Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Review: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
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!