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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris (Review)

Genre:Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Comedy
Publication.Date  September 11th 2012
Published By:  Entangled Publishing | 
WebsiteRachel Harris | 

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century - Goodreads
My review copy:A copy of the book received from the author in exchange for an honest review
Where to get:

On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze. 

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore. 

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

"Letting people get close to you doesn't always lead to pain. Some people are actually worth the risk."
There’s no way I’m letting this adventure pass me by without reveling in it. Gypsy’s orders. I mean, part of me wishes Dad could come along—he’d probably come back with killer ideas for a new historical or something—but an extra day without Jenna? Twenty-four whole hours of not feeling like I’m the third wheel in my own family? Sign me up for that kind of gypsy voodoo.
"This must be one of those nifty twenty-four hour, ‘change your life’ magic scenarios like in the movies. That explanation is infinitely better than assuming I’ve lost my mind. My frantic tension melts away and a smile stretches across my face."

         Three words: time travel romance. 
        And boy, was it an awesome one! I was a little bit hesitant to pick it up at first, afraid that it would be too cheesy or too silly. Or just -- you know -- repetitive. But any doubts or worries I might have had were erased within a matter of minutes. This book was nothing short of delightful! Light, fluffy, funny and absolutely adorable, it proved to be a perfect escape from heavy dystopians and overly dramatic romances! 

     Cat Crawford is not very happy about her step-mom's idea to throw her a glamorous Sweet Sixteen party. Despite being born into a rich and famous family, she's not much of a party-girl, nor does she like being the centre of attention. In fact, she's pretty much your average teenage girl whose life revolves around school, friends, and family. So, no, Cat is not overly enthusiastic about the prospect of turning her birthday into a huge, flashy social event involving crowds of guests and paparazzi. And she's a little bit angry at her father for supporting this idea. Not even a suck-up trip to Italy can make up for what she's about to endure. However -- obsessed with her Italian heritage (the only thing she has in common with her famous actress-mother) -- she's willing to let her dad of the hook, as long as she gets to explore Florence and soak up the history and culture of the region. When, on the spur of the moment, Cat enters a gypsy's tent, what was supposed to be an enlightening sightseeing tour turns into a breathtaking time travel adventure! 

     Adventurous, charming and hilarious, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century is a delicious treat for fans of not-too-serious romance stories. Spiced up with a paranormal twist, full of interesting bits and pieces of information about Italian Renaissance, packed to the brinks with gorgeous 16th century outfits, aristocratic families, sumptuous balls, and wildly fascinating facts about Italian culture, etiquette, and customs - it's an enchanting, sparkly read that is sure to make you laugh and swoon. I did not expect to love it that much. It was sweet, cute, fresh and very mood-lifting. It was also exceptionally well-written, with characters that were not only beautifully fleshed-out and convincing, but also vibrant, lively and amusing. I liked that it wasn't a dramatic book; and that the whole time-travel thing wasn't taken too seriously. It was more of a fun adventure with elements of romance and comedy, than a historical novel, and -- while there were many historical details scattered all throughout the story -- they were very subtle and not too informative. The facts that Rachel Harris provided us with, as well as the insights into Italian culture and society, were more on the fun side. And they made reading My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century a total blast

     While its overall tone was rather light and humorous, this book was not by any means free of deeper thoughts and more meaningful reflections on life, family, love, and self-discovery. Many of the situations depicted on the pages were silly and extremely fun to read about, but there were also some inspiring messages and profound life lessons embedded within them. I guess what I'm trying to say is: Rachel Harris did something remarkable. She wrote a book that tells you something important about life, without being preachy, heavy, or simply boring. 

     I loved the lead character, Cat! She was such a sweetheart! Sassy, energetic, clever and spontaneous, she had no idea how to properly behave in 16th century Florance! Reading about her many mistakes and embarrassing accidents was laugh-out-loud funny, and I quickly grew attached to her colorful, straightforward personality. Not to mention that her snarky inner monologue had me constantly cracking up! I liked many aspects of her character, but what I loved the most was her ability to adapt to every situation and face challenges. She didn't waste time crying and whining, and you wouldn't catch her being all withdrawn or anxious. Sure, she was awkward at times, but only because she often acted without thinking, not bothering to censor her modern-day language nor act in a dignified manner. She was, after all, just a teenage girl, and she acted accordingly. Her flaws added a realistic touch to her character, and I definitely had fun following her crazy adventures.

     The romance part was just as delightful as the rest of the book. It wasn't too cheesy. It most certainly wasn't very serious, either. I found it very well balanced and, well, simply adorable. I loved the chemistry between Cat and Lorenzo, the sparks were flying and their back-and-forth was immensely entertaining. I love male leads that are just a little bit over the top - overly confident, irresistible, cocky, and playful. Lorenzo was just... gorgeous. He had an amazing sense of humour, he was handsome (and well aware of the fact), and he knew exactly what to say to make any girl's knees wobble. At the same time, though, he was also quite thoughtful and there was more to his character than meets the eye. 

     All the secondary characters - especially Cipriano and Alessandro - were remarkably well drawn, and they most definitely enriched the story. Alessandro was such a sweet, caring, warm character, I loved her like a sister! Cipriano was just... phenomenal. At first he tried very hard to act like a serious, calm, and well-brought-up young man, but deep inside he was just as playful and fun-loving person as Less or Cat, and it didn't take long for his personality to shine through. He was definitely very sharp and articulate, and I loved how quickly he picked up some of Cat's modern-day expressions ("It was easy-peasy!"). 

     Overall, this was a great story, and one even more magical and charming than the beautiful cover suggests. If you're looking for a book that manages to be emotionally engaging and captivating, without being draining or too mentally challenging at the same time - this is the book for you! It's a quick and relaxing read, and I'm sure you'll be just as delighted with it as I was!

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
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


Shane said...

lovely review.

thanks for participating

Tiffany Mahaffy said...

Great review Evie <3 I personally love the time travel romance deal. I really would like to meet Lorenzo!

Amy said...

I am about half done with this and I love it!! It's so fun and the characters are great!! Awesome review chick!!

Ellen said...

Wonderful review. I really liked this book to.

Kristilyn (Reading In Winter) said...

Great review, Evie! I think this one looks so sweet! I love a good time travel romance -- especially one that isn't too serious.

Love the cover for it, too!

Lili said...

This blog tour stops by my blog on the 30th and I can't wait! I adored this book just as much as you did. The ending! AH! I need the next book in the series NOW! lol

Great review <3 It truly was a delightful, quick read.

Megan said...

This one sounds very cute. I'd like to read it for sure. Cat sounds like a fun character in a crazy situation!

Jaime Lester said...

Thanks for the great review. I have only read 3 or 4 time travel books, and I really have enjoyed them. I wasn't too sure when I first heard of this book if I would enjoy it or not. It seemed like it might be too young for my 30 year old self. I think I might just enjoy it after all though. If I get the chance, I think I would check it out.

Sophie said...

wow five stars! I want read this book so much.
Nice review :)

Alexandra Lindé said...

This I would love to read:)

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) said...

"Rachel Harris did something remarkable. She wrote a book that tells you something important about life, without being preachy, heavy, or simply boring." ---> I love having titles like this tucked away to read between the longer or heavier ones. You made this sounds super fun, Evie!

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