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Las hermanas Cahill son chicas muy extrañas; son hermosas, solitarias y excéntricas. Pero además, son brujas. Juntas deberán procurar que los sacerdotes de la Hermandad no descubran su secreto.Al morir su madre, Kate descubre secretos inconfesables que podrían destruir su familia y promete proteger a sus hermanas, Maura y Tess, de los peligros que le acechan. Desesperada pLas hermanas Cahill son chicas muy extrañas; son hermosas, solitarias y excéntricas. Pero además, son brujas. Juntas deberán procurar que los sacerdotes de la Hermandad no descubran su secreto.Al morir su madre, Kate descubre secretos inconfesables que podrían destruir su familia y promete proteger a sus hermanas, Maura y Tess, de los peligros que le acechan. Desesperada por encontrar alternativas a su destino, Kate se ve inmersa en un romance prohibido con Finn Belastra y en un laberinto de intrigas que deberá resolver para salvar a su familia....

Title : Kate y sus hermanas
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788484418887
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Kate y sus hermanas Reviews

  • Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
    2018-11-01 21:07

    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 safe...while 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 more 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 idea...that's one more 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 more 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, Paul...who 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.Furthermore, 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.

  • Wendy Darling
    2018-11-14 20:17

    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 more found-diaries-as-plot-device machinations!Still, I expect this might be more 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.

  • LolaReviewer
    2018-11-05 18:14

    *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 more of Tess, the younger sister, though. She seems to be present mostly at the beginning and then not so much anymore. 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.

  • Tatiana
    2018-10-25 17:30

    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.

  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
    2018-11-13 01:23

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

  • Miranda Kenneally
    2018-11-10 19:25

    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!

  • madametschenny
    2018-11-04 22:07

    Tolle Geschichte! Ich bin super gespannt, auf den zweiten Band!

  • Ariana
    2018-11-03 21:08

    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 more 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 more 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 more 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 more 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 more 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)____________________________________________

  • La Talpa
    2018-10-25 01:04

    Die erste Fantasy-Story bei der es sich um Hexen dreht und mich total begeistern konnte ❤️Cate und ihre zwei Schwestern sind Hexen, aber leben zu einer Zeit in der Hexerei nicht geduldet sondern verfolgt wird. Sie halten sich versteckt. Doch eine alte Prophezeiung zwingt Cate zu einer Entscheidung, ob sie weiter im Verborgenen bleiben oder den Kampf gegen die gefürchtete Bruderschaft aufzunehmen.Tolle Protagonisten, die einem direkt ans Herz wachsen und ein sehr flüssiger Schreibstil, bei dem die Seiten nur so dahinsausen.Ich freue mich jetzt total auf Teil 2 und kann es kaum abwarten wie es für Cate nun weitergeht.

  • Kristi
    2018-10-24 17:26

    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!?!?

  • Irene△⃒⃘
    2018-10-30 23:18

    3.6/5 ~ ITA/ENG (NOW ADDED)Questo libro si è rivelato una piacevola sorpresa.In generale non sono una fan dello stile di scrittura utilizzato e anche l'inizio non mi aveva convinta più di tanto, l'ho trovato un po' lentino e sconfusionato forse?Quello che invece mi è piaciuto molto è come si mescolano vari argomenti nonostante il libro non sia poi così lungo.C'è tutto il mistero della profezia intrecciato con la vita di tutti i giorni di queste tre sorelle, di come si approcciano con le persone e soprattutto con la società.Tutto questo insieme ha reso il libro parecchio avvincente. Si legge dal punto di vista di Cate e la sua situazione non è assolutamente semplice. E' stato molto interessante riuscire a capire cosa prova e come si sente e come si rapporta con le sue sorelle nel "bene e nel male".Tutti i personaggi hanno un ruolo ben preciso in questa storia e si è sempre pronti a conoscere di più su di loro, che stia simpatico o meno, indifferente.La figura di Finn è quella che ho trovato a gusto personale maggiormente interessante, ero molto curiosa si scoprire come e se mai sarebbe venuto a conoscenza della verità e come avrebbe reagito.Anche l'ambientazione mi è piaciuta. All'inizio non ero del tutto convinta, ma procedendo col racconto mi sono piaciuti tutti i luoghi che vengono "passati" da Cate.Tutta la parte più misteriosa e dove Cate agisce di nascosto è sicuramente quella che ti tiene più attaccato al libro. Si vuole sapere quale sarà il destino delle sorelle e quali decisioni prenderanno e quali saranno le conseguenze da affrontare.Ovviamente la domanda più importante non viene risposta nel primo libro, ma in ogni caso si procede a passi da gigante anche in questo.Resta sì in sospeso, ma fino ad un certo punto, perchè dal prossimo capitolo penso che ci sarà un'ambientazione completamente diversa da quella avuta in questo.________________________This book was a very pleasant surprise!I wasn't a fan of the writing style used and the beginning didn't convince me very much, I found it pretty slow and confused, maybe?The thing that I really liked is how are well mixed different arguments, despite the book not being that long.There’s all the mystery related to the prophecy that is intertwined with the everyday life of these three sisters, how they live among others and especially with the society.All this made the book pretty fascinating. We read with Cate’s POV and her position is not easy at all.It was very interesting to understand what and how she feels and how she deals with her sisters during both good and bad times.Every character has his meaning in the story and I was always ready to know more about them, even if they weren’t a personal favorite of mine.Finn’s figure is for me the one I found most interesting, I was very curious to discover how and if he will ever know the truth and his reaction.I liked the setting too. At the beginning I wasn’t very convinced, but going forward with the story I liked every place where Cate goes to.The whole mysterious part and where Cate acts secretly were the ones that kept me glued to the book. I wanted to know so badly what the sisters’ destiny will be, what decisions they will make and what the consequences will be. Obviously the most important question is not yet answered, but we make either way very big steps in this book.It is very suspended, but at the same time not very much because I think that in the next book we will get a completely new setting.

