Monday, January 23, 2012

review: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

pub date: February 7, 2012
publisher: Putnam
pages: 326
source: Library Thing Early Reviewer
appeals: historical, paranormal, witches, magic, family
content: some sweet kissin

I enjoyed this book. I thought Spotswood's world was interesting, as were her characters. I was mislead by the cover. I assumed the book took place in present times, but it's America in the past sometime (the mid 1800s or so?). Now, does that girl on the cover look like she lived 15o years ago? She's showing her knees! And has a seductive look in her (very make-uped) face! So, yeah, I felt a little mislead. But I still enjoyed the book.

Cate's world is controlled by the Brotherhood who preach against witches and accuse many innocent girls of possessing magic. Which makes it hard for Cate because she is a witch, as are her two younger sisters.

I liked the story. I appreciated what Cate was struggling with and the decisions she had to make and how she strived to protect her sisters. I especially, really, really liked the romance in the book. It was very well done.

I did have an issue with the magic possessed by some witches. I don't like magic that has the power to mess with other's minds. I just think it's too powerful. It makes it so there's no balance between good and evil. So that bugged me.  

Also, I am so FRUSTRATED!!

****Slight spoilers follow...proceed at your own risk...****

I am frustrated on two counts, the first being that Cate is an idiot at times. She finds this important information in her mom's journal that involves all three sisters AND SHE WAITS AND WAITS AND WAITS TO TELL HER SISTERS ABOUT IT because ... well, I'm not really sure why. Except that the plot depended on the misunderstanding between siblings. Withheld information to move the story along is a plot device I loath. The more I think about it, the more it bothers me.

(also, as a side note...what the heck is Cate's mother doing keeping a diary the last year of her life that says, explicitly, that her daughter is a witch? Information that can potentially kill her daughter? why write that out on paper and put her whole family in danger? Don't get it...)

Second, though I am okay with the unresolved ending (but only because I have to be and I have hope in the rest of the series resolving the mess that this book ends with), I am not okay with the way Cate handles herself. Similar to frustration #1, at the end Cate once again doesn't discuss things with her sisters, leaving it to a woman she hates to explain her actions--which will not bode well for the next book. ARG. I am soooo upset about it, and so the last two pages of the book rather tainted my opinion of the whole story.

****Okay, slightly spoilery part of this review is over****

I enjoyed book for the most part. Really, I did. I just get so frustrated at times with characters who do dumb things. And withheld information just to make the plot work.

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

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