Wondrous Strange by Lesley LivingstonWondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Wondrous Strange

byLesley Livingston

Paperback | January 20, 2009

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about

Kelley Winslow is living her dream. Seventeen years old, she has moved to New York City and started to work with a theatre company. Sure, she’s only an understudy for the Avalon Players, a third-tier repertory company so far off- Broadway it might as well be in Hoboken, but things are looking up—the lead has broken her ankle and Kelley’s about to step into the role of Titania the Faerie Queen in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Faeries are far more real than Kelley thinks, though, and a chance encounter in Central Park with a handsome young man named Sonny Flannery plunges her into an adventure she could never have imagined.
    Sonny is a Janus Guard, charged by Auberon, the King of Winter, with watching over the gate into the land of Faerie, which lies within Central Park. For Sonny, the pretty, young actress is an enigma. Strong and willful, she sparks against his senses like a firecracker, and he can’t get her out of his mind. As Hallowe’en approaches and the Samhain Gate opens, Sonny and Kelley find themselves drawn to each other—and into a terrible plot that could spell disaster for both New York and Faerie alike.
    Canadian author Lesley Livingston explodes onto the stage of teen fantasy with a debut novel—the first in a planned trilogy—that puts a fresh new spin on classic faerie lore. Wondrous Strange blends a gripping plot with fully believable characters, fascinating ideas and just the right amount of romance to create a story that is vivid, thrilling and engaging. Readers of Herbie Brennan, Holly Black and Melissa Marr will find a new favourite in Lesley Livingston.

Lesley Livingston is a writer and actress living in Toronto. She has a master's degree in English from the University of Toronto, where she specialized in Arthurian literature and Shakespeare. She is the author ofWondrous strange, which won the Canadian Librarian Association Young Adult Book Award in addition to being a White Pine Hono...
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Title:Wondrous StrangeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8.75 × 6.35 × 1 inPublished:January 20, 2009Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1554682738

