Any and all thoughts on this blog are my personal opinions and do not reflect the opinions of any group or company of which I may be affiliated, including but not limited to schools and companies.
books, blabberings, and a life semi-common
I’m not a professional reviewer. Hell, I’m not even a consistent amateur reviewer. I tend to forget things so I have a bunch of posts that review a book or a performance or whatever and then it just sits there.
Not this one though.
The thing is… It’s hard to find a series in the Young Adult genre that manages to encompass everything a YA series should have. Of course there are the “big” well-known series but there are so many things that annoy me in them that I can’t label them in any way. My issue really lies within the consistency in a series and how well everything comes together from start to finish.
And that is why I think people should read the WICKED LOVELY series by Melissa Marr.
I won’t get into the nitty-gritty here. I’m not an editor; I don’t see things the way they do. And trust me, I know they see things differently. I don’t even know if what I have to say will help anyone decide whether or not to read these books but it’s one of the best series I’ve read.
WICKED LOVELY – the first that holds the name of the series – came out in June 2007. I remember someone from the Children’s department handing it to me and saying, “You should read this. I think you’ll like it and the 2nd one should be out soon.” I read the description and thought, Yes, yes I think I will like this. And so began my journey into this brilliant world where humans are imperfect, realistic humans and faeries aren’t always the cute, tiny little things you see floating around one’s head. I should mention that I’ve been fascinated by faeries since I was a child so, yes, I may be a little biased. They only words I can think of to describe this book is wickedly innovative and insanely breathtaking.
Look, I warned you that I wasn’t a professional reviewer. I can’t come up with flow-y words. I just say what I think.
There are characters I loved, characters I disliked, characters that annoyed me, and characters that made me go, “Damn. I wish I was a faerie.” Basically, there are characters – note the plural and remember that a character in a book should actually have… wait for it… wait for it… character. I know, sometimes with the books out there, it’s hard to remember that. With a number of characters (I’m going to hate this word by the end of this post) at the forefront of the story – Aislinn, Keenan, Donia, Seth – I almost expected it to be confusing and just too much. Their stories, however, are so intricately bound together, that it all works.
The writing is almost poetic, full of description, and just begs to be devoured.
And then the next book in the series – INK EXCHANGE – came out and I sort of forgot about it. The ones that followed – FRAGILE ETERNITY and RADIANT SHADOWS – also came out and all four of them sort of just sat on one of my shelves. They hung out by the UK box set of HARRY POTTER so they were in good company but I didn’t actually read them fully (I may or may not have skimmed through Book 2 & 3, don’t judge) until the ARE for DARKEST MERCY came in.
It was DONE. I could read them all and either be very content or full of rage (I’ll let you all guess which other series made me swoon and which made me rage). Those who know me will understand my excitement over having all five books in my possession. See, I hate waiting. I’m one of the most impatient readers ever.
And this is what I’ll say – This series is pure magic. There are twists and turns and worlds that blend into the one we all know as humans. The emotions are rich and relating to these characters are so easy. Each of them has something that speaks to the reader. I wanted to choose a character I related to the most but it’s impossible; I sometimes choose to do what is right for me even if it may hurt another like Keenan, I sometimes can’t choose something at all because I don’t know what to do like Aislinn. Sometimes, I know exactly what I want and I’ll go for it even if it hurts me like Donia and sometimes I’ll stay away because I know it’s the right thing to do like Seth. Sometimes, I want to do what’s right for the greater good like Sorcha and other times, I want to shake things up and see what happens like Bananach. The thing is, these are characters that could exist in the real world. They’re all characters that can merge and pull at each other in a person’s mind.
There’s also no boredom to be had and part of it, I believe, is due to the different worlds and/or realms Marr has us visit over the course of the five books. It’s so easy to get lost in the stories and characters and, to be honest, part of me never wanted to leave. Are they all up to par with each other? I personally don’t think so but that’s also because I felt a kinship of sorts to certain characters and lamented when their stories were not at the forefront of the plot.
That’s not to say there are parts that are boring or bad. No. Everything is told for a reason and everything is explained. What? No questions that need to be answered at the end of the series? Well, I didn’t have any and the fifth book is such a brilliant display of what was so important in the first four – the choices that need to be made, the sacrifices that must sometimes happen for a better life, and the love that must be believed in order to be true.
Read this series. It will astound and captivate you and, at the end, you won’t have to wish for more because it’s actually perfect the way it is.