Saturday, August 18, 2012

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Goodreads Description: "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." 

My Review: Didn't like this book much at all. In fact, it was a struggle to finish it! The plot SEEMED really interesting when I heard about this book...but the book itself was a bore. It reminded me of books like Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle and The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray---except those books are WAY better, and if you want to read about teenage witches in Victorian, Elizabethan and Regency times, then you'd be better of reading those books than Born Wicked. Why didn't I like this book? 
        The plot didn't go anywhere! That's the main reason. The book seemed like so much fun at first...but Cate turned out to be a dud who didn't even want to USE her magic. Where, I ask, is the fun in that? She repressed it and just basically moaned about the magic and her dead mother and her responsibilities and her wild sisters for basically the whole book. I understand that she had a lot to deal with---but wow, the girl complained a lot. And she was so boring! She just wanted to be like all the other "normal" girls in town, while SIMULTANEOUSLY insulting them and considering the "normal" girls to be shallow and idiotic. Um, excuse me, but what? Because of Cate's boring, prudish character, there was no plot! She didn't allow for anything to HAPPEN. 
          And when things did happen? It just felt forced and rushed to me, like the author thought, Ooh, I should probably throw some danger into the book now! I never really got chills up my spine (or felt much of anything, honestly) when the Cate and her sisters were "in danger", the way I did when Gemma Doyle (of The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray) was in danger! (Also, Gemma just has a lot more personality than Cate. Sorry if I'm comparing the two, but their premises were so much the same that I just can't NOT compare!)
          Cate was just a really judgmental and unlikeable character! Her love for her sisters might have been her one redeeming quality, because she did seem like she loved them a lot and would do anything to protect them---but Cate's idea of "love" seemed to be repressing her sisters' magic, not letting them do ANYTHING they wanted, not considering their opinions or feelings at all, and never letting them make any of their own decisions. As the eldest child in my own family, I get what it's like to want to protect your younger sisters---but Cate was basically a dictator to them, and that was annoying and tragic.
          And then there's the romance. Wow, it was boring. I couldn't find myself caring for EITHER of Cate's beaus (and I really couldn't understand why they liked her either...). Her emotions also seemed really flat, considering she was a girl supposedly "in love" with one of these boys, and "in like" with the other one. Hmmm... Anyway, the romances themselves were dull. Not exciting or cute, the way romances should be. And yet, despite the romance aspect being kind of lame (in my eyes) seemed to take up the ENTIRE book! The whole "magic and witchery" aspect of the book took a total backseat to the romance, and had that not been done, perhaps the book would have been more fun to read.
          Basically, this book fell flat---REALLY flat. It had a lackluster performance and felt dull and forced. I didn't like it at all, and I don't think I'll be reading the next books (which is sad, because I hate when I dislike a book!). Again: if you want to read some better books with the same sort of premise, I suggest The Gemma Doyle Trilogy or Bewitching Season

Cover: The cover's the only good thing about this book! I won't deny it, I think it's gorgeous. Her dress and the flowers in her hair and her eye makeup---and the background---all beautiful! Although it doesn't really connect to the story... Girls back then would NEVER be allowed to wear dresses like that in public. I'm just saying.

Overall Grade: F

1 comment:

  1. Oh, an F rating! That's a good sign that I better stay away, then. I'll admit, this book looked quite good when it came out- but the mediocre reviews convinced me that it wouldn't meet my expectations at all. Unlikeable main character? Slow, uneventful plot? No thank you! Sorry you didn't like this as much as you expected too. Nicely reviewed, SC. :)