ISBN - 13:9781554682737

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from If you love stories about Faeries , this one is for you An intriguing series that are dealing with the fae. It grabs your attention from the first book and keeps you hooked throughout the series. One to have in your collection
Date published: 2018-08-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The first of a trilogy I would have preferred if it wasn't a trilogy. The description of the fantasy world and the creatures were nice. I liked the lead up to the romantic relationship of the main characters but felt the actual relationship wasn't that great.
Date published: 2018-04-03
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Just no I hate writing bad reviews because I know how much work the author put into writing but I did not enjoy this book. There was no development in the characters and the plots were dumb. I really like combining worlds but this book had too much happening to not make it interesting, but more ridiculously dumb.
Date published: 2018-02-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Bad Pretty bad. Thin characterizations, thin relationships, thin plot all of it thin and made thinner by being stretched into a trilogy.
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Bad Pretty bad. Thin characterizations, thin relationships, thin plot all of it thin and made thinner by being stretched into a trilogy.
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I loved Wondrous Strange! I had my doubts when I started reading it because I'm not into faeries that much but this book was a big surprise for me. Faeries are a little too creepy for me but this book managed to keep all those aspects and facts about faeries without the creepiness. Wondrous Stange is told both by Kelley-a 17-year old actress, and Sonny-a guard of the Gate which connects the mortal world and faerie world. I loved those two! They had such a connection and they were both down to earth. And Sonny.... he was so kick-ass and so into Kelley from the first moment even though he wouldn't admit it. And I loved LOVED that scene where the two of them were reading from Kelley's script. The writing was also fantastic, it flowed so nicely that I didn't want to stop reading. The plot is original and you can see that Lesley has a strong connection with theatre and I loved all those theatre-related scenes. There are references of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream play that I found interesting and let me tell you that you don't have to know Shakespeare's play to understand this book. Although it may make you want to read it. All of the characters were fantastic even the minor ones, and I loved how Kelley didn't believe Sonny right away about the faeries. She actually laughs at his face, something you don't see often. This book is perfect for those who don't like faeries because this one is so different from all the other faerie books and so good it'll make you want to know more about them.
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wondrous Strange A nice and relaxing read.Great for fairy realm lovers.
Date published: 2016-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely fantastic! Normally I shy away from books about faeries. They’re the least favorite of the paranormal beings that I like to read about. I’m not sure why but I’m just not interested in them. Yet when I finished Wondrous Strange, suddenly my interest in faeries has skyrocketed all because of this single book. What can I say, except that I absolutely LOVED this book. Everything about it was so fantastic! I loved the characters, the whole story, and the references to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It might help if the reader is familiar with the play in the first place, but a simple read through in wikipedia might help to those not wanting to read any Shakespeare. I’d have to say Kelley is a wonderful character to read. She might seem meek and mild in the beginning but when Sonny comes around to annoy her Kelley gets all riled up and shows her angry side. It was absolutely fun to read, she does have a certain spark and some chemistry between herself and Sonny. I like them both as characters. I also liked Auberon. Yes, he wasn’t the most nicest person and was a backstabbing bastage, but there was an aura of suave and calm collected coolness that just emanated from him whenever he came around. You just couldn’t help but feel some sort of attraction to him despite his aloof behavior. One can also not forget Lucky, even though it was a horse, it was still a wonderful silent sidekick. Bob was also unforgettable, who even though he was mischievous, he was an excellent supporting character too. The story is also a great read, I liked the idea of Sonny and his gang being tasked with protecting the gate so the Otherworld faeries don’t come in to create mischief or run amok. When things do run amok, the descriptions of what was happening, of bad trickster faeries creating chaos all over the city was just an eye opening read. I just had to keep going I could not stop reading unless I absolutely had to. There were plenty of twists and turns throughout the novel and it provides for much of the excitement. Overall it provided some real interesting and fun reading. I am definitely grabbing the second book of this series! I can’t want to see what happens! there’s so much Kelley has to look forward to (and has a lot to learn!) I’m so glad I picked this book up. I give it full credit for getting me back into the world of faeries and fully enjoying it. I definitely recommend this to other YA readers and those that love anything to do with faeries and A Midsummer Night’s Dream!
