Sign up for our 2016 TBR Pile Reading Challenge and tackle your ever growing pile of books!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood (ARC Review)

Genre:YA Fantasy, Romance, Dystopia
Publication.Date  February 7th 2012
Pages:326
Published By:  Putnam Juvenile   | 
WebsiteJessica Spotswood

Born Wicked - Goodreads
My review copy:ARC received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Where to get: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Indie Bound






     "Blessed with a gift..."cursed" with a secret."
Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship - or an early grave.
Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.
If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood - not even from each other.

(Goodreads)




We're witches, Cate. We were born that way. Magic isn't shameful, no matter what the Brothers would have us believe. It's a gift. I wish you would accept that.
I know how I look: a high-necked navy frock unadored with any frills or flippery, the scuffed boots I wear to work in the garden, hair plaited neatly down my back. It doesn't do me any favors. But it's better to be thought dowdy than to attract too much attention.
  Six months before I turn seventeen - but only three before I have to announce an engagement. The thought chips away at my composure.
 I know what the Brothers would say: magic isn't a gift from Lord, it's devil-sent. Women who can do magic - they're either mad or wicked. Destined for an asylum at best, or a prison ship or an early grave.







   

     Born Wicked is a charming and heart-racing story, filled with magic and secrets, sisterly affection and forbidden love, prophecies, romance, betrayal, life changing decisions and absolutely phenomenal characters. Intense, spellbinding, sigh-worthy, beautifully written and thoroughly compelling - it's by far the best witch book I've read. Loved, loved, LOVED it!

     Set in alternate reality of 1890's New England, Born Wicked tells a story of Cahill sisters: Cate, Maura and Tess. These three lovely girls are not only well educated, bright and financially well-off, but also strikingly beautiful. Unfortunately for them, they live in times when such things as the ability to think for yourself, expressing interest in books or any scholarly pursuits are strictly forbidden. Women are not supposed to be smarter than their "better halves". They should be obedient, supportive and fully devoted to their husbands. Anything other than that is considered going against Lord's will - or should I say Brotherhood's will. Due to their eccentricities (i.e. always visiting the local bookshop, not receiving callers, keeping to themselves and not socializing enough) Cahill sisters have been getting a reputation of "bluestockings". That, of course, makes them suspicious. As in "they-are-surely-evil-witches-and-we-should-arrest-them kind of suspicious. That alone would be enough to get them in trouble, not to mention that if the Brotherhood would discover their darkest secret - that they are indeed witches - they would be sent away to rot in prison or get locked up in a mental institution for life. They would be in even greater danger - possibly life-threatening one - if anyone knew what they've only just learned themselves - that they are the witch sisters from Zara's prophecy. The ones capable of bringing about a new golden age of magic - or a second Terror. With only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, Cate must figure out the best way to protect her sisters - from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood, and from themselves.

    Talk about a bewitching tale! This book stole my heart. It was a perfect blend of mystery, magic, romance, adventure and twisty plot developments. For me, this was the most delicious witchy treat I've ever devoured. And I did devour it. It took me one afternoon to finish it and I enjoyed myself a lot. I've seen mixed reviews of this book on Goodreads - people either really loved it or just didn't find it captivating enough for their taste. From what I've noticed, the majority of the negative opinions was based on the first few chapters - apparently those readers couldn't bring themselves to invest any more time to actually finish the book and possibly find out if the whole thing turns out to be the way they assumed it would be after only a couple of pages. Now, I don't want to criticize anyone - I'm in no position to do that. It just saddens me a bit, that people find it so easy to drop a book after reading only the first couple chapters. Yes, the pacing is slow at the beginning. Yes, Jessica Spotswood spends quite some time introducing the characters and the setting, and building the (absolutely phenonemal in my opinion) atmosphere. Yes, it is not what you'd call an action-packed story, full of blasts and fireworks. No, you will probably not feel the need to bite your nails down to the elbow, throw the book out the window (those of you who read Bloodrose might know what I'm talking about), nor ponder the inner working of the universe (although you will probably feel compelled to stroke the cover every five minutes - it's just soooo pleasant to the touch!). But hey, not every novel has to be packed with breath-taking action right from the very first page. Nor does it have to provide a ground-shaking experience, profound revelations, sparkly eye-openers and gorgeously hot bad guys (who in the end turn out to be just so complex in their evilness, sophisticated and, well, not-entirely-bad-just-misguided). Born Wicked is a beautiful book. It has so much to offer! The atmosphere, the setting and the characters - everything is well thought-out, fantastically depicted, rich in detail and flavor. Magical. Most importantly, the plot line is great! The tension never lets up, there's the omnipresent sense of impending doom - we all know something bad is bound to happen (prophecy, duh~!), that there won't be any happy ending (at least not in the first book, obviously), instead there will be disappointment, betrayal, lies, secrets, sacrifices, mistakes and regrets. Add to that Mrs. Spotswoods fabulous writing style and Cate's excellent narrative voice, and what you get is a book you can't afford to miss.

