Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Review: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Publisher: Putnam
Pages: 272
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5


Born Wicked is set in an alternate version of turn-of-the-century New England. Cate Cahill is the oldest sister and with the death of her mother, she is now the lady of the house. Upon her mother’s death she promised that she would take care of her sisters. Cate and her sisters are reclusive and eccentric. They are well educated, something the Brotherhood frowns upon. The Cahill sisters also have a secret; they’re witches and even their father is not privy to that knowledge. If their secret is uncovered, the Brotherhood will take them away and they will never be seen again, tossed in an asylum. Perhaps, even worst. Maura is rebellious, bored, and desperately seeking friendship. She’s constantly reminding Cate that she is not their mother. Cate must also decide what her future will hold, her sixteenth birthday is weeks away and she must announce if she will marry or remain celibate and join the Sisterhood. Her childhood friend has returned after years away, and he makes it clear that he intends to propose. Cate is immediately infatuated with him, but a new friend begins to draw her attention. When Cate begins to read through her mother’s diary, she uncovers a prophecy that includes three sisters, one of which who has a rare ability, the sisters have great power and will either use their power to rule or become the second terror. Cate doesn’t know what to do, now is not the time to leave her sisters, but the brotherhood want answers. If she doesn’t choose, they are more than happy to choose for her.


I loved Born Wicked, as soon as I heard about this one; I knew it was for me. I love reading about witches, and I was immediately caught up in the story. I stayed away from reviews, and wanted to have no expectations from this book. Once I was half-way through, I kept thinking this book is similar to Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty, which I loved. I think it was the time period, and the magical setting. Born Wicked was a great escape novel, once I began reading I was caught up in Cate’s world. The relationship between the sisters is fantastically written, it’s relatable, realistic and difficult. It’s evident that they want the best for each other, but at the same time they’re sisters and they don’t always agree on what’s best.

Cate is constantly struggling with the promise she made to her mother, but at some point you wonder was it fair to put all this responsibility on her shoulder’s. It’s really interesting to see Cate’s character grow. She was expecting to marry her best friend, but he has no intentions of living nearby. The prophecy really becomes the center of her thoughts and many secrets are revealed that further frustrate Cate.

Born Wicked was everything I love in a young adult novel, great characters, great plot, and a climatic ending. I can’t wait for the next book, I really didn’t see this ending coming, and I desperately need to jump back into this world. I’ve been having a hard time reading YA lately, the books became very repetitive, and I was so happy to read something so refreshing and original. Highly recommended!


  1. I sometimes read fantasy novels. This one looks good.

  2. Great review! I'll definitely be adding this one to my wish list now.

  3. I've read the first few chapters of this one and really enjoyed them. Glad to know the rest of the story lives up to expectations!

  4. I am so thrilled that you loved this one because I have it and have been waiting for the first reviews to appear to see what others would think of it. It sounds like an incredibly diverting read, and now I am excited to get to it. Very nice review today. It was incredibly clear and well written. Thanks!

  5. Oh yay! I have such high hopes for this one since I enjoy a good witch story and it has such a gorgeous cover, I'm glad to see you enjoyed it so much Jennifer! Can't wait to finally get my hands on a copy:)

  6. I haven't read many books with witches so I wouldn't be sure what to expect. I'm glad you loved this so much.

  7. YAY!! I'm really REALLY happy that you loved this book as much as I did!! :) Like you, I'm a really big fan of witches so I knew I'd love it from the moment I saw it, and I also thought it was the perfect YA book too! And I ADORED Cate -- everything she did, she did for her sisters and that's why she made my Favourite Heroines list! :)

    Awesome review, Mrs. Q! I'm right beside you with recommending this to people -- it was such an amazing book!

  8. I love those books you can escape in and I love books and stories about witches. There is always something so intriguing about it. The whole sisters aspect reminds me of Charmed. This books sounds amazing, I'll have to pick it up.

  9. Boy, am I glad to see you loved this book. Now that I read your review and since,I trust your reviews and recommendations, I have to pick it up SOON. Cate sounds like a character I'd easily like. Can't wait. AMAZING review, Jennifer.

  10. I've been really wanting to read this, and I'm so glad you enjoyed it! It gives me hope that I'll like it too :-)

  11. I'm so glad you liked this. I have had it on my TBR pile for awhile, but I'm going to have to bump it up now! Thanks for the recommendation!

  12. Good to hear you liked it! I've seen this around but never read any reviews until now. I like reading about witches so this sounds good.

  13. Oh, it's so good to hear that you really enjoyed this one! I love the cover and I love stories about witches, so I'm hoping that I enjoy this one too, when I get around to it.

    New to your blog!

    My Latest Post|Enter my Giveaway

  14. Can't wait to read this book too. Sounds great and the cover is simply beautiful.
    Happy to see that you liked it!

    Happy midnight reading!