Author: Jessica Spotswood
Release Date: February 7th 2012
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
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 six months 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 stars 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.
Having grown up with two younger brothers, I always wanted to find out what it was like if I had a sister. How amazing that would be to braid each other's hair, or borrow each other's clothes. Or how horrible it would be, if you're polar opposites, if you're the freak and she's the popular one and she's a pain in my ass. I haven't read a YA book yet that explores the relationships of three sisters, so Born Wicked wasn't just magical and fantastic, it also questions just how much are you willing to give up, your own happiness, to ensure the safety of those you love the most.
I really love how the sisters are presented in this book. Their relationship rings very true and realistic. The complexity of it impressed me. Cate, was the most compassionate and possibly the most patient YA heroine I've ever read about, Maura was the pretty, reckless one yet she feels very jealous of Cate, and Tess was just so sweet and cute. Cate was very admirable, kind, selfless, and you can see how much she loves and cares for her sisters. The weight that she has over her shoulders made me feel some empathy for her, I can't imagine having that sort of responsibility especially when the person that you love and trust the most (their mother) was gone. Dead. I felt that Cate handled the situations beautifully and with respect.
There was this one line that stuck with me. It's taken from a scene with Tess and Cate, Tess (being only 12 years old) saying "I am Father's favorite. And you were Mother's. Maura feels jealous, and she needs someone for herself." I don't know why I like that line very much, but in my opinion, that sums up the relationship of the three sisters spot on. I can't WAIT to find out more about the Cahill sisters!
There were some very unexpected twists and turns throughout Born Wicked, and some left my jaw on the floor. How come I didn't think of that? How come I didn't figure that out? It was like you thought you knew everything that's going to happen, but then BAM. Jessica presents some VERY surprising secrets and history was uncovered.I LOVE it! Also, the magic is exactly the kind of magic in books that I love, very traditional yet quite modern as well.
I enjoyed learning about the Brotherhood and the Sisterhood, and basically just the society of their town. How women are treated as opposed to men astounds and horrified me. Yet at the same time, you can't help flipping the pages over to find out more. Jessica's writing also felt very authentic, and very historical-y. Her imagery and description of the setting, their magic just made my experience of reading this book as if I was in that position, as if I was Cate herself.
One of the things that I brought this down to an A (instead of an A+) is probably the romance. It was very sweet, and charming, but I felt like I needed more. Romance has to be very heavy in a book for me to enjoy and love it as much, and in Born Wicked, there's not quite a lot of sexual tension and kisses. I would also have preferred it if Finn is a more developed character. Basically, all we know is that he's clever, and a bookseller. How boring. He didn't feel alive to me. Nevertheless, I still think you should read this, probably not for the romance, but for the story of this three witch sisters.
If you love historical YA, witchcraft and an unlikely romance, then Born Wicked is surely a must-read!