Best Born WickedAuthor 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 GraveBefore 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 BelastraIf What Her Mother Wrote Is True, The Cahill Girls Aren T Safe Not From The Brotherhood, The Sisterhood Not Even From Each Other

10 thoughts on “Born Wicked

  1. says:

    Actual rating 3.5 Rounded down for the pointless motherfucking love triangle Mother didn t trust Father to fight for us Truth be told, she didn t do a very good job of it herself She left me with a diary full of cryptic warnings and a responsibility that should have been hers.I will keep my sisters safewhile I have breath left in my body. I m an idiot This is what I get for not reading the summary For some fucking reason, I thought this was an adult novel It s not I thought it was magical realism It s not, it s about witches I thought it takes place in the modern US It doesn t Then I thought it took place in 18th century US That ended quickly when I encountered a family named the Ishidas there weren t a whole lot of Japanese people in the US in the 18th century, ok This book is an alternate history of the US with a Puritan like religious sect called The Brotherhood in charge, in which witches existed and are persecuted.So now that we ve finished discussing how dumb I am for not paying attention to the summary, let s discuss the book itself The not so good Completely fucking pointless love triangle what s better than one awesome guy Two of them WHY I don t want to be a witch syndrone the main character suffers from it The length It s a long book, and there is a decided lack of action This is an alternate history of the 1900s US, expect plenty of courtship and tea parties with your witchcraft.The good Surprisingly feminist there s a big message about female empowerment, education, and oppression in this book A likeable main character who doesn t feel like a Mary Sue she is not a pretty pretty pretty girl like the summary tells you She s dowdy, she s awkward, and she s a mother hen than a peacock An interesting, if initially confusing as fuck alternate history once you get that figured out, we re golden Diversity people of color Lesbians A tongue in cheek reference to how liberal the alternate Middle Eastern countries are in comparison The witches themselves are believed and abhorred by the Brotherhood for being women who live with other women, and it s implied that they re lesbians They re not, but it s the prejudice Interesting and unexpected side characters you think a character is a stupid trope Nope A well drawn sisterly relationship this is a book about sisters, and it shows.The Summary You must watch over your sisters for me Keep them safe There s so much I wanted to tell you And now I haven t time. Contrary to the fucking summary, 16 year old Cate Cahill isn t too pretty She s the rather dowdy oldest sister to her younger siblings, Tess, 12, and Maura, 15 Her mother passed away when she was 13, leaving her with a cryptic message and a mission to watch over her sisters.It s a pretty important mission, because the Cahill sisters have a secret they re witches Not even their despondent, grieving shadow of a father knows It s a secret that could kill them because they live in an alternate version of circa 1900 United States This US is ruled by The Brotherhood, a fanatical religious sect that doesn t believe in the rights of women This is because over 100 years ago, they defeated the witches, women said to be powerful, wicked, evil, lustful They are kept controlled, regardless of their lack of magic The Brothers are afraid the witches will rise up again someday, Mother said, so they loathe the idea of powerful women We are not permitted to study and go to university as men do, or to take up professions. Since then, the Brotherhood has led a reign of purity, chastity, where women are subdued and submissive The message is clear women who are too opinionated or too educated, too odd or too curious, are punished They deserve whatever fate they get.Women like us. Women are evil Magic is reviled The Cahill sisters are witches who must practice their witchcraft in secret, and they hate it Spirited Tessa cannot help using spells where she shouldn t Fiery Maura wants the freedom to practice her witchcraft she doesn t feel like magic is something of which they should be ashamed We re witches, Cate We were born that way Magic isn t shameful, no matter what the Brothers would have us believe It s a gift I wish you would accept that Whereas Cate worries all the time, and wishes she weren t a witch I frown at my reflection in the pond, wishing with every fiber of my being that I weren t a witch. Cate and her sisters are of marrying age, and a conniving neighbor with the aspiration of being the next Mrs Cahill has convinced their dad to get them a governess a dour Sister A convent like organization for women who don t marry Cate and her sisters aren t fond of the ideathat s one person they have to keep their secret from, but this governess isn t the plain sourpuss of a nun they expected She is young, she is beautiful, she is fashiomable Sister Elena is pretty no, beautiful with smooth brown skin and black ringlets peeking out from beneath her hood And she s fashionable as fashionable as the Brothers strictures will allow Her dress has a wide bell skirt in a soft pink