  • Kat (Lost in Neverland)
    2018-10-19 18:15

    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 even...UGH. 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 more 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 more '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)] was totally expected, even though Cate was all surprised. I suspected it from the beginning. I liked how Jessica tied in the historical factors of the time from when this books was taking place. Girls who were even a little strange were accused of witchery and arrested, girls who liked other girls were arrested, women in general were arrested, basically. But oh my god, was it SLOW. If you like Jane Austen novels, with MORE romance, and a little bit of witchery thrown in, pick this up.But if you prefer action, adventure, no kissy kissy scenes, and have a short attention span, DO NOT pick this up. Thanks Jessica, for my signed copy. I had so much fun meeting you and listening to your advice for young authors. :)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Minli
    2018-11-16 01:18

    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.

  • Christie
    2018-10-27 01:12

    I stayed up till 3:00am finishing this book. I thought it was a fast read. I couldn't wait to see what would happen and now I'm dying for the next book in the series! DYING to read more. I didn't even read the back of this book before I read it. I saw the lovely package that the publisher sent and decided just to go for it. So the alternate history and some of the other aspects were a total surprise. Alternate histories are my current favorites! I love the combination of magic and romance. The whole book kept making me want to find out more.

  • Krystle
    2018-11-19 18:04

    I tried so hard to finish this book but after chapter five this became an exercise in withstanding torture. The pacing of this book is ridiculously slow. I swear, I would read one page and start searching for something else to do.The problem stems from the main character, Cate. She is such a dull sponge - one that'll suck all the fun out of life. There is no vibrancy to her, no spark. She is completely devoid of anything that incites excitement or empathy in me. She's also extremely passive, preferring to keep things to herself even though she likes to complain about her pains excessively internally. She's too scared to speak up or even say something contrary. Sure a lot of this is bred from the environment she's raised in but really. Show at least some energy. Another thing? I've only read to slightly less than the halfway mark but I can already tell this is going to devolve into some crappy love triangle fest that'll have me gnashing my teeth.So, she's unhappy about having to marry someone and the person who IS interested in her hand is one of her old best friends who's come back from schooling. Cate, of course, dislikes this dictation of her life but he has been nothing but friendly to her since he's back and she could do a whole lot worse but then rages and grumbles about this in her thoughts but does she indicate she's unhappy about this to him? NO. She's such a faker. She smiles, is pleasant, and practically flirts with him when she's alone with him and disparages him in private. PLEASE. I hate these kind of people.Then we have Finn and he's the low status boy who is their gardener. There's nothing really bad about him other than he's such a FLAT character. There is no depth to him other than his red hair, dimples, and pretty smiles. Oh and did I mention he's handsome? Yeah, he is. We get that EVERY TIME Cate converses or interacts with him. She always has to bring up how she suddenly found him so handsome. Blah, blah, blah. SHUT UP, WOMAN. I know you're stuck in your own propriety rules and want to jump him so bad but I don't need to be reminded of this EVERY TIME Finn appears on the page. This is totally some heavy handed way of showing that he's the CHOSEN MAN of the triangle in bright flashing neon letters. Gross.I mean, the surface aspects of the world building was developed and this whole society that's very suffocating, oppressive, and demeaning on both women and magic users is pretty scary BUT the other parts do not add up. How do we get New London or Dubai? What is so different about them and how were they developed? Why is Dubai such a special place that everyone wants to go to? None of this is EVER explained (it could be later but I doubt it). This is such a boring addition to the YA genre. Composed of so many similar and overly used elements but, sadly, other books probably have and did do it better. Skip this, forealz.

