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Looks like Wicked Lovely is going to be a Movie

The director of Boys Don’t Cry will adapt Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely.

I’m curious to see how this goes.  I’ve since finished Ink Exchange, which managed to flesh out a bunch of supporting characters from the first book (including surprisingly a member of Aislinn’s girl posse).  I think the third one goes back to Aislinn, Keenan and Seth, but I probably won’t find out for a little while as my TBR stack has grown geometrically.

The books are not classics of literature, but they are not meant to be. They are YA paranormal romances, written for an audience at least a decade younger than me.  However, for what they were, they were well done.  If these books were out when I was a teenager I could easily see myself running to the library to devour the entire series in a week, writing silly fanfiction for a LiveJournal community (or in my case, AOL’s I Was a Teenage Writer message board), and doing all the fantasy movie casting that inevitably comes with being a fan of a book (series).

The big appeal of these books for me is that the romances are not the be all end all.  Yes, the driving force of the first two books involves two male love interests (human and fey) pursuing a troubled teenage girl, but it was clear that there was more going on than just the will they or won’t they tension and the Triang Relations.  The intrigue of the fairy courts provided reasons for why the fey were so doggedly pursuing the girls in question.  There were reasons why the girls either kept their distance from the suitors or ran into their arms.  And each book had a supporting cast that was either fleshed out in its own right (I really hope that Donia comes back in the third book–being mentioned but constantly off page in Ink Exchange was not enough) or given enough sketchy details that future books could develop them.

Actual world-building was involved in creating the setting of Wicked Lovely and Marr took as much care in creating that world as she did in talking about the complicated relationships that formed between all her leads.* If anything, the vague details about some parts of the world made the story even richer–the reader got the sense that so much more was happening in the background waiting to be explored.  For instance, there are four Fairy Courts in this world: Summer, Winter, Dark, and High.  The Summer Court was the focus of the first book, particularly the conflict between the Summer Court and the evil queen of the Winter Court.  The second book focused on the Dark Court, but we kept hearing rumblings about how things were going in the other two. And then there’s the oft alluded to High Court which, while not yet seen, has a personality of its own so when (if?) it’s finally introduced, it will feel like an organic part of the world rather than just something tacked on to create artificial conflict.

In short, if there had to be a paranormal teen romance that captured America’s imagination over the past few years, I would have rather it been this than Twilight.

* Marr built the world and web of relationships that crisscross it over the course of about 650 1.5 spaced pages, with size 12 font and generous margins.  Marr keeps the story moving.  If anything, I almost wish she took some time to slow down to show more of life in the Summer, Winter, or Dark Courts.  But I suppose that’s what the sequels are for (and for finally showing us what the High Court is like).

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