that reminds me of Mother s peonies And she may just be the ally that they need.Cate has on her mind than just the secrecy of her magic, she s of an age to marry, and for girls like her, there are only two choices once she turns 17 marry, or become a sister Will she be marrying her childhood sweetheart, Paulwho understands her A life with you will never be dull, will it, and that s just what I want Think about it, Cate That s all I ask Can you do that Or the mysterious Finn Finn squares his shoulders which have gotten a good deal sturdier since the last time I saw him Or paid attention, at any rate How long has it been since I actually looked He s gotten awfully handsome it can t have happened overnight. Adding to her headaches is her mother s mysterious message, it seems like Cate and her sister are in danger There is a prophecy will they be the one to fulfil it Hell, will they live long enough to see it if the Brothers found out, they would kill me Immediately and without trial Perhaps they d make an example of all three of us burn us at the stake, or hang us in the town square, the way they did in Great Grandmother s day. The Setting Whaaa This book was really, really confusing at first I thought it was historical US, it s not It s an alternate version of the US, where witchcraft exists and is stifled for fear Around 100 years ago, the Brotherhood gained power They killed all the witches, they set up a Puritan like regime under which women aren t allowed access to higher education some Brethren don t believe women should read at all and should be submissive to men at all times They use the witches power to justify suppressing young women and making them subservient They cared nothing for protecting girls virtue They would have women aping men dressing immodestly, running businesses, even forgoing marriage to live in unnatural unions with other women This book has a lot of diversity There are Japanese families and side characters The governess has brown skin There are lesbians, it is implied that some of the witches are lesbians.Further, with the Middle Eastern circumstance these days where women are denied access to education this book makes a tongue in cheek reference to the liberalness of the Middle Eastern countries compared to the US in this alternate universe I hold back a sigh What I wouldn t give to share in the freedoms of Arab girls They re allowed to inherit property and go to university they ve even been given the right to vote. Overall, I felt like the world building was very well done, if confusing at first.Cate I hate that I ve taken this small happiness away from her When I was her age, I liked to run through the gardens, and I suppose I was careless with my magic, too Now I have to play mother for Tess and Maura, and ignore the wild girl that still bangs in my heart, begging to be let out. A really sympathetic character She is a girl who is forced to grow old before her time She has to play disciplinarian to her two contrary, wilder, free spirited sister, and it sucks the life out of her to do so There is no question that the sisters love one another, and Cate feels her responsibility heavy on her shoulders She is prepared to give up her own happiness to keep them safe It s been years since I ve let myself consider what I want It hardly matters I didn t want Mother to die I didn t want Father to turn into a shadow of his old self I didn t want the responsibility of policing my sisters I certainly never wanted to be a witch in the first place.The universe has yet to take my wishes under consideration. I love her occasional moments of anger and resentment at having been forced to grow up so fast, so soon It s rare that I ve let myself feel angry with Mother She s dead she can t defend herself But now I m shaking with it How could she How could she die and leave me here to deal with all of this alone What I didn t like about Cate was her hatred of her own powers She has an unique power, and no, she doesn t feel like a Mary Sue Cate believes her witchcraft wicked, she hates her powers, she thinks herself evil I don t like that If I had powers, even if they were presecuted, I d revel in it Find a way to work it to my advantage Don t be a motherfucking pussy EMBRACE THE POWER Cate sometimes feel week because of her own denial, and I didn t appreciate that character flaw, especially when power is something I would so embrace.The Romance I want to chase right after Finn I don t care how big a fool I d look.But I can t I d be no better than that Penelope Paul s just proposed I can t go chasing after another man, one who may not even want me. Why Fucking why Paul is PERFECT Here we have a case of a completely needless love triangle She has her childhood best friend, Paul, with whom she has an understanding, which means that everyone in the hood knows they will get married one day, and she knows it, and Paul knows it, except BOOM, OUT OF THE BLUE COMES FUCKING FINN Who takes all the Funn out of things Sorry, couldn t resist.Paul is so nice He understands Cate so well They get along so well Because we re alike, you and I We want adventures, not quiet nights at home by the fire I think I could make you happy if you d let me Paul s voice goes gravelly, and he takes both my hands in his Which is why I don t fucking understand the need for a love triangle at all.