     Jesicca's lush prose and her ability to breathe life into her characters is what made this book a truly unforgettable experience for me. Cate was a great protagonist and even better narrator. I found her very likable, caring and always ready to sacrifice herself for the people she cared about, even if it meant throwing her own happiness out the window. Maura annoyed the living soul out of me! Stubborn, irresponsible, temperamental and quarrelsome, she failed to recognize her real enemies and fell victim to their lies. And when I say that she was annoying, I don't mean it in a bad way. It was an essential part of her character and without it, well, the plot wouldn't make much sense. The romance part is well balanced and subtle. Technically, there is a love triangle, but you don't really feel like it's a truly heartbreaking one. Cate really didn't seem to struggle all that much with deciding which boy she preferred: the wealthy and handsome childhood friend, Paul, or the sexy intellectual gardener, Finn. It's actually the consequences of her decision that she had some trouble dealing with. The chemistry between Finn and Cate was undeniable. Heart-pounding and electrifying. And the hidden compartment scene? Oh. My. Gosh. I think if I had Cate's magical powers, I would probably be all covered in feathers myself.

     Then there was the prophecy, which, too, was kind of brilliant - and by that I mean it was rather vague and open to interpretations. Just when you thought you had it all figured out there came another twist in the plot and your jaw would literally drop to the floor. Nothing was obvious or predictable. The story was full of surprises, each of them quite gut-wrenching and exciting. How often do you read a book that keeps you guessing until the very end? It's a true gem among YA books, one that can easily be enjoyed by fans of many different genres - from historical novels, fantasy, romance all the way to dystopian.

     Like I said at the beginning of my review, Born Wicked is by far the best witch book that I've read. I fell under its spell and am now counting days to the release of the second part. I strongly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys historical settings, enchanting atmosphere, smart dialogues and unexpected plot turns with just the perfect amount of swoon and drama. And - OMG! - have you seen that cliffhanger ending?! Never before have I been so eager to get my hands on a sequel! 




❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing

59 comments:

margie c {The Bumble Girl} said...

oh my goodness! I really want to read this SO badly! I just know that it's going to turn into a fave :)
Great review! Thanks!

Pepca said...

Sounds amazing! You convinced me to check it out. Great review!

Emily said...

Sounds Awesome!

By the way your blog won an award!
Check it out at: http://emily-confessionsofabookaholic.blogspot.com/2012/02/hello-everyone-guess-what-yep-you.html

Amy said...

Awesome review! I just finished this the other day and I absolutely loved it!!

manda-rae said...

I absolutely loved this book as well! I can't wait for the next one.

Jessica@Booked Up! said...

Looks like a great read, must check it out sometime. Love Bookish, by the way!

Jessica from Booked Up!
www.bookedupbloggers.blogspot.com

:)

Wendy Darling said...

Wow, amazing review, Evie! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. The hardest part of reading series is always waiting for the next installment, hah.

Wendy
The Midnight Garden

Wendy Darling said...

Wow, amazing review, Evie! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. The hardest part of reading series is always waiting for the next intallment, hah.

Wendy
The Midnight Garden

Tamara said...

Hi there Evie! Wanna join in a friendly game of tag? You're it! Just visit my blog (bookruckus.blogspot.com) to find out how to play. It's a fun way to draw visitors to your blog and to meet other book bloggers!

Melissa said...

Great review, Evie! What an enchanting cover too -- another one for my TBR list!

Hugs,
Melissa

Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue said...

