“Suddenly the world seems a lot more interesting.”
What it seemed was a lot less ordinary.
There are a million faerie-romance books in the YA section these days (second only to vampire-romance), so you never really know what you’re going to get, but Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception by Maggie Stiefvater is definitely of a higher quality than most, in addition to being a great Girls Underground story. The characters are well developed and interesting, and there are a few unique twists to the story that make it stand out from the rest (though most of these are too integral to mention here without spoilers).
Deirdre, just turned 16, is a shy student but a masterful harp player, who meets a compelling and mysterious boy at a music competition. Luke seems to understand her immediately, but he has secrets. His arrival heralds other strange events in Dee’s life, like a budding telekinetic ability – and she starts to encounter beautiful but threatening “people” who may be stalking her. It all points to faeries. Turns out, problems with the fey have haunted her maternal family line for years (her mother, partly as a result, is distant at best and her father hardly registers). Dee’s grandmother tries to help her, unsuccessfully, and her best friend James, although jealous of her new romantic relationship with Luke, remains a faithful companion and even helps defend her against her faerie stalkers. She even gets some help from a few “freelance” faeries (for a price, of course). But the perilous fey, minions of the malevolent Queen, are strong. The Queen herself, the true adversary, is not actually introduced until the very end, which is an interesting twist – although we know fairly early that it is she who seeks to kill Deirdre (as for why, I’ll leave that unspoiled).
There is the classic betrayal-by-a-companion, although it’s complicated, as well as a betrayal by a family member. And of course, she is revealed to be More than she thought she was.
When the Queen kidnaps both Luke and James, Dee must choose who to save. She then has a dramatic confrontation with her adversary, using her own weaknesses against her. There is no perfectly happy ending, but she does manage some kind of victory.