  • Bee (Heart Full of Books)
    2018-10-30 20:11

    This really is as good as everyone told me it was going to be! I'm so relieved I can read the sequel straight away!

  • Stephanie (Bookfever. ♥)
    2018-11-09 23:19

    Born Wicked was a perfect example of a book that has both good as bad qualities to it. I really did like the book but in the end it wasn't enough to make me love it. This review will be a little different from my usual reviews because there was 50% of good stuff and 50% of bad stuff, in my opinion.The good:The setting - I absolutely loved the setting. I think it may be the best part of the book. I didn't actually know this book was historical until I started reading it. It's actually an alternate history, which made me love the setting even more. In this history it's well known that there are witches around and the brotherhood is hunting them, looking especially for three sister witches. One of these sisters is supposed to be the most powerful witch to have been born according to a prophecy. Finn - He was one of my favorite characters. He was just really cute and although I wasn't a fan of Cate, I did want them to end up together even though I think he can do much better than Cate. But anyway, he was a great character and I honestly wanted to read more about him. He brought a smile on my face whenever he was around. AND he actually has a bookstore, with his mother, that he works in after his father passed away. Tess - She was probably my favorite character in the book. She's Cate's 12 y/o sister and I just wish I had a sister like her. She was a joy to read about. She loves baking and she loves books. I honestly wish she was the main character in this book because I liked reading about her way more than I did about Cate. The bad:Cate - Cate, Cate, Cate... where do I start with her? I disliked her from pretty much the beginning. She just didn't feel like a nice person at all. Sure, she loves her sisters and she's doing everything she can to protect them, as anyone would but honestly? She should've let them practice more magic in case the brotherhood would come for them. Her 15 y/o sister pointed out once how Cate never listens to her and I agree with Maura, she doesn't really listen to her sister even though I can tell she loves them very much. All Cate did was judge other people when she should've looked at herself first. And then there was the romance. I love Finn, I really really do but I didn't like how Cate suddenly fell in love with him so fast. She's known him for years but now suddenly these feelings come, right when her old childhood friend Paul returns to court Cate. Hmm... And also Cate was so judgy about using her sisters using magic while she does it a few times herself. I just hope she'll make better decisions in the next book.Elena - I wasn't sure what to think about Elena. At first I thought she wasn't so bad but after a little while I was ready for her to go. I didn't like how she led on Cate sister, Maura because I actually liked Maura, even though she does and says some questionable things too but I understand it. Yeah, I really disliked Elena. I don't think she liked hurting Maura's feelings but she did it so that deserves a slap to the face from me.Lack of magic - For a book that's supposed to be about magic there wasn't much of it. I wanted to see more spells from Cate, Maura and Tess. I really think Tess would be a fantastic witch if only Cate would let her. But anyway, yeah needed more magic. Overall:So this book has a bit of good and bad. There's also the Brotherhood and Sisterhood. I'm full on hating the Brotherhood for hunting witches and supressing women. But the Sisterhood sure can give them a run for their money. Just like with Elena I didn't think they're so bad at the beginning, especially when it's clear they're all witches but turns out they're also pretty insane. I obviously hated them but I didn't count the Brotherhood and Sisterhood with "the bad" part of this review because as far as bad guys go they're pretty villainous both in their own ways. And a good book just sometimes needs villains, you know.All in all, Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood was a pretty quick read that had good as well as bad elements to it and the writing wasn't too shabby either + it was a fun buddy read with Jennifer from Book Bird Reviews!