Date published: 2011-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I absolutely ADORED this book! At first, I was a little leary before starting this trilogy but I was impressed... VERY MUCH! I loved how the story has unfolded (thus far). I vaguely remembered A Midsummer Night's Dream from highschool English lit (as I never really "got" Shakespeare)... but Wondrous Strange in particular is not so much about Shakespeare's tale -- so you don't have to know it to appreciate this story. I LOVED the main character/heroine... Kelley Winslow. She's a 17 year old feisty and passionate girl. She's not a weak character at all compared to heroines in some other stories. She's an understudy, and soon promoted to the lead role of Titania in an off-off Broadway production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Through a series of events... she eventually learns that her life should have been quite different. She was stolen as a baby from the faerie world and raised human. She is the daughter of two powerful faerie rulers, King Auberon of the winter court and Queen Mabh of the autumn court. What's interesting, and at times fun, is watching her journey of acceptance of this life. And Sonny... oh my dear Sonny... I don't know what else to say... except I have a HUGE crush on him!! Any girl would be so lucky to have someone like Sonny watching over her (although Kelley, at first, thought he was stalking her). He is so very charming in an old-fashioned sort of way. And it's funny that he, being born human (so we think), and raised in the faerie relm, is the complete opposite to Kelley. Fate had a lot in store for these two... and none of it seems to be coincidental. The romance between them develops slowly... but that is good... as it makes it more believable and relatable. It's a slow, simmering, growing love that started to finally bubble towards the end of the book -- leaving you rooting for them in the next book. All the secondary characters are awesome... ones that stuck out for me were Bob, Herne, Tyff, Maddox, Gentleman Jack and Lucky (yes... Lucky is the horse -- who wouldn't want a horse comfortably living in their bathtub??!) What an ending! I LOVE how book one wrapped up... it tied up the main plot of this book nicely... even though Kelley and Sonny are not technically *together* at the end... it still ends with hope for a very promising future for them, and paves the way for the next installment, Darklight. Lesley Livingston is my favourite Canadian author!
Date published: 2011-02-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great I've often seen this book in the bookstore and never thought to buy it. After meeting Lesley Livingston I decided to give it a try. It is well thought out and wonderfully intertwines the world of fantasy into the real world. The story revolves around Central Park and really captures its beauty and magic. The main characters are a bit invulnerable though, making it a four star read. A good summer read.
Date published: 2010-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Phenomenal! This book just kept my eyes glued to the page. I could not put it down. If you are fond of fairie books I say get up and go to the nearest bookstore and buy this book. You will be craving for more, and luckily there is in fact a sequel. Enjoy.
Date published: 2010-09-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from just ok This is another modern fairy story that takes some of the characters from Midsummer's Night Dream (like The Iron King/Daughter series). I found myself skipping through pages and didn't find the story that interesting. It wasn't bad but I didn't think it was great.
Date published: 2010-07-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Must Read Loved it!! Wondrous Strange what a book. I adore the book cover, it's actually the reason I stopped to check the book out. This book had a slow start it took me a while to get into the book, but once you do brace yourself. This book's transition between character was great, usually with other books I find myself wondering whose current POV it is. Characters, they all have their own unique personality and are easy to like even the evil ones. The only slow part of the book is the beginning once you pass around chapter three it's when you will not be able to put it down. The story is based on Sonny and Kelley's POV (Point Of View). Another thing I need to add is the way Ms. Livingston describes characters is good, I now have a crush on Sonny. This book had some funny moments and there was one page I swear I shed a tear (but only one lol) there was no time for more had to go on with the book. I like how Ms. Livingston added parts of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream like how bob speaks sometimes. I like the whole Janus guard background story *SPOILER* ................... *SPOILER* how they were stolen from their parents!! *SPOILER COMPLETE sorry!!* Expect the unexpected, this book will take you places you have never expected to go!! I adored this book, and I doubted that I would like books about Faeries!! But I am so Team Fae, and Team Sonny!!! "New York may seem big but, in Wondrous Strange nothing is what it seams!!"
Date published: 2010-03-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Ugh. I like faerie books, I really do. And I've read a few of them and LOVED them. Ever since reading Tithe by Holly Black (which I totally recommend), I learned that faeries kick butt and to not give up on a book that may start off slow. This what I went into reading Wondrous Strange thinking. I started it. Wanted to put it down. Laughed at the ridiculousness of the story. Thought about putting it down again. laughed some more. Read Bleach- this awesome manga- and went back to WS. I finished the book, laughing at myself. I tried. I really did. I wanted to like WS. I really did. But I just didn't. I found it almost painful. There was too much packed into one short book. If there is that much you want to tell, put into a series, don't try to condense it into one short book! At least that's what I think. While reading, I found myself thinking, hey, haven't I read this before? It was all too repetitive. I didn't like it. In my opinion, it was just not good. If you want to read a well written faerie series, check out the Wicked Lovely books by Melissa Marr or Tithe/ Ironside or Valiant by Holly Black. (While I'm on the subject, does WS not seem shockingly similar to Wicked Lovely? The story of the girl having a relationship with a faerie, turning into one, ruling the courts... even the title sounds the same. Whatever, that's just what I think.) Anyway, please, don't read this.
Date published: 2010-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ethereal Lesley Livingston has done an astounding job at mixing fantasy and real life. Her book takes you into the world of fairies and Shakespeare, but keeps you firmly planted in reality. The romance is subtle and does not overshadow the adventure and the suspense. The second book comes out soon and I can't wait! She's a wonderful example of homegrown talent!
