, but the writing was flat and immature. The characters were two dimensional, not well developed, and did not grow. Questions were left unanswered, certain plot developments were glossed over, and there was a serious lack of character introspection, which would have given the book more depth.

The romance was poorly written. It seemed as if one moment they are somewhat friendly strangers, and the next in love. It also suffered from a
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
WONDROUS STRANGE is one of those books you read on a crisp fall day--and seeing as fall has already fallen here in Deutschland, it was the perfect story to fill my YA/paranormal/fantasy cravings.

I loved Kelley's character. She's spunky, funny, and strong--things I always look for in a heroine. The way the Shakespeare elements were woven in with the Faerie elements was fantastic. I mean, *spoiler!!* having Puck actually be Puck? Genius!

And oooooh, I loved the Queen Mabh element. Just imagining he
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Midsummers Night Dream and The Fae so I absolutely loved this book!
Reading Sarah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erica (storybookend)
Wow. This book was really good. Lesley did an incredible job at creating a magical fay story based on a Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was fantastic. The writing was beautifully done- it pulled me in from the beginning. I had a hard time putting the book down.

The characters were amazing. Kelley was perfect. I loved that she would not believe Sonny about what he was trying to tell her. She would have none of it, convinced that Sonny was stalking her, which any woman in her right mind would think abo
Jan 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
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
Jan 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes fairytales, romance, and the paranormal
Recommended to Alexandria by: I stumbled across it in Barnes N Noble
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
No bueno.
I really didn't like this book. I went into it thinking this was actually going to be enjoyable BUT I'm not sure where it went wrong. It took such a long time for the story to actually get going that I trailed off a bit. Kelley was such an inconsistent character. She had attitude but then was incredibly insecure. She tried to be a badass but failed miserably. I didn't like her. I didn't like any of these characters. Even the idea that she was stolen because Sonny was stolen was this we
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Wondrous Strange. The main character Kelly was brave and spunky, but not so much so that she lost her femininity. It was romantic without being over the top and it had an element of innocence to it that I loved. There was also humor in there that was a nice surprise. As soon as she found the horse in her bathroom I was hooked. I also loved how A Midsummer Night’s Dream was woven into the plot.
*3.5 stars*

Not quite sure how to rate this book. On the one hand it’s better than some of the young adult fantasies that I gave three stars to, but it’s not as good as some of the books I gave four stars. It’s a cute book, a good light read…a simple story not too overcomplicated with crazy situations, the focus is more on character development. In that way it reminds me of the old L.J. Smith novels.

There is the Shakespeare connection here as well. Besides the obvious connection, that being Kell
When I received this to review, I thought, ah yes, yet another teenage girl finds out she is a faerie princess and must come to terms with this other life in addition to defeating someone who Knows The Truth and is Out To Get Her. With all the teenage girls discovering their hidden faerie roots, it's a surprise that there are any normal girls left. (They're all off becoming vampires, probably.) Even more of a surprise, I ended up really liking this book. Kelley is attempting to make her stage ca ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Need (Need, #1)
  • Glimmerglass (Faeriewalker, #1)
  • Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely, #1)
  • The Telling
  • Immortal (Immortal, #1)
  • Eyes Like Stars (Théâtre Illuminata, #1)
  • Endure (Need, #4)
  • Beautiful Creatures : The Official Illustrated Movie Companion
  • Shadowspell (Faeriewalker, #2)
  • Switched (My Sister the Vampire, #1)
  • Wings (Wings, #1)
  • Ink Exchange (Wicked Lovely, #2)
  • Hush: An Irish Princess' Tale
  • Devour (Devoured, #1)
  • The Dark Divine (The Dark Divine, #1)
  • La hija del Apocalipsis
  • The Realm of You
  • La Zona
See similar books…

Other books in the series

Wondrous Strange (3 books)
  • Darklight (Wondrous Strange, #2)
  • Tempestuous (Wondrous Strange, #3)

News & Interviews

Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
59 likes · 9 comments
“Kelley. Your name is Kelley, isn't it?" He didn't wait for her confirmation. "Yes. Well. Tell me...that bit just now...was that from Dante's Inferno?"," Kelley stammered. Her face felt hot.
I'm in for it.
Are you sure?" he continued. "Because it most certainly wasn't from this play. And it bloody well sounded like hell.”
“Believe me, Kelley. If I’m not…it’s because I’m already dead.” He stroked her hair, and she could feel his breath warm on her forehead, like a kiss. “Because anyone that would seek to hurt you would have to kill me first.” 54 likes
More quotes…