  • HannahCassie (PSIloveThatBook)
    2018-11-03 23:09

    MORE? MORE! @ P.S. I love that book!Okay so I had my eye on this series for some time now. I was not sure about it but when our bookshop announced 16% sale I could not just ignore the fact that I wanted to read this book. And no, ebook was not enough for me! I love witches and I want them all on my shelf!THE WORLD: Oh it is so different to what we are used to. So once upon a time New England was the place ruled by witches. But they abused their power and then normal people killed them. The Brotherhood came of power. What it means? It means that Brotherhood controls everything, that men are in power and much better than women. The job of women is to serve the husband and not have her own opinion. If you do not like it you are eliminated from the society. Men are better and you submit to them. It is funny to read about how Brother teaches women in the Sunday service that they should not enjoy the kiss because it is a sin, how they should not read books because it is not for their mind to understand. Every women is a wicked lustful creature but it is the way she was born and the Lord forgives her, therefore she must do everything what her husband says and not ever be of her own mind. When the girl is 17 she is married or goes to Sisterhood. If she has not found a husband by then the Brotherhood will find it for her. It is crazy I am telling you, so many times I was just crazy mad but I think that is what makes this book interesting, the world is too absurd not to get involved!CHARACTERS: This book really is about three sisters who are also witches. The oldest Cate is of the center figure so far. She has made a promise to her mother to protect Maura and Tess, her younger sisters. You know this kind of sacrificing characters who do everything for others? Usually I hate them. But Cate is rather lovable. I really liked the way she grew as a character. Maura on the other hand, oh how she annoys me! Little brat! But Tess...the cute little pie! She is so absolutely adorable!Then we have a missing father figure as always and a noisy neighbor. Additionally, the governess Elena comes to prepare the girls for the womanhood as their mother died a few years ago. I had a feeling about Elena from the beginning to be honest, somehow in this book I was always on Cate's side, it was easy to feel what she was feeling!LOVE: Okay so in this book we have two men but nope, no love triangle! Paul comes back to marry Cate but does Cate want to marry him? Noooo! She has no real feeling towards him whatsoever! And good because Finn...oh how can you not love him? I am shipping oh so shipping him and Cate!PLUS: This book really makes you feel a lot! But what I loved the most was how magic and witchery was presented. It was not what I expected but I liked it nevertheless. Plus, the bookshop chapters...mmmm.MINUS: I think when I went into this book I sorta was looking for Manon from the Throne of Glass type of character. I did not find it. Also, in the beginning like most of the new series it was rather slow for me. But oh well, not every book is the same, right? So it really is juts tiny thing, I lowered my expectations a little bit and loved the book alright!MORE? MORE! @ P.S. I love that book!

  • Regan
    2018-11-03 18:15

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Can not wait to read the sequel!

  • Sarah Mac
    2018-10-21 23:11

    When I found this among a pile of early releases at work, I chalked it up to destiny. Thanks to a crappy YA track record, my grabbing Born Wicked was akin to a 30-day trial on a steamer from HSN. It might explode in my face, but I could still mail that sucker back -- no money lost, just the fleshy bit of my cheek & one eyebrow.Looking past the lovely cover, the first thing I noticed was first-person present tense. *sigh* (Authors of the world, PLEASE stop using present tense in teen fiction.) Full disclosure: I consider present tense to be a hurdle that the story must overcome. (What can I say. If you're going to be 'avant garde' enough to forgo the fundamental, ease-of-reading basic known as Past Tense Narrative, at minimum I demand that your choice doesn't interfere with my enjoyment.) So while I don't approve in general, I will say this much -- the present tense in Born Wicked was decent enough. Cate does have a serious bent of mind, which might bother some readers -- and yes, at times she can be overbearing & judgemental. I didn't mind that. Given world-building circumstances, I'd have been more critical if she wasn't high-minded & distrustful.Cate & her sisters live in an alternate New England, a turn-of-the-century wherein the USA is cobbled together from various regions under cultural influence of various countries & societies. In the case of New England, what originally began as a society dedicated to religious freedom has been overthrown by a strict patriarchal leadership known as The Brotherhood. These guys frown on all things cheerful & frivolous, bur their primary goal is to stamp out witchcraft in any form. Why? Because witchcraft empowers women, & women in power are abusive, power-hungry tramps who use magic to warp minds & screw with masculine authority. They're also determined to find the source of a very specific prophecy which predicts the fall of the Brotherhood & the re-rise of the Sisterhood (a coven disguised as the Brotherhood's female counterpart).Cate resents having to hide her magic & feign a docile attitude toward males everywhere. But when her father arranges for a governess to join the household, suddenly the Brotherhood & the Sisterhood are both poking at the Cahill family -- monitoring their trips in town, watching what they read & who they socialize with, trying determine if she & her sisters are the girls of prophecy -- and each institution threatens to destroy their facade of normality. Cate would as soon be left entirely alone, though her sisters are more open to magic...and, of course, she's drawn to an entirely unsuitable beau. (N.B.: there is a mild love triangle, but it wasn't obnoxious or unbelievable.) Cate worries about growing close to another family who's so subtly subversive toward the Brotherhood -- but when she & Finn hatch a plan to be together, they're thwarted by some rather interesting revelations about the witch/not-witch ratio in their backwater town. I wager there will be a HEA at the close of the series. That being said, it's nice to read a teenage heroine capable of disassociating from her lust & making a self-sacrifice a positive trait, not just a necessary evil to achieve her never-in-doubt victories. Despite a genuinely smothered lifestyle & surroundings, she manages to find ways to be strong that ring true to her circumstances -- and that's more than I can say for the majority of YA heroines.

