Coincidentally I took this book on vacation with me and read it after I finished Tithe. It is also a young adult novel about faerie, and the heroine is also a strong, compassionate teenage girl - but the similarities between the two end there.
The book opens with a scene in which Keenan, the Summer King, is offering a wooden staff to a mortal girl who is in love with him. If she is the chosen Summer Queen, the staff will have no power over her. If she is not, she (like the many girls before her who have tried and failed) will take the cold and frost from the Winter Queen's staff, living apart from the rest of faerie, in pain and alone, until another mortal girl either succeeds in becoming the Summer Queen or fails (and takes the girl's place). Because this scene is in the prologue of the book, I will tell you that the girl does not succeed.
Enter Aislinn. She has the Sight: she can see faeries, while everyone around her cannot. And these are not, for the most part, sweet Tinkerbell-like pixies that glitter and frolic; they are strange, often grotesque, violent and cruel. Aislinn's grandmother has the Sight, too, and Aislinn has lived by Grams' rules her entire life: Rule #1- Don't stare at invisible faeries. Rule #2 - Don't speak to invisible faeries. And rule #3 - Don't ever attract their attention. But what is she to do when, even though she has assiduously followed rules 1 and 2, she has definitely, irrevocably attracted their attention?
Aislinn is being stalked by them, and she's not sure what to do about it. If she confides in Grams, she knows her freedom will be abruptly curtailed - she will be homeschooled, kept in the house, and - worst of all - she won't be able to visit her best friend, Seth, who lives in a refurbished railroad car home (a very safe place when it comes to faeries, because it is made of iron). She'd like to confide in Seth, but he'll probably think she is crazy, talking about things no one but she can see.
Keenan, after centuries of searching for - and tragically failing to find - his queen, the only one who will be able to restore his full powers and help him stand up against the cruel Winter Queen - is convinced that Aislinn is the one. But Aislinn, whose relationship with the very attractive Seth is finally moving beyond friendship, is not at all interested. Evan so, how can a mortal boy hope to compare with the allure of a powerful, handsome faerie, especially when Keenan reveals himself in all his faerie glory?
There is romance, suspense, adventure, and a dash of mystery in this gripping novel. The only thing I didn't much care for was the title, which I felt didn't do the story justice.
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (HarperTeen, 2007)