Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lots of congratulations and a review

Many congratulations to all of the wonderful award winners that were announced yesterday. I'm not going to list each and every award winner, as that has been done on multiple blogs, but I will say that I'm very pleased with the Newbery winner (yay Neil Gaimen!!), as well as the Honor Books. The Caldecott was great too, as were the Printz Honor Books. Now we all have to read as much as we can to get prepared for next year!

Now off to the day's review:

Lesley Livingston's Wondrous Strange is another book in string of titles about other worlds. This year we've had plenty of vampires, some faeries, and even a werewolf or two, but the characters in this particular title really is going to stick with the reader. Filled to the brim with fantasy, romance, and faerie royalty, I was very impressed with Livingston's young adult novel.

Wondrous Strange introduces us to Kelly, an aspiring actress that has just been accidentally handed the lead role in an off-off-off Broadway production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. While attempting to rehearse the lines she is constantly forgetting, she meets Sonny Flannery, a strange guy that seems bent on protecting her from some unknown evil he feels is after her. At first, being a native New Yorker and knowing there are some really weird people out there, Kelly does all she can to avoid Sonny, but when she ends up with a magical horse in her bathtub, she feels it's time to listen to what this guy has to say.

As the mystery surrounding Sonny unravels, as to just who (or what) he is and just what that has to do with Kelly, the poor girl's world comes undone. A whole new world, a fairy tale really, complete with faery royalty and lots of scary beings wanting to harm those that only want to do good. Slowly finding out more about her past, Kelly isn't sure whether she is now living in a dream or if she can bear her new reality.

The characters in Wondrous Strange are fantastically memorable. Kelly comes off as a real girl, afraid of Sonny and his world, not sure that she is strong enough to be a part of it, rather than being all accepting and fine with her changing like (ahem...Bella). I think the descriptions were also pretty amazing, though at times a lot of fantasy words and people were jammed onto one page and it could get a bit confusing. An interesting confusing though!

This is another great selection for fans of Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely or the Stephanie Meyer books. The cover is really pretty too....overall and enjoyable selection.

Wondrous Strange
Lesley Livingston
Young Adult
December 2008

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