  • Steffi
    2018-10-22 19:11

    “Reading is the perfect escape from whatever ails you.”Well, I expected way more of this story, sadly.What I liked:The world building. This book takes place in 1900 in New England (an alternative version) and women are ... I don't want to write pets because pets might have even more rights then women do. At times, it was really disgusting and hard for me to read about the oppression of women by the Brotherhood. The dynamic between Cate (16), Maura (15) and Tess (12). Jessica Spotswood created an extremely realistic relationship between these sisters. What I didn't like:Unnecessary love-triangle. Why. Just WHY?! Cate has other problems that are way more important than her stupid love-live. Really guys, I wasn't neither drawn to Paul nor to Finn. Both normal boys, kind of boring. Too many repitions. After 30 pages I could have told you in my sleep what hair colour Maura has and that she is more beautiful than Cate and so on. Further, this book was way too long. If you expect a book about witchery and magic, I have to disappoint you. Cate. If I had the chance to have powers like Cate, I would embrace my power and use them to protect the ones I love. However, Cate hates her powers. I mean, she has the power to protect her family and to maybe save the oppressed women in this book. But well, she had to decide between Paul and Finn. That's more important ...I really really hope that Cate embraces her powers now and fights. And that we get more witchery, please.3 stars

  • Brodie
    2018-10-28 20:06

    After the death of her mother, Cate Cahill had to take on the responsibility of caring for her two younger sisters. Her father is rarely home and even when he is, he's not exactly the most reliable of men. Not to mention he knows nothing of his daughters whispered spells. Only their mother knew of their magic and urged them against telling anyone, father included. So for years, Cate has had to act as mother more often than sister, and while they've had their many ups and downs, inviting anyone into their private lives to offer help is a dangerous and unthinkable notion. So when her father hires a Governess, on the word of their nosy neighbour, to help transform the girls into ladies fit for society, Cate is more than a little apprehensive. But she only has a few months left to decide her own fate - accept the hand of an eligible man in marriage or join the Sisterhood? Because this is far removed from a time where women have access to a thing called freedom.Where Cate did her best to make sure she and her sisters flew under the radar, Maura, the middle child, felt trapped. And when a flighty spirit is suffocated, she will thrash her wings until she is freed. She's reckless and feisty, but she added flair to the story and even if there's times where you want to shake her by the shoulders, she will intrigue you. And I so adored Tess! Sweet and eager and a little lonely, for the youngest sister she was wise beyond her years. But even she wasn't happy to let their magic stay untapped like Cate wanted. I loved the strong bond the sisters shared. It may have been fragile at times, with Maura especially, but you could see the love was still strong underneath. Cate herself is an amazing protagonist. Not only for the responsibilities she's taken on at such a young age, but for the fierce and stubborn young spirit inside her, something that is always so invigorating to see from a girl in that historical period. She would truly shine in our modern world, but her day needs a girl like her. To offer hope for revolution, to punch through the stifling restrictions that are forced upon females.Oh Finn, my feathery Finn! The feather scene? One of my favourites in the book <3 You might have seen the stunning moment captured in the book trailer and oh, it's even sweeter in words. Finn is the quiet, intelligent scholar; passionate about learning, with the kindest of hearts. His own loyalty to his family mirrors Cate's, and what's so beautiful is that he accepts and admires her for who she is -  in all her unladylike splendor. He's just a book keeper, taking on the additional job of gardening to try help his family out of financial unrest. He knows he can't offer Cate what Paul (her childhood friend and now suitor) can, but his heart is worth a thousand times the gold any man could give. I did sort of like Paul. He also appreciated Cate for who she was, not who he expected her to be, but I felt Finn was much more of the 'soulmate' type of match. Plus, Paul's behaviour toward Finn in their years at school earned him many narrowed eyes from me!While my heart did swoon and miss a beat throughout the book, it often thudded angrily, so infuriated with certain people and their rules!! I wanted to reach through and gouge their eyes out, but that would only result in a shredded book and it's too beautiful to ruin. The Brotherhood sprout their, 'witches are wicked, evil, unholy,' rubbish upon the entire community and not adhering to their rules is basically signing your own suicide letter. They rule with an iron-clad fist and their word is absolute, so if they deem a young lady a witch, then they'll drag her away kicking and screaming until she's locked away in an asylum. Or put to death.The Sisterhood is Cate's second option to marriage, but it's not exactly a viable choice for Cate when it would separate her from her sisters. They're said to offer ladies the best they can in terms of skills and education, but are they perhaps hiding a few secrets of their own?Born Wicked is a beautifully written debut that had me under a spell from the very first page. Jessica Spotswood has such gorgeous prose. She creates deep and touching characters that you truly care for, unless they're in the Brotherhood, who you only care to stake through the heart. With breathtaking magic, haunting prophecies and impossible choices, Born Wicked is wickedly captivating. If you love romance and danger, sacrifice and magic, and your heroines brave, then this is a novel you cannot pass up!