Okay, that settles it. I am reading this one AS SOON as I can. I stalked a bookstore today and could only find one copy. You better believe I snagged it. And your review. Evie! It's my favorite review I've read so far of Born Wicked! : )

Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

Evie, I'm so glad you loved this book! It was the best book to devour in a day. Despite not being full of action. I love the books where the author actually introduces the characters and the setting. It makes me connect with the story better. Amazing review!

LittleRedReads said...

Evie, wonderful review. I've had my eyes on this book for quite some time and I really want to read it. After reading your review I want to read it even more. I'm on a huge witch thing lately. oh, that gives me an idea (i'll tweet you).

Anyways, wonderful review, darling.

xo
stephanie

Niahara said...

I want to read this book so badly! The review is wonderful and you made me want the book even more seeing as I'm a huge fan of witches.

Natalia Belikov @ Dazzling Reads said...

what an amazing review my dear!! I love the way you describe it! I really liked this book too, but the lack of actiona t the beginnig made it feel slow for me. However, when it gets to the point when things takes off. OMG I coldnt stop reading! I agree with all of your words!! muah!! happy Valentines day my dear!! ^.^

Dazzling Reads

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) said...

Ok, WOW. I very rarely if ever read witch books but I am reading this one, probably within the next week or two. I couldn't resist because of the gorgeous cover. (I know, very shallow in my reason...) I've been a little weirded out about the wishy-washy back and forth reviews, but all-in-all I'm really curious to find out for myself about this one. This is the third blog post about Born Wicked that I've read and it tips the scales heavily in favor of the book being great! I'm excited to read it...witch books are new for me and I'm a little nervous, but I'm excited to see what's in store. You make it sound delicious.

As ALWAYS, fabulous thoughts, Evie. Love them. xoxo

Bonnie said...

I actually just picked up a copy of this last night and am so excited to read it (but I have a few I have to finish first so I grudgingly passed it my mom's way). I just love reading your reviews Evie, they always make me so excited to read the bookes on my shelf!

Bonnie @ www.handsandhome.ca

Manda said...

Fantastic review! :) I cannot wait to get this. Although I may wait till the sequel comes out so I won't be left hangin. :D

Emily @ Falling For YA said...

I have got to get my little hands on this book! Your review was very well written and has made me even more excited to read Born Wicked!

Justin941 said...

Fantastic review. :) I've been hearing so much about this book. Sadly, I haven't had the chance to pick up a copy of it but I do plan to soon. I am really excited for it though after reading your review, it sounds amazing.

giddusadik said...

Great review! Thanks! This book is already on my wishlist. And the cover is gorgeous!

Heather@The Flyleaf Review said...

I loved this book too! And the scene w/ the feathers, that was just "magical" (sorry, I had to go there) I can't wait to read the sequel:)

Inky said...

Awesome review! Haha. You are much more enthusiastic. Have to say I didn't like this book as much as you, but I did really enjoy it. Great review.

Pop Andreea said...

Wow, great review! Looking forward into reading Born Wicked :) It's been on my shelf for some time now :D

Dian Aesha said...

great a riview..putting it in my TBR..can wait to read..just info i won this books so i cant wait to receipt this book from TBD..

thanks

Stephanie Verhaegen said...

Great review! I love the sound of this. :D

marybelle said...

I'm reading BORN WICKED now & loving it.

Thank you for your great review.

Johannah said...

I bought born wicked last week. The Author actually graduated at my school... so I had to get it. ha ha! I gotta support her! :)

aldelei89 said...

this book has been on my TBR list for some time now. very great review! thanks! i love the quotes!

Taylor Lynn said...

Gah, it sounds fantastic! I love that it's an alternate history AND a fantasy. Such an interesting combination, and it really interests me! Great review; I may have to try this one! :D

maneeshaharoon said...

Born Wicked!! This has been on my TBR list!! Cant wait!

AmelArmeliana said...

This book has been on my list already. Will get the copy next month. Yay!!^^
Reading your review makes me couldn't even wait for next month to get the copy. Thank u for your great review.

Alaiel Kreuz said...

Ohhh... I have this book in my TBR pile and after reading your review I want to put it at the top so I can get to read it sooner xD
Amazing review, Evie! Thanks for sharing :D

Ems said...

