From Goodreads: "Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.I love, love, LOVE this book- I think that it was a great debut from Aprilynne Pike, and I'd have to say that this is one of my most favoruite debuts novels of all time.
Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.
In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever."
I've mentioned this a couple of times in reviews of other faerie novels, sometimes the authors go into extreme detail explaining the dynamics of faerie life, politics, and whatnot (for example the Winter/ Summer Courts, the Seelie/ Unseelie Courts, the Great Hunt, and whatnot), but Aprilynne keeps her faerie world basic and I am grateful for that (seriously, its hard to trying to remember/ differentiate between each of the faerie/ fey/ whatever spelling you want to go with worlds in Lesley Livingston's, Holly Black's, Jennifer Armintrout's, and Melissa Marr's books). Furthermore, Aprilynne's faeries are extremely unique, whereas in the majority of faerie novels, the faeries are extremely inhuman looking, beautiful beyond belief, long-limbed, winged, horned, multi-coloured, too good for hell, too bad for heaven, make you dance until your feet, Aprilynne's faeries are much nicer and believe it or not are actually walking/ talking plants (they have no heartbeat, they breathe CO2 and release O2, have sap in lieu of blood, and large flower blossoms instead of wings). Now you might be scoffing at the idea of faeries being plants, since they go against our typical conception of what faeries are, but Aprilynne explains them in a way that makes them seem very believable and you cannot help but nod along with her descriptions and think, "Yeah, that makes sense!"
Here is the gist of Laurel's life... For the majority of her life she believed that she was a 16 year old girl (due to spells/ potions and whatnot) who her parents adopted when she was three years old when they found her on her doorstep... Turns out she is a 19 year old faerie (a faerie trait is that they age quickly, when they are born they act as a young toddler, even though they look like a newborn, when they look to be a 2-3 year old human they are a 7 year old faerie who is years beyond that in intelligence). So prior to being adopted by her parents, Laurel had had a life as a faerie, and in this life was Tamani, now 21 years old and a sentry who job is to look after Laurel and her family's property.
Tamani and Laurel had been best friends during her time as a faerie and he had gradually fallen in love with her. At 3 human years of age (7 faerie years old) she was sent on a mission that seperated her and Tamani, and during the years of separation his love for her grew even more and he waited patiently for the day that she would once again assume her role as a faeries, and return to him... ISN'T THAT THE MOST ROMANTIC THING YOU HAVE EVER HEARD OF?
Tamani is hands-down one of my most favourite male characters of all time and I think that he really makes this book for me (gosh, now that I think about it, all an author has to do is create a great male character and I am hooked- see Jace, Marc, Dimitri, Jay... I am totally one of those mindless girls I am always writing against, who falls for the boy instantly! UGH! But I digress...). Then there is the other boy, human David... Well, David is a nice guy and all and he really helped Laurel through some difficult times, but I really cannot stand him. Laurel and Tamani are so friggin perfect together. And what kind of relationship are David and Laurel really supposed to have anyways? She is a faerie and is going to live a heck of a lot longer than he is! Hopefully she will come to her senses soon and come to realize that her and Tamani are perfect together! ;)
All in all? Well this is a great debut by Aprilynne and a really unique take on faeries. It might seem a bit juvenile at times, but I think that everything else that happens in the book more than make up for it.