  • Liz
    2018-10-24 21:27

    I love books about witches and vampires and evil creatures in general. This was another read I really enjoyed. Cate, Tess and Maura are sisters. Moreover they are witches and they have to hide their abilities because the ruling Brotherhood is hunting witches down. After the death of their mother Cate has to take care of her sisters and watch over them so they are more careful with their magic. At the same time, Cate has to decide whether to join the Sisterhood or to marry and both possibilities are not perfect for her. Both mean that she has to leave her sisters. The situation gets even more tensed when their father arranges Elena and Finn. Especially because Cate plans to marry Paul. Finn confuses her.And then, there are also the two other girls of the neighborhood, Sachi and Rory and an old prophecy...Firstly, I really lliked the write style of this book. It reminded me on an old romantical Gothic novel and took the reader to a completely different world. The plot was interesting, there were some nice turning points and surprises in it and the book was full of secrets that were wisely revealed step by step. Cate is a nice character who is determined and a bit stiff but yet has a great and enjoyable humour and way of acting and thinking. She is lonely and she is strong, and the fact that she is an extremly talented witch makes her even more interesting. Tess, the youngest of the sisters is a sister everybody wishes for! She is childish when she has to be and more grown up than Cate when she sees that Cate is overwhelmed. She supports and helps her sister. A reliable and sweet character I really enjoyed reading about!Maura on the contrary. I couldn't stand this spoiled girl who only wanted attention. Same about Paul and Elena. It is indeed interesting how much the characters change during the book. Some reveal secrets, others develop and others show who they truly are. This book was far away from being predictable! I would recommend this book to fans of the paranormal genre

  • Jess
    2018-11-09 00:21

    I was lucky enough to win an arc of this from the author's blog, and wow, am I so glad I did. The prose was lush and evocative, beautifully painting the world Cate lives in. The idea of a world where women, and witches especially, are supressed by an all powerful "Brotherhood" was compelling, and the worldbuilding felt genuine. All the characters had their own personalitites and issues,and I never felt like the secondary charactors were just a backdrop to the action. The main romance of the book was excellent as well- Cate and Finn are now one of my favorite book couples of all time. I also loved the family relationship between Cate, Maura, and Tess: I LOVE love love reading about siblings in ya, and I thought this was very well done. Born Wicked is way better than your average young adult paranormal, and I think even people who AREN'T normally fantasy readers could definitely enjoy it. Read it.

  • April
    2018-10-24 21:14

    Yo, I swear Jessica Spotswood must have read my brain or something, because you guys alternate fantasy history about the Salem Witch Trials is EXACTLY the sort of book I want to read and what is delivered by Born Wicked — Spotswood’s debut novel and the first of a trilogy –The Cahill Witch Chronicles.Read the rest of my review here

  • Maria (highinthebooksky)
    2018-11-12 20:28

    to be honest I had my problems getting into the story but eventually I did! and it was worth my time! born wicked is a very enjoyable story with great characters and cool time setting ! Cate and her sisters have a very realistic relationship which reminds me of my own relationship with my sister sometimes... I liked how the story develops through out the book bc some aspects took me by surprise and so I'm looking forward to.read the sequel as soon as possible!

  • Julie Zantopoulos
    2018-11-11 21:10

    I feel like I’m missing something here. It took me nearly 20 days to read this book cause it couldn’t hold my attention. I wasn’t expecting a period piece and man did it take its sweet time picking up. I have the whole trilogy so I will continue but ugh. I’m so upset I didn’t love this book as much as everyone else seems to.

