Wondrous Strange Book Cover
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
Harpercollins Publishers
September 2009
Wondrous Strange series (1/3)
Seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow thinks that playing the role of the fairy queen Titiana in a production of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream could be her lucky break - if she can pull it off. But when she meets the handsome Sonny Flannery, Kelley has to face the shocking truth that the world of Faeries is all too real - and that she an unwitting part of it.
Adapted from : GoodReads

I’m going to be honest. I only picked up this book because of the cover. When I read the back description, I wasn’t enthused. As I started the first few pages of the book, I wasn’t convinced.

An hour later, I missed my subway stop because I was so into it. The general premise of the story (and series) is that William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream isn’t fiction at all, and Faeries are very much alive and well in an almost parallel world accessible only through 4 gates, 3 of which have been locked and one of which is guarded. The story revolves around Kelley, an aspiring actress living in New York City and Sonny, a human changeling (read: human baby stolen by Faeries).

Though I clearly enjoyed the book enough to completely lose track of my surroundings (and in the process get laughed at by a man on the subway), there are still parts of the story that bothered me.

The biggest thing was that often, characters did not pick up on cues that seemed painfully obvious. In day to day life, these things would have elicited a follow up question, at the very least. I get that it makes sense for plot purposes to drag big reveals out a little, but it made certain characters seem pretty oblivious. Also, (SPOILER): if Tyff is a faerie, wouldn’t she realize what Lucky is from the get go? You’d think she’d at the very least sense the magic or something.


Speaking of characters, there were quite a number in this book, though the story really only focuses on a handful. Kelley does a pretty good job of filling the shoes of a strong female character. She doesn’t take orders from anyone, and is quick to think on her feet. My only complaint would be that what she chose to believe and not believe seemed a little arbitrary at times. I will however overlook this in exchange for more of her sassy moments. They are pretty fantastic and I really hope there are more in future books.

For all my nit picking, I really enjoyed this first book in Livingston’s series, and have already purchased book 2 and 3 to continue with, so keep an eye out for my thoughts on those sooooon.

Closing Notes

Fun fact, I realized after reading the first book that Livingstone is from my lovely city of Toronto. Always happy to see good content coming from Canadian authors!