Title: Wondrous Strange
Author: Lesley Livingston
Published: September 9th 2009 by HarperCollins Canada / Other
Synopsis: For seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow, faeries are just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery, whose steel-gray eyes mask an equally steely determination to protect her.
Sonny guards the Samhain Gate, which connects the mortal realm with the Faerie's enchanted, dangerous Otherworld. Usually kept shut by order of icy King Auberon, the Gate stands open but once a year.
This year, as the time approaches when the Samhain Gate will swing wide and nightmarish Fae will fight their way into an unsuspecting human world, something different is happening . . . something wondrous and strange. And Kelley's eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her but to the heritage that awaits her.
Now Kelley must navigate deadly Faerie treachery—and her growing feelings for Sonny—in this dazzling page-turner filled with luminous romance.
Wondrous Strange is a richly layered tale of love between faerie and mortal, betrayal between kings and queens, and magic . . . between author and reader.
Thoughts: I actually read this a while back, recently picked it up and reread it. I forgot how beautifully well-crafted this story is. Lesley Livingston created this world that's not only enchanting, but also filled with love, danger and, of course, faerie games.
The book is centered around Kelley and Sonny. Through alternating points of view, each character shows you what it's like to be "something special." Kelley is a teenage girl who moved to New York to become an actress. She gets her first big break when she's casts as Titania in A Midsummer's Nights Dream. Then, she meets Sonny, who is anything but normal.
Sonny is a warrior for King Auberon, the Winter Faerie King. Every year, around Halloween, the gates between the Faerie world and the human world opens. The fey will try to sneak into the human world, and Sonny must make sure this doesn't happen. Being a warrior for King Auberon has it's perks. Sonny can sense every living thing around him, and that's how he first meets Kelley. She's a firecracker among sparks.
Slowly, both Sonny and Kelley not only begin sharing their worlds with one another, but also begin to discover the truth behind some, for lack of a better phrase, faerie tales. They both will find out who the other really is, and who they themselves are meant to be. And boy howdy, is it a glorious ride!
One thing I love about this book are the interactions between Sonny and Kelley. It isn't insta-love. You actually get to watch their relationship build, and I can't tell you how much I loved it. Though you can tell they're physically attracted to each other in the beginning, you still get the bits of drama, hatred, fear, and sizzling heat that comes along with passion.
Another thing I love about this book is how the author weaves in bits and pieces of A Midsummer Nights Dream. The references aren't overwhelming, nor lacking. It's just the right amount.
Last, but certainly not least, my favorite (and hopefully your favorite) category: swoon-worthy male. You know if I love a book, there has to be a swoon-worthy boy, and, in this case, his name is Sonny. He's sweet, fearless, loyal, and just all around amazing. I'm so grateful half the story is told through him. He has a great voice, and it needed to be heard.
Wondrous Strange does end on a bit of a cliffhanger, and while it's annoying (because cliffhangers always are), the story still wraps up quite nicely. After reading Wondrous Strange, I couldn't wait to read Darklight. I recommend Wondrous Strange to anyone who is a fan of Wicked Lovely or Eyes Like Stars.