Date published: 2009-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Novel Hovel Says, 'Fantastic and from a Canadian Author to boot' Kelley Winslow is a seventeen year old actress who is living her dream in New York City. That is of course, if her dream was being the understudy for a third tier stage company. When the lead actress breaks her ankle Kelley is promoted to playing the fairy queen Titania in the production of a Midsummer Night's Dream. She thinks this could be her lucky break. Kelley soon learns that Faeries are more then mythical, they are real and when she meets the handsome and mysterious Sonny Flannery, she finds out just how real they are. Sonny is a guard of the Samhain Gate, the doorway between the mortal and Faerie's otherworld. The gates slowly open the 9 days up until Halloween, when the human world is exposed to an onslaught of destructive faerie creatures. Sonny is instantly drawn to Kelley as she appears like a firecracker to his senses. Sonny learns that Kelly is no mere mortal and with this secret they are plunged into a dangerous plot that Kelley must stop to save New York city and Faerie kind alike. This book has been sitting on my shelf for like 4 months and I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet. I loved this book. I was never a huge fan of faerie books but I just found myself drawn into this one. I think because most Faerie books are unrealistic I can’t find a connection. Lesley Livingston writes a story with spellbinding writing and incredible plot and characters but it’s somehow still believable. Oh and might I mention she’s Canadian! *little squee*. The novel is just genuinely original. I was intrigued by every character not just the main ones. Kelley is able to be vulnerable but strong at the same time. She is completely defensive to Sonny at the start laughing at him when he talks to her about Faeries and always going for the mace haha. And Sonny *fans herself* is just a strong adult character but still young and almost vulnerable too and able to kick some major angry faerie butt. Even the minor characters are intriguing and memorable. This novel just kept me guessing. I was never really able to anticipate what was going to happen next. And best yet, there is barely a cliff-hanger at the end… enough to keep you guessing but not like Crap! Now I have to wait a year for the next one to come out. Not that I am not eagerly awaiting the release of Darklight to come out in Dec. 2009 because I am! Pick up a copy of this book if you haven’t read it already…. You gotsta! http://thenovelhovel.blogspot.com/
Date published: 2009-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A magnificent read Not being a fan of the "fairies and elves" type of fantasy story (my tastes tend more toward the likes of Robert E. Howard), I was unsure whether or not I would enjoy this book , but Livingston's charming and deceptively easygoing style quickly won me over. Striking a perfect balance of sweeping romance (for the girls) and pulse-pounding action (for the boys) played against an imaginative landscape both familiar and fantastical, she constructs a constantly compelling page-turner of a tale that builds to an unforgettable climax. Literate, clever and above all else, fun. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2009-08-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good, Not Great (*I would give this a 3.5*) I haven't read too many faerie books so far, but all the ones I have read I have liked. Therefore, I decided to try Wondrous Strange. It was a nice story, not fantastic, but it is worth the read. Basically, the writer didn't have the dept of story writing that I like. Somehow, I just couldn't quite relate to this story. I did like how the author incorporated A Midsummer Night's Dream with the whole plot, though; it added an interesting and different feel. Overall, a cute read, nothing special, but is worth a read.
Date published: 2009-06-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it I love shakespear and to see his Fea in modern day life was very interesting ...I loved this book ...so much fantasy and humor
Date published: 2009-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Beginning for Canadian Author Just wonderful! Those who are fans of Melissa Marr's "Wicked Lovely" series will find an instant home in Lesley Livingston's new "Wondrous Strange." We always think of fairies as being sparkly and magical creatures, and I think Livingston's writing spins that beautifully. You can almost picture it all in your mind and sigh a little at the beauty. Just well done all around. I have to say that I really loved the tie-in with Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Nights Dream." It's safe to say that most modern fairy tales were probably more than inspired by that work, so it's nice to see the author giving it the nod. The quotes are worked in nicely and they sort of add just that extra touch of romance to the story. I loved the characters! Sonny and Kelley are adorable and you'll just be dying for the two of them to make it work with each other. I really look forward to everything else Livingston writes and hopefully she'll bring these two back for more.
Date published: 2009-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Totally Terrific! I am an English Stundent and therefore totally appreciate what Lesley has been able to do with this amazing novel. It was such a gret read! I loved every minute of it! The use of Shakespeare in this novel was amazing and inspirational for someone like me who loves to write and incorporate what I've read into my writings. Shakespeare is an amazing author and she has certainly done him justice. Spinning her own story around such an amazing story is a wonderful achievment for her first novel. I really enjoyed the love story that was integrated into the main story. Also I loved how the characters from the original play into the modern setting. The use of Samhain and the Hunt to show us other characters and have her own Faeire folklore in the novel was ingenious! I have recommended this book not only to other English Majors, but to all of my friends as you definately don't have to like Shakespeare to like this novel. Bravo Lesley! You have created a wonderful tale that definately warrants a sequel!!
