Friday, March 2, 2012

READING: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Publication date: February 7th, 2012
Published by: Putnam Juvenile
Genre: YA Paranormal, Historical
Rating: 3,5/5
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 six months 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 stars 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.

Going into Born Wicked I expected it to be a dark YA novel with witches, spells and mystery. I blame it all on the cover, by the way. Stop making such misleading covers! Anyway, even though it is about witches, it didn't have as much magic, both literally and metaphorically, as I would have liked. I expected it to be intense, intriguing and mysterious and it wasn't.

First half was painfully slow for me. Nothing was happening and I was beginning to despair. Sure, the writing was nice and pretty accurate for a historical novel, but I really wanted a story to dive into, characters to love and hate. They were all so uninteresting and boring. I thought maybe something will give in the romance department. Turns out that was quite brutal, too. I get that it's early 20th century and it's a YA book and all but that doesn't mean that the romance part has to be so angsty by default. Nothing remarkable about it.
Also, this is supposed to be a paranormal book about witches. Yeah, not many witche-y things going on. Where is the dark power, the spells gone wrong, the magic? 

Despite all its initial flaws however, I decided to fight through the first half and continue reading. Have to say, second half wasn't that bad. It came nowhere near rocking my world, but at least it showed some promise and paved the way nicely for the sequel. At least in the end there was some semblance of action, important things actually took place and people started exposing secrets and leading the plot forward.

Fans of Michelle Zink's Prophecy Of The Sisters and those of you who like very light YA historical novels, will probably like this one. 

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