by Melissa Marr
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Pub. Date: April 2008
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Faery
Synopsis from bn.com:
Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in 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.
Faerie intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning 21st century faery tale.
Yes! This is everything I want from a teenage romance. Aislinn is a strong female protagonist, but stills shows weakness at the appropriate moments. There is a good balance between relying on herself and relying on others. She has the right reasons for falling in love; love is not treated flippantly in this book. I really appreciate the more adult and realistic take on love and falling in love. The Twilight version of love is fun, but this time-tested version is so much more realistic.
This was a relativley quick read, mainly because I couldn't put it down and not because the writing was simplistic or at a lower reading level. There were actually several times I had to double check the meanings of words. I really liked that about this book, it is very "genrey" book, but it doesn't sacrifice its writing style (or intelligence level).
Here's a passage from the beginning of the book, one of the first descriptions of the faerys only Aislinn can see:
A doe-eyed faery eased across the room; bone-thin with too many joints, she was vulgar and gorgeous all at once. Her eyes were far too large for her face, giving her a startled look. Combined with an emaciated body, those eyes made her seem vulnerable, innocent. She wasn't.I love this description because it is specific enough to give the reader a clear picture of the faery's face and body shape, but leaves room for the reader's imagination to fill in the rest. Marr's descriptions of the main characters are much more fleshed-out, but this is a good example of how she begins to create the invisible faery world that only Aislinn can see.
None of them are.
Side note: I love that the faery men discussed the "modern" ways of mortal women and how best to woo them. That cracked me up.
The ending was definitely satisfying, but of course, left enough open for the next book Ink Exchange, which is waiting impatiently by my beside for me to pick it up and read it.
Recommendation: This book is a must read for fans of teen romance, teen fantasy, or those interested in faery mythology. (The epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter had me wondering if it was possible to check out the books on faerys from the 1800s from my local library.) 5 out of 5