Genre: YA Fantasy, Romance, Dystopia Publication.Date February 7th 2012 Pages: 326 Published By: Putnam Juvenile | Website Jessica 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.
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-
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-
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!
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About the AuthorEvie 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.