  2. says:

    Well, I read the first 150 pages of this novel and then skimmed another 50, but this one just isn t holding my attention, I m afraid The writing and mood are actually rather nice, and the language seems pretty appropriate to early 20th century New England albeit an alternate history version aside from some jarring words here and there There just isn t enough witchery in this book for me, however, since the book seems very heavily centered around the romance And unfortunately, the romance wasn t very compelling to me either, as the two boys and Cate herself do very little that is truly interesting or remarkable And please, spare us from any found diaries as plot device machinations Still, I expect this might be appealing to lovers of YA historical romance who don t mind that the paranormal elements take a back seat, which is why I m giving away my copy if you re interested in trying out the book for yourself The book, which is the first in a planned trilogy, will be released next month in February 2012.

  3. says:

    Whatever I am going to write here will probably sound hypocritical in the light of the recent ramblings about genre commercial popular whatever you want to call it fiction that I started in my Angelfall and Under the Never Sky reviews, but here it is I ve only read a couple of chapters of Born Wicked and thus far there are no objective issues with this novel that would justify my giving it a low rating or a bad review It is written like everything else popular in YA right now, down to the 1st person present tense narration a teen girl protagonist who is smart and protective of her family, who is forced to fight against the social system that oppresses her, who strives for independence and freedom a love interest love triangle introduced at the very beginning I can t accuse Born Wicked of anything but it being a standard write by numbers commercial fare and its failure to entertain me And if I am not entertained while reading something this formulaic, everything falls apart the characters seem like cliches, the plot predictable, and the world building nonsensical Born Wicked is marketed as a A Great and Terrible Beauty stand in, but as flawed as Libba Bray s Gemma Doyle trilogy was, it was never this glaringly uninteresting and unoriginal.It goes without saying, this book might entertain someone else.

  4. says:

    2.5 stars Cate is sixteen Three months before her seventeenth birthday, she has to choose, at the intention ceremony, if she s going to marry or join the Sisterhood.What is the Sisterhood The Sisters are the feminine arm of the Brotherhood, only without any power they do not preside over legal disputes, or create addendums to the morality code, or judge the cases of girls accused of witchery They live isolated in convents in the cities and dedicate their lives in service to the Lord, educating girls in their elite boarding schools, occasionally serving as governess Cate does not want to join them She promised to take care of her sisters, Maura and Tess, and how could she do so, while being in New London The story takes place in 1900 in New England, a place where witches are either sentenced to the prison ship or the madhouse Let s say that they don t want to be discovered and live in secrecy She could marry that would be the wisest choice But to whom There s Paul, the childhood friend in love with her And there s Finn, their new gardener whom she comes to appreciate very very much Why I have no idea Sure, he s sweet and gentle but, to be honest, I found him normal and pretty boring Nothing special Same goes for Paul, actually Needless to say, I did not care for the romance.Cate is a good character and how much she cares for her sisters is admirable I wish we had seen of Tess, the younger sister, though She seems to be present mostly at the beginning and then not so much any Maura, her, is and that s great except for the fact that she and Cate don t have the best of relationships.The plot had potential but there wasn t enough magic, in my opinion I believe it s mostly because they have to hind it but, still, a story with witches needs witchery And, the pacing, it was too slow There isn t much happening in the plot and so there are some parts that drag or feel like fillers.The writing was good enough but there was nothing different, from the majority of YA books, in it It didn t impress me but it was pleasant enough to read.I believe the sequel may be better, since I thought the ending was interesting and gives a lot of possibilities I will read it, but it certainly will not be a priority.If you want to read a story filled with magic and exciting romance, this may not be the perfect choice but, if you want to read a story containing family as one of the themes, some cute romance and an historical setting, this is it.

  5. says:

    Super annoyed with the ending but overall I really enjoyed the story I thought it could have used a bit action throughout but it was still really great

  6. says:

    This book is one you can t miss I m already dying to know what happens in books 2 and 3 Jessica Spotswood is an enormously talented author whose prose is gorgeous and full and lush and makes me want to live in the world she s created, an alternate history of America in the 1890s The author s style reminds me of Kristin Cashore s the imagery made me want to attend the tea parties and wear the dresses and hang out in the gardens I seriously loved this book, and had a hard time putting it down, constantly wanting to return to it And did I mention there s kissing There s lots of it And it s yummy The main character, Cate, is a strong YA heroine who I loved rooting for So many people depend on her and I can t see how Cate doesn t buckle under the pressure, but she shines through it all because she s so strong and loving She cares deeply about her family It s easy to relate to Cate because she has such strong desires that she wants to pursue, but has to juggle taking care of her family at the same time She knows how to look at situations from all angles The characters are all wonderfully drawn, especially Cate s younger sisters, Maura and Tess, and the bookshop owner, Mrs Belastra.I m not saying anything about the plot except for that it s super engaging I can t wait to see what happens in the next book

  7. says:

    Poor Cate This girl has far too much responsibility She takes care of the household as well as her two younger sisters On top of that she has to keep hidden the fact that all three girls are witches, less they be persecuted Cate seems to be lost after the death of her mother and her father isn t much help since he is often absent from the girls lives I just wanted to bundle this girl up in a hug and tell her everything was going to be okay Though I m not sure that would have been the truth.In addition to hiding her secret from the world, it seems as though her mother was keeping secrets from Cate as well Ones that she doesn t discover until after her mother s death and upon the arrival of a mysterious letter Cate works to discover her mother s secrets and finds love in the process But don t expect a happily every after This one exits with one of those endings I am DYING for book two.It took me a while to read this book Not because I didn t like the book, because I adored this book Jessica Spotswood is a wonderful writing It was a beautifully written story So enchanting I had a hard time reading this book because I was going through a very stressful situation with my life at the time and I had a hard time concentrating on this novel There is so much that happens in this story, so many obstacles and all I wanted was a happy ending So, I took a break and waited until I could give this book the attention it deserved and then I didn t look back There were a lot of obstacles in this story, and I wish I could have helped Cate overcome them I grew to admire her tenacity and her protection of her younger sisters She is so selfless at times, I just wanted her to do something for herself, just once This book is the definition of emotional roller coaster I so enjoyed the love story I m always a sucker for a story with a love element What can I say I love that feeling of falling in love And Born Wicked has a somewhat complicated love story Does Cate belong with the childhood friend that s always been there for her, or the boy that seems to have insight into her very soul I know who I am rooting for I can t fail to mention that closet scene whew I just wanted to stand up and cheer I can t wait to see where this story goes and how the prophecy unfolds Loved the world, loved the characters, loved the writing And that cover is gorgeous too, isn t it

  8. says:

    Lovely This is bit of a magical story about witches in a very difficult time when they are hunted down, when they have to hide, to pretend to be normal and not draw any attention to them It s a story about a young girl that needs to protect herself and her sisters from all the dangers that might break them apart, a story about young love and old prophecies, and everything in between.THE COVER isn t it beautiful I mean, I am not sure of the relationship with the book, as the girl s dress doesn t match the era from the story, but I think it s beautiful nevertheless From the very first time I saw it I knew I wanted to read this book and I was than happy to see how much I liked it.THE CHARACTERS Cate The story is told from Cate s point a view She is a young lady that has to watch over her sisters Tess and Maura, both younger than Cate , all of them being witches, but not all of them being OK with the fact that they have to hide their powers Cate needs to make a decision in order to keep her sisters safe she needs to decide her future and maybe theirs as well.Her sistersThe sweet an obedient Tess is the youngest and, even though she barely got her powers, she is really talented I liked the relationship between her and Cate they helped and understood each other and there wasn t anything in the whole world that they wouldn t do to protect the other.Maura is a bit different she is rebellious, she doesn t like to take orders and she is proud of being a witch as she doesn t see it like a curse at all She wants to know about what she could do with the power of her mind and she doesn t want to waste this gift by hiding.I loved the family dynamics, with a bit of jealousy and some fights It showed that even though it wasn t the perfect family, they still loved each other that even though they didn t agree with what they had to do, they still tried to protect each other no matter what.The motherThere where many things I wondered when it came to the mother The first one is why didn t she give Cate advices, why didn t she help her in any way she could You might say that the journal was enough but it wasn t It was this big mystery that couldn t be uncovered properly.Also, why the insistence to have another baby and risk her life, leaving her daughters unprotected She didn t trust her husband enough and I am not sure how much love could have been between them, so I just hope the reason was good enough to be worth dying for.The fatherHe was mostly absent so I didn t get what was his role in the story I resented him for being so clueless and for not caring about his own daughters and I resented the way Tess was suffering because of the lack of affection from his part.THE LOVE STORYLove is a big part of the story but the heroine had her priorities straight She put her sisters first no matter what she was selfless and would sacrifice everything for her sisters You know how I don t enjoy love triangles but in this case it worked just fine I mean, Cate s heart belongs to only one guy the problem was that he was not good enough in the eyes of the society she was living in.It was a tough decision for her to make as both guys seemed to care about her, to understand her in some way, both guys wanted to make her happy But happiness is hard to be achieved when it depends on too many people, in fact when it depends on the others and not on yourself.Now that I think about this, I guess I wanted time with the boys, to get to know them better, because this part of the story was a bit rushed But there were some cute scenes involving the 3 of them together or not and I found myself smiling a lot and caring about Cate s decisions.Also there were some big mistakes that she made and I can t wait to see how will those affect the action in the second book.THE WORLD SETTLING I loved this New England with the Brotherhood so controlling and the Sisterhood a bit mysterious in it s acts I loved to read about the prophecy, about how one of the 3 sisters might change history, and I love to read stories from the 19th century, as like I said there is something magical about that period I still wonder why the Brothers didn t come for Cate or her sisters like they did with other girls was it because of their father, or was it in their plans to do it in the future , but as I see things now, I am not sure if I ll get my answer.THE ENDINGI can t say that I didn t see it coming somehow, as everything that happened pointed to that direction, but there were some things that took my by surprise It is a bit of a cliffhanger and it made me want to wish for the next book to be published really, really soon.I hope you will enjoy this book as well Happy midnight reading everyone This review can also be found at ReadingAfterMidnight.com____________________________________________Blog EN Facebook Twitter Tumblr Bloglovin Blog RO ____________________________________________