  • Steph Su
    2018-10-19 22:26

    There’s no good way for me to start this review except to just come straight out and say that this book disappointed me. With a pretty cover and interesting premise but lacking in world-building, solid pacing, and full characterization, BORN WICKED seems to exemplify all that is characteristic of recently published YA that are big hits but technically weak. So what follows is probably going to be more of a what-not-to-do essay for YA writers, and I hope to God that future writers and publishers will take these points into consideration before publishing their books.So let’s begin by going down that list, I guess. BORN WICKED claims to take place in an alternate history of the world, but unless your copy of the book came with the Editor’s Note saying so, it’s extremely difficult to figure out the “rules” of said world. BORN WICKED is set in an alternate world where New England is religiously oppressed and women dream of someday going to “Dubai” and engaging in freedom of expression. All of these similarities-but-differences beg the question: so where in the course of Earth’s history did things change? Only that is never explained in the book. There is no explanation of any “turning points” that led to this alternate course of history. Instead we simply have proper nouns like Dubai and New London and Mexico and the Indo-China War with no anchors in our own history. We have details like dress shapes and vague descriptions of architecture but the details seem to be a jumbled mix of Victorian, American Colonial, and Asian history.Look. If you want to write a fantasy, then just make up different names and say that your inspiration came from the Salem Witch Trials. Dune is often said to be an allegory of the Middle East oil crisis, but it’s not set in the Middle East of our world, is it? If you want to write a story that has its roots in our world, then you damn well better explain in the story how your fictional setting came about. People seem to be confused about how to world-build different genres. For the record, science fiction, dystopian, and alternate-history settings require MORE world-building than fantasy, because they are a what-if regarding a possible different future or past track that we could take. Science fiction, dystopian, and alternate-history settings must, if anything, read like contemporary fiction: the world in the story must be completely natural for readers.I think I’ve said enough about that one subject. Moving on.Some people think it’s a good thing that the last several chapters of a 300-plus-page book are dramatic and full of startling revelations and villains going BOOM and protagonists agonizing over difficult decisions that they must make in a pinch of a moment. This is not a good thing. It means that the pacing is uneven and that the rest of the book up until the last few dramatic chapters either drag painfully or could have been condensed into a few chapters without losing anything. You don’t sell a 300-plus-page book by saying, oh my goodness, but just wait until you get to page 300. Page 300?! No. The first 300 pages need to be tight. They need to be informative. They need to ensnare the reader. The last few chapters CANNOT justify the first several hundred pages. I don’t find the last few dramatic chapters of a book to ever justify the amount of time I spent dragging myself through the first several hundred pages.And finally, characterization. Writers, minor characters deserve almost the same amount of thought and development you give to major characters. Consider that, if they were real (which is kind of the point of writing fiction: to make everything feel as real and believable as possible, no matter your intention for doing so), minor characters could and should have the potential to be protagonists of their own stories somewhere out there. All of the characters in BORN WICKED are kind of jumbled together in my mind. No one stands out. The Biggest and Baddest Villains are Completely Opaque-Black Badddd, but nearly everyone else’s natures and backstories seem to be able to be summarized in just two sentences each. If you want your characters—and thus, essentially, your story—to be memorable for readers, this is not the way to go.BORN WICKED is probably not better or worse than most of the other hyped YA out there, but, coming at the end of a looooong line of other hyped YA that display the same problems, it has, unfortunately, been forced to bear the brunt of my frustration with recent YA. BORN WICKED really isn’t bad, depending on what standards you have. If you’ve found yourself enjoying most of the YA bestsellers of the past year or so, then BORN WICKED will be your cup of tea. If you are looking for standout YA that elevate the genre, though, it may be best not to have too high expectations for this book. I’m going to get off the computer and go hit some walls now.

