Thursday, January 31, 2013

Review: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

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.

Hardcover, 330 pages
Published February 7th 2012 by Putnam Juvenile 
(info grabbed from GoodReads)

Born Wicked is the story the three Cahill sisters, each born with magic.  They are witches in an alternative historical world of New England where the witch hunts are still ongoing.  Much like real history, simply being different or outspoken as a woman can mark you for death -- however, unlike real history, men are immune to being witches in Born Wicked.  For any lady book worm, this world should be terrifying.

I found the world of Born Wicked incredibly brilliant as it is essentially historical fiction meets dystopian.  It is an oppressive world where the Brothers, made of especially pious male members of the society, hold absolute power.  Women have zero rights, cannot attend school, and have the options of either marrying or joining the sisterhood after reaching adulthood.  You can feel the frightening oppressiveness of the religious government and the desire to break free.

Worst of all, most books are banned. D:

Where the book really differs from reality is that witchcraft is not simply paranoia in the villagers minds; it is a real thing.  Some women are born with the extra gift of magic, the Cahill sisters being three of these individuals.  A lot of the book revolves around how the sisters relationships are affected by their affinity for having magic, not really the magic itself.  

The main focus is how relationships and trust can be altered with such a secret as being a witch in the world of Born Wicked is.  Familial relationships along with romantic ones.  I felt that the emotions and reactions between the sisters were masterfully done.  The book pulled my heart in all directions at times, made my stomach flip, and all those other awesome feels you can get while reading. 

I just felt like everything was so well done and perfect.  I also love books that make me think all the while scaring the pants off me.  Born Wicked is a new addition to my Favs of ALL TIME list, which isn’t an easy list to get on.  “Momo’s Favs” is fairly easy to get on, “FAVS OF ALL TIME” is not… felt that needed clarification.  There’s a lot of books I like, there’s a lot of books I think are well written, but there aren’t a lot of books that make me swoon.  Born Wicked made me swoon for multiple reasons: it has a lot of really great lines, the world Jessica Spotswood created gave my brain a case of the happies, and I got the feels for Cate and Finn.  I am so sad I have to wait till June to pick up the sequel, Star Cursed.

Final Thought: 964 out of 964 toadstools

This review is also posted on GoodReads

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