Date published: 2009-03-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A very enjoyable read! Having very recently read Wicked Lovely, and now Wondrous Strange, I have to admit that I enjoyed this book by Lesley Livingston a lot more. Both deal with the Otherworld and the Fae, but with Livingston's ability to cleverly include Shakespeare's A Mid Summer's Night's Dream, and have a healthy dose of comedic moments from some of my favourite characters - Bob aka Puck, Maddox, and even Tyff, she managed to keep me entertained as well as wanting more by the end of the novel, which at times i questioned with Wicked Lovely! I actually expected a little more romance, however, the tension was just right, and by the end of the book, you are wanting more from Sonny and Kelley. If there happens to be a sequel to this novel, i look forward to reading it! It is a little strange how they go from strangers to lovers, but it is cute and funny at the same time. I like the way the author depicts Kelley, she is a strong independent woman, who can be stubborn, but also has insecurities as well. Her roommate Tyff, cracks me up from the get go - i seem to always enjoy the strong-willed, not so nice but brutally honest types the most. And Bob, you gotta love Bob. He was a nice addition to the book and another funny yet endearding character in the novel!!! And you can't forget Sonny. a mortal who was raised in the Otherworld, who discovers love for the first time in the mortal realm. I loved his character too :) For me there weren't any blatent flaws, but there were some small minor ones. I feel as though, more could have been done with Queen Mabh. The way she exits the novel is a little lame, and I think I would have enjoyed some face-to-face time between the Queen and Kelley. The Samhain part of the book seemed a little rushed too, which is unfortunate. As well, other than Bob and maybe Quentin the Director, the actors from the play she is starring in kind of really drop off the scene, I get a little frustrated when characters (even minor ones like those) get introduced and have dialogue initially, and then all of a sudden disappear all together from the book. It wasn't bad in this book, but it was noticeable for me to ask questions afterwards. Overall, i really did enjoy this book! I do sincerely hope there will be a follow up as i am not satisfied with the ending, but i guess only time will tell. Enjoy!
Date published: 2009-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Buy!! With our economy, buying books has become a luxury for me. With the library, why should I buy? Well this book is worth the money so shell it out. Lesley Livingston creates another world parallel to our own. The characters are captivating and the plot is intriguing. Simon is another Edward for me, although Livingston does not go as in-depth with her character developement, as she does with her plots. Wondrous Strange is a book I know I will read again, and again.
Date published: 2009-03-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magical and Enchanting! This book was wonderful! It was a very beautifully written and classic fairy tale, absolutley enchanting. Way better than i could of imagined and is a must read for those who like modern fairytales:)
Date published: 2009-02-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Strangely Wondrous! Lately, there's been a stream of great books involving faeries. Latest up on my list was Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingstone, the first book in a trilogy. An understudy and a stage hand for a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream by a third-tier production company, Kelley is an aspiring actress. When the actress who plays Titania the Fairy Queen breaks her ankle, Kelly's dreams begin to come true when she is called forth to take the leading part. Unfortunately, Kelly hasn't exactly memorized her lines. After the director screams at Kelley for not knowing her lines, she goes to Central Park to practice. There, she meets Sonny,a guard charged by the Faerie King Auberon with guarding the gate that enters into the land of Faeries in Central Park. Sonny is immediately drawn towards Kelley. He senses something different about her, something completely out of the Mortal world. However, Kelley won't heed Sonny and refuses to believe him. But as Samhain approaches and the truth rears its ugly head, Kelley is forced to embrace her heritage in order to save herself, Sonny and New York. First, I must say that I love the cover of Wondrous Strange. It's beautiful and I love the underwater impression it gives. Anyways, onwards... Wondrous Strange is an entrancing book. I expected to like it, and I did. (Woot!) Kelley is a likeable character, she's gutsy, pretty average (or so she thinks)and she's just trying to make ends meet. Livingston writes Kelley's voice well. It's easy to relate with Kelley's emotions and her persona is endearing. When told by Sonny that faeries exist, she laughs at him. The third person narrative also serves the purpose well. I loved the chapters about Sonny and his role as a servant of Auberon. His character was developed well and the relationship between him and Kelley is done well. I hate it when it seems as if the author just puts two characters together for the sake of it, especially when the two characters seem completely incompatible. The only problem I had with the book was how quickly Kelley accepted her role in the Faerie world. I think it was rushed but meh. Overall the book was pretty great so I can overlook that. Wondrous Strange is witty, exciting and has intruiging and flamboyant chracters. If you're a faerie fan,I suggest that you add Wondrous Strange to your Christmas Wishlist (PUB DATE: DEC 23). I'm pretty sure you won't regret it =].
Date published: 2008-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Can't miss when Fairies are involved. First novel from a Toronto, Ontario Author. Kelley had originally been cast as the understudy to Titania in a New York City production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream". When the actress cast in the role breaks her ankle, Kelley is forced onto the stage. While practising her lines in Central Park, She meets Sonny, the changeling son of the Fairy King Auberon. This is a mutual and immediate attraction between the two. This is a great way to start a teen novel. Fairies, magic and the promise of blossoming love. As in a high school romance, we meet Kelley's friends at the theatre and we meet Sonny's fellow Janus, changeling guards assigned to Central Park. There are confidences shared as well as advice given and ignored. Rings very true to life. I like the character of Kelley. For a seventeen year old, she knows what she wants in life and is going after it. She is a strong role model. Her only weakness I noticed is when she allows Sonny to take her to 'the Green' for protection. However, if he didn't take her there, it might have been hard to introduce the character of Herne, who had previously led the Wild Ride. This was a fun read. A few un-expected twists and turns in the plot kept me guessing what would happen next.
Date published: 2008-12-13

Editorial Reviews

?Completely absorbing and perfectly polished?Livingston?s vision of faeries in the modern world is bright and exciting. A dazzling debut!?