  • Nafiza
    2018-11-02 01:19

    Dear Cate,Let's talk, you and me. We're both women, we'll definitely have no problem finding at least one topic to find common ground in. We started off as friends, you and I. I quite understood and empathized with the horror you felt concerning the chauvinistic bastards who organized themselves as the Brotherhood and whose main aim was to ensure that women did not move out of their place in the supposed "natural" order of things. I was quite disgusted and I dare say, felt your anger at the crimes constantly perpetrated against women. I felt your pain as you tried to be a mother to your sisters, one of whom needed a good slap that you managed to restrain yourself from giving. And the freedom of the Arab girls? So clever. I enjoyed a chuckle though I don't know if that was what was intended. Anyway, we were good friends.Until you started being annoying. This was due to two main things. Two main people. Two boys. I feel bad for Paul. I really do. First there is a flashback where I am led to believe that Paul holds more meaning to you than he apparently does. My bad. His arrival is heralded with a lot of fanfare and anticipation and I thought I'd hold your hand and squeal as your heart palpitated. I guess not. Of course he's handsome and totally in love with you despite other girls wanting him oh so badly. Unfortunately, you have a thing for the gardener. Finn. Who seems perfectly nice but if you have a thing for him, why the heck do you lead on Paul? Why do you promise not to marry anyone else, explicitly mind you, and then in the next chapter, you are oh so blithely agreeing to marry Finn. Why do you do that, Cate? That's not cool. This "best friend" of yours, Paul, surely deserves more than the shoddy treatment you insist on giving him.But Cate, I think our relationship failed entirely when you continued not doing anything even in the face of annihilation. What is the point, I ask you, of having so much power when you are standing there, doing nothing and waiting for the bad guys to win. And the Sisterhood? Psht. I actually admire them more than I admire you. At least they use the agency they have to do shit that is actually bigger than them. You are selfish, Cate, and the ending is supposed to make me empathize with you? It didn't. It just made me roll my eyes a lot more at the insistence on pathos in a series that really could have been organized into something that flowed on its own. Because Cate, as you waffle and wibble about true love and all the sacrifices you are making, you are being forced to make, there are other girls, some even the ages of your own sisters, who are being killed, yes Cate, that means not alive anymore, while you bemoan the fact that you have to actually think beyond yourself. Yes, I realize there's no one as important as you are, not even the two unlikely witches who mind you are cooler than you, but when you are the heroine of a novel, you gotta do shit to be shit, like say, I dunno, Katniss does for Primrose? If you had to be Katniss, you'd never volunteer because what if that vixen to whom you sell beavers (or something) stole Gale while you were away fighting for your life? So for all the proselytizing you do about doing anything (ANYTHING) for your sisters, you don't actually do anything. You are forced to which is a markedly different from volunteering to. So Cate, you fail.And that's why, Cate, you and I part ways and I don't think we are ever going to resurrect our relationship. It's a shame but I did so enjoy the pretty cover you appeared in. Here's hoping you grow some balls in the sequels. Not that I'll be around to witness it.Sincerely,Nafiza.

  • Brigid ✩ Cool Ninja Sharpshooter ✩
    2018-10-23 19:08

    I went into this book knowing next to nothing about it except that it involved witches––and hey, I haven't read very many books that dealt with witches/witchcraft so I was excited to give it a try! And, well, I liked it. It was a light and fun read. There are a few things I wish had been better, but overall it was enjoyable.What I liked:- It has an interesting, kind of "alternate history" setting which wasn't what I expected. And I love alternate histories and historical fantasy, so I liked that element of it. - I like Cate and her sisters, and how they're so dedicated to each other. I'm always happy to see strong sister relationships in books! - I really love Maura for some reason? Like... if I do end up reading the sequel(s) it will mainly be because of her (assuming there's more of her in the other books). She was definitely the most compelling character for me. (view spoiler)[Btw I somehow knew from the beginning that she was bi, lol. Maybe it's just me, a fellow bisexual, projecting myself onto every character, but I was like....hmmmMMM. (hide spoiler)]- The book deals with some interesting themes about gender roles, sexism, sexuality, etc. etc. which I appreciated. It could've delved into those themes a little more, but I was glad they were touched upon, at least. What didn't work for me:- This isn't exactly a fast-paced book. I don't mind books taking things a little slow, but I wish it'd had a bit more of a plot. - The love triangle. *frustrated sigh* You know, I actually didn't mind the romance in this book. Finn is pretty cool and he and Cate are cute together. But then there was all this stupid stuff with Paul, and I was kind of like, "....Who?" I didn't see why he was necessary to the story, and throwing him in there didn't seem to add much. I think it would've been compelling enough with Cate just being in love with Finn and not wanting him to find out she's a witch and all. I don't think there needed to be this extra subplot of "Oh no, which cute boy shall I marry?!" It only slowed things down, really. - I wish there had been more magic. For a book about witches there was .... not a lot of witchcraft. There was a lot of focus on the romance and drama and whatnot, and I really just wanted to see more of Cate and her sisters testing their powers. There was more of that towards the end, so I became a little more invested––but honestly through the first half of the book or so, I kept almost forgetting that it was even a fantasy. The final word:Pros:- a quick, fun read- sisterhood!- (view spoiler)[some bi (I guess??) representation, hell yeah (hide spoiler)]- some thought-provoking themesCons:- a bit slow-paced- love triangle- not enough magicSo .... I had a couple issues with this book, but I liked it well enough that I might give the next one a try!