Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)
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Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1)

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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  9,311 ratings  ·  1,609 reviews
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...more
Hardcover, 330 pages
Published February 7th 2012 by Putnam Juvenile
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2012 Debut Authors (Young Adult & Middle Grade)
13th out of 966 books — 5,680 voters
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64th out of 1,255 books — 10,035 voters


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Community Reviews

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Khanh (Kittens, Rainbows, and Sunshine)
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 mag...more
Wendy Darling
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 wa...more
Tatiana
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 1s...more
Miranda Kenneally
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 do...more
Kristi
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...more
Ariana
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 oldprophecies, andeverythingin between.

THE COVER
... isn't it beautiful? I mean, I am not sure of the relationship with the book, as the girl’s dress d...more
Minli
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 wi...more
Kat (Le Pauvre Cœur)
I met the author and got a copy signed. She's really sweet and genuine, and sounds a lot like me.

After Finishing

Unfortunately, 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 Stars

Cate 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 m...more
Christie
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 w...more
Brodie
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 i...more
Krystle
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, pre...more
Sarah
When I found this among a pile of early releases at work, I chalked it up to destiny. Due to recent bad luck in the YA department, my grabbing Born Wicked was akin to a freebie 30-day trial on a steamer from Home Shopping Network. 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.

Onto the book, then. ;)

Looking past the lovely cover, the first thing I noticed was first-person present tense. *sigh* (Authors of t...more
Steph Su
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...more
Jess
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...more
April
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
Regan
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Can not wait to read the sequel!
Kitty (I solemnly swear that I am up to no good)
Born Wicked is a historical romance/fantasy novel set in a dystopian version of the beginning of the twentieth century...and I really almost liked this book. I can at least say that there is potential, but this was my reading face:

description
With a very large stretch of the imagination I could almost visualise Spotswood's world.

The story evolves around three sisters, each gifted with magical powers, in a country controlled by misogynistic men who fear nothing more than a woman with power. For the sisters...more
Elizabeth Norris
I stayed up all night reading this book. I could not put it down. Everyone should read this book.
Nafiza
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 crim...more
Liviania
Cate Cahill promised her dying mother that she would protect her two younger sisters, Maura and Tess. It's not an easy promise to keep. The three Cahill girls are powerful witches - and magic is illegal. They live in late nineteenth century America, but not the one we'd find in our history books. In this America the Brotherhood rules after overthrowing the witches. They maintain strict control of the population, particularly the female population. Once a girl comes of age, she must either marry...more
Shannon
Born Wicked was a novel that I was sure I was going to love since it has a historical setting, witches, and romance. While all three of those things are done extremely well, I felt the novel's slow pace and lack of intensity really hurt the story.

One of my biggest issues with the story begins with the protagonist Cate. Although I liked Cate, I didn't love her. She's actually quite judgmental and overbearing. She thinks very little of the other girls in town, despite the fact that she doesn't rea...more
Liz
Feb 22, 2013 Liz rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: witches
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...more
Caitlings
I really, really liked this book. The writing was so well done, and the characters, especially the sisters felt so real. And the issues were so conflicting. And then the ending....it was just the right type of cliffhanger. The type that had every plot thread end in such a way that you need to know what would happen next in their lives.



*Proper review to come.*
Saleana (Triquetra Reviews)
I think I've found the book that is going to pull me out of my reading slump! Read this beauty in a day and I can't wait for the second in the series. Pulled me in right from the start, I fell in love with the Cahill sisters, and Finn, and even Paul. All are carving their ways into my heart!
Lauren
Spotswood's enchanting debut is instantly addictive! It features a strong female protagonist (my favorite!) and plenty of forbidden romance and dark magic. Don't miss out on this sensational new series!
Lauren Prye

This book was not the worst but it could have been better. Also, I rate things by the feels they give me, and while I liked some aspects, the feels didn’t generate enough wattage to power a fourth star. Hence 3 stars.


The Setting

In this world, magic and witches exist but are repressed in Puritanical fashion by an oppressive religious order called the Brotherhood. This oppression extends not just to those unfortunate women with magical abilities, but all women. Women either marry or join the Sis

...more
Katie
Born Wicked has everything a reader could possibly want: magic, forbidden romance, prophecies, lies, and betrayals. It's hard to pick one favorite thing about this book. Everything about it is just fabulous!

One of the best and most unique things about Born Wicked is the setting. It is set in an alternate New England of the 1890s. Jessica Spotswood took some bits of real New England and added her own magical touch. The town itself is beautiful as is Cate's own home. The setting only adds to the b...more
Ferdy
2.5 stars

Set in an alternate 19th century America where girls that are accused of being witches are either sent to an asylum or a prison ship and some 'wicked' girls are even sentanced to death. The Brotherhood rule with an iron fist, they expect women to be pious, submissive, uneducated, chaste and eager to please their husbands and fathers. Women should not be outspoken, have opinions or run businesses - basically the brotherhood are mysogynistic pigs who are afraid of women having any power....more
Jacob Proffitt
Ugh. I couldn't get past the first couple chapters of this book. It's well-written enough and the main characters are interesting, but who wants to spend time in that society?!? Here's an idea: combine Protestant America's prosecution of witchcraft with the Muslim twist of women as inherently wicked (all women), add book burning of even tepid classics and nonsense rules like girls having to either marry or enter a convent at age 17. Now given this society and the fact you and any daughters you m...more
Aneeqah
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

My full review:

Let me start of by saying this: I really wanted to love this book. I've heard so many good things about it, and I just had that feeling that I was going to love it. Also, the authors is so nice on Twitter, and I love her. But unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations.

So, let's start with the characters. Our protagonist is Cate, who is trying to balance everything from managing her sisters to keeping up with town appearances so no on suspects the...more
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I heart books, yoga, tea, cardamom cookies, the color pink, board games, theatre, twirly dresses, and bells chiming the hour. I’m frighteningly enthusiastic.

I use GR to keep track of what I read and to recommend books that I really love.

NOTE: I love bloggers, booksellers, librarians, and passionate readers of all kinds! But I don't provide review copies of my books directly. If you're interested,...more
More about Jessica Spotswood...
Star Cursed (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #2) Sisters' Fate (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #3) Petticoats & Pistols Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves Breathless Reads Sampler

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