  9. says:

    I met the author and got a copy signed She s really sweet and genuine, and sounds a lot like me After FinishingUnfortunately, I was immensely disappointed with this book I especially despised the ending This was such an obvious attempt to make a series, it s not evenUGH 2.5 StarsCate and her two sisters are witches They strive to keep their secret from the strict, religious Brotherhood who they have to display obedience to, despite their hatred toward witches and women alike In a few months, Cate must either choose a husband or have the Brotherhood choose one for her Or, of course, the other option is to join the Sisterhood, a religious convent in New England But how could a witch be part of the Sisterhood Cate doesn t believe it safe.Everyone expects her to choose Paul, a childhood friend who has returned from New England to propose to her But her true feelings lie in Finn, their bookish gardener Cate must protect her sisters at all costs, and as secrets from her mother and godmother s past start to unravel, everything is going to change for the worse This was me throughout most of the book I was mind bogglingly bored for almost the entire story It was an average Jane Austen novel, I ll tell you that But with way lovey dovey kissy kissy cliche romance scenes Why are the romance scenes cliche, you ask Examples 1 Finn gets wounded and Cate acts as his nurse and heals his wounds We ve all seen it before And, of course, Cate has to be all blushy as she imagines what he looks like under his clothes 2 The clumsy Cate trips and Finn romantically catches her and pulls her against him major eye rolling 3 There s bloody love triangle, for crying out loud Though, okay, she doesn t feel anything for Paul, so it s a one sided love triangle Still I ve heard a lot of people either rave or complain about the ending I must say I am part of the latter group It was so obviously a trick to make this book into a series, even though Jessica could have easily fit the entire series into one book, wrapping it up quite nicely Considering how bland, slow paced, with generally no action, and boring the book was, it would have been an improvement.I liked Finn He was a bookish guy with glasses, and you all know how I love my bookish boys with glasses girlish giggle I don t even care if his hair looks fake, I WANT HIM Whoa, anyway, getting off topic wink The fact that view spoiler Maura was a lesbian hide spoiler

  10. says:

    This will definitely appeal to certain types of readers, but it s really not for me Some parts were interesting, and it was compelling in the sense that it wasn t bad enough for me to give up on.Cate Cahill and her two sisters, Maura and Tess, live in an alternate history 1870s New England, where a religious order called the Brotherhood extrapolates the Salem witch trial era Except witches and magic are actually real though quite rare, so we re told , and if they re caught, the Brotherhood will sentence them to hard labour or an insane asylum Abandoned by their father and with their mother dead, Cate and her sisters are developing a reputation in the town for being bluestockings One day, Cate discovers a family secret while reading her mother s diary a prophecy made over a century ago, which states that a horrible fate hinges on three sisters all being witches having the power to destroy the current social order So, duh, everyone thinks it s the Cahill sisters, including the Brotherhood.Now, I m all for religious inquisitions I loved Elizabeth Bunce s Star Crossed, for instance It s basically a historical version of the current crop of dystopian fiction out there Your entire life is regimented by the big bad controlling authority and you live in constant fear of being discovered But this one just made no fucking sense whatsoever I m told witches are rare, and then BOOM, it turns out the Sisterhood which runs concurrently to the Brotherhood and is full of nonmarried women is FULL OF WITCHES and they ve all managed to keep this a secret from HALF the population The magic system is hokey at best and damned stupid at worst basically a copy of faux Latin spells that without any of the whimsy of Harry Potter The marketing copy calls this lush prose, but I found some parts stilted and awkward, especially the beginning I know this book wanted to be a book about sisters and how women are stifled in society, but the most interesting thing about it was the romance I actually really liked Finn, the male romantic lead, and Cate s chemistry with him was undeniable Ultimately, this book is too angsty for me And the cover makes it look sooo trashy.