I just got hold of a copy of this (finally!) and I'm SO excited to read it. After reading that you loved, loved, LOVED it, I'm bumping it to the top of my list!

Gaby said...

I acrually won this book a while ago but have not yet gotten a chance to read it yet. The cover looks amazing and I am so glad you liked it :)

Sam said...

Glad you enjoyed it! I love the cover! I like authors who take time to build up their characters.

Tanja - Tanychy said...

Great review!!
I need to read this one soon but I just don't have time right now! :)

maneeshaharoon said...

The cover is breath-taking and everyone seems to really like it. I'm really glad I read you review. I am going to get this today!

maneeshaharoon said...

My top 5 contemporary reads in no particular order would be:
1. Anna and the french kiss
2. Lola and the boy next door
3. Ten things we did
4. My life next door
5. Saving June

nurmawati djuhawan said...

my friend bought this book and sehe sold after read it....
i think the story quite nice...make me want to read it...

medinahusa said...

I've been wanting to read this book and since you gave it five stars, I just think I will. :) That was a great review!

Rebecca Hipworth said...

Thanks for the review, I've been contemplating reading this one for a while but now I think I should. :)

princesshoran said...

omg i'm usually not all that into witch books and such, but this seems so good!! I'll definitely be getting a copy to read.

Grace Lo said...

I remember for some reason just not wanting to read Born Wicked, but if it's truly a brilliant heart-stealing read, then I'll go give it a spin. c:

mckaykelly said...

First of all, this cover. THIS COVER! I drool. This book has been in my TBR pile for a while now, and after this review I think it'll be my next read! Awesome review!

Karina A. said...

Love the cover!I'm excited to read the book with the unexpected plot and everything. Great review!

Aliaa El-Nashar said...

I seriously want to read this book! The cover looks fantastic and It sounds great!
Good review :)

Aliaa El-Nashar said...

I seriously want to read this book! The cover looks fantastic and It sounds great!
Good review :)

Aliaa El-Nashar said...

I seriously want to read this book! The cover looks fantastic and It sounds great!
Good review :)

Sharmaine Chan said...

OH MY GOSH! Thanks for the fantastic review! I've been wanting to read this book for months now! Too bad I don't have the money to buy it; nonetheless, I'll save and then buy a hardback copy because I just like the cover better. :P

SweetMarie83 said...

You're right, this book did have the perfect blend of mystery, magic, romance, adventure and twisty plot developments. Reading your review is actually making me want to reread the book before the next one comes out!

Jenavi said...

This book has been on my Amazon wish list for quite a while. They say dont judge a book by its cover, but I gotta say-the cover is gorgeous and totally attracted me to the book!! I've read the first few pages on Amazon and I know its definitely going to be a book I enjoy. I'd never seen the book trailor until this review, its beautiful, the glitter, the feathers, the dress...the man, lol :D

Elizabeth (The Back-Porch Reader) said...

This sounds so amazing and it's been on my TBR list for too long now! I'll probably be reading it soon thanks to your review!

WordForWord said...

I was debating about this book but your reviwe sold it to me. :) thanks.

Cass (Words on Paper) said...

Sounds like you enjoyed this one MUCH more than I did. I did like it, especially the sisters aspect of it, but I don't know... the romance fell flat for me and it didn't carry as much weight to it as I was expecting it to. Still, I'll be reading on with the next book. ;)

Angelica Joy said...

I'm about to pick this up from my local library and your review just makes me want to devour it even more. Fantastic review!!!

Goodnight Carolina said...

The cover seems so enigmatic great review evie!!

Sarah Elizabeth said...

'magic and secrets, sisterly affection and forbidden love, prophecies, romance, betrayal, life changing decisions' - SOLD! I have to read this now! Thanks so much for sharing :)

Haraiah said...

Ohmygosh. YES! I soo love this book! I love books about witches and by far, this is one of the best. And the suspense! The romance was just 'okay' for me though. But I'm still dying to read the second book. Ooh, and that cover is gorgeous and perfect for the story. I feel a little sad because this is one of those book covers they feel a need to change. I saw the cover for the paperback version and it was pretty but I personally prefer the original. I wish they'd make a matching cover for this :(

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...