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When My Heart Was Wicked

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  515 ratings  ·  145 reviews
"I used to be one of those girls. The kind who loved to deliver bad news. When I colored my hair, I imagined it seeping into my scalp, black dye pooling into my veins.

But that was the old Lacy. Now, when I cast spells, they are always for good."

16-year-old Lacy believes that magic and science can work side by side. She's a botanist who knows how to harness the healing powe
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published February 24th 2015 by Scholastic Press
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Average rating 3.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  515 ratings  ·  145 reviews

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Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always
For more reviews and fun bookish posts, head over to Deadly Darlings!

Before getting into my review, let me tell you now that this book isn't for everyone . If you're easily offended by harsh main characters, or if you're put off by characters who have really dark thoughts, then best stay away.

Now that I've said that, I want to say that I personally really enjoyed reading When My Heart Was Wicked. I'm a big fan of dark and crazy stories, so this one was right up my alley.

This book was a psycho
jv poore
Lacy is clearly conflicted and completely compelling. At the tender age of sixteen, she has become so very good in spite of her tumultuous, tangled life; but, things change. The loss of a parent is heart-breaking and often life-changing. When that loss is followed by an abrupt and unwelcome custody change, the downward spiral spins out of control.

Flashbacks and memories reveal the characteristics of Lacy’s parents allowing the reader to understand Lacy’s influences. The vibes emanating from the
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults and Young Adults
I thought this book was absolutely beautiful. As one reviewer pointed out, it was short, less than 200 pages. But when I pick up a shorter novel, I know immediately to savor each word within, because, as with poetry, they are all there for a reason. When My Heart Was Wicked did not disappoint. Infused with symbolism and centered around the young protagonist Lacy’s struggle to come to terms with her own identity in the wake of her father’s death, the storyline echoes the conflict we have all face ...more
This is the story of an edgy girl who spews out random science facts for no apparent reason.
The writing is bland, the story makes no sense, what the utter hell was even going on, and why was there such a sad attempt at romance?
There is magic involved and I don't understand how it works or why and I kind of want to just erase this from memory.
thank you to edelweiss for providing me with an e-arc
Rachel's Book Reviews
Dec 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bookaholic (reads every mortal thing)
Mar 25, 2015 marked it as to-read-or-not-to-read
"I used to be one of those girls. The kind who loved to deliver bad news. When I colored my hair, I imagined it seeping into my scalp, black dye pooling into my veins.

Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
When My Heart Was Wicked by Tricia Stirling is one of those rare young adult novels that gives me hope for the future of this genre. For the future of young readers. That there are real stories out there. From real story tellers. Poignant and powerful. Endearing and desperate in their cries. Echoing in the wilderness of mass market; teenage girl saves civilizations but still remains bitter and full of angst and yet uber cute and sexy too, ready for the movie screen trilogies.

Original. Yes Trici
usagi ☆ミ
This one was a pleasant surprise, though I wish it had been longer. "When My Heart Was Wicked" is a snapshot of what can happen to someone as a cause of an unstable, dangerous childhood trying to become an adult - but through the lens of Francesca Lia Block-esque magical realism. I loved this one, and it makes me feel like Stirling will be one awesome author to watch. If you're looking for a little magical realism in your tough stuff YA issues book, "When My Heart Was Wicked" is definitely the o ...more
rachel ☾
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Well, that was weird. I don't know what else to say.
Online Eccentric Librarian
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, ya, urban-fantasy

More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog

When My Heart Was Wicked is a beautifully written novella exploring influences and choices - and how we can affect or be affected by both. As spoken through the voice of 16 year old Lacy, the world of Northern California's Chico and Sacramento are just a bit mysterious but at the same time crushingly real. And at 200 pages, the prose is sparing and poignant, with each word carrying the weight of the story without over
Feb 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review
That was very interesting! Full review to come soon.

Updated April 25, 2015

**Thank you so much to Scholastic for allowing me to read a copy of this in exchange for an honest review!**

Lacy lives with her step mom in Chico after her mother mysteriously disappeared right now. She was home alone for a few days while her mom was off who-knows-where, so she called her dad and step mom and went and lived with them for a while. Originally, she hated her step mother and even did everything that she could
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I would be lying if I said the cover wasn’t the first thing that made me want to read When My Heart Was Wicked. It’s absolutely breathtaking, luckily the story within is also. I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t a little hesitant on whether or not I would like this book after reading the first page, but this book completely sucked me in.

Lacy Fin isn’t like other sixteen year old girls, that much is obvious from the start, she’s seen more in her short time, and she can do things the other girls
When My Heart Was Wicked read like two distinct stories: part one is Lacy Fin, average adolescent with an estranged, unbalanced mother. Part two: meet Lacy Fin, witch, partly by mistake, partly on purpose.

When we first meet Lacy Fin, she's living with her "vanilla" stepmother, Anna, shortly after the death of her father. She's got friends, does well enough in school, loves science and plants, and is an overall normal teen. She's sad about her father's death, but she's balanced by the stable par
Imperfectly Belle
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
This book was a bit darker in nature than I thought it would be but it has certainly been an enjoyable read. The dark thoughts and magic made the story interesting and out of the ordinary. At less than 200 pages I read most of this in one sitting.
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: i-own-these
This story has some pretty dark mother daughter dynamics, then took a turn for the weird. Review to come 3/29 at Winterhaven Books
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book started off super interesting, then just gets so dull I almost threw it to the DNF. The end is a decent payoff, but a bit late as I didn't care enough when it happened. The highlight of this book, is that it does a good job of making the reader question whether the magic is real or not when it comes to Lacy and her mother.
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-na, 2020
Tricia Sterling has written a really unique book about magic that has an awesome dark undertone.

Lacy’s dad has died and her mother has reappeared and its clear she wants something from her. She’s forced to move to another school and on this new unstable ground, she starts to realise that something isn’t as it should with her mother or herself. Are the dark things happening really coincidental?

You should read this if you are at all in to YA and magic, it’s beautifully written!
Michelle Rebar
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I didn't know what to expect from this book, but what I got was a dark tale of magic and self-discovery. The shining star of this book is the beautifully poetic writing that is reminiscent of Francesca Lia Block's magical prose. This was like, if the movie The Craft were reimagined into a contemporary, Grimm's Fairytale. Tricia Stirling is an author to watch, this was a gorgeous and impressive debut. Full review to come...

Updated 2/11/15. Original review posted on Michelle's Minions

After th
*Originally reviewed on Adele Is Reading*

TRIGGER WARNING: Self-Harm, Suicide Attempts, and Child Abuse

While this book was written well, and the main character Lacy, is interesting enough, When My Heart Was Wicked didn’t really stick with me at all. I don’t have any profound moments to look back on. To me, When My Heart Was Wicked is a book about who you surround yourself with, and letting go of the bad things you may have done in your past to move onto better things.

When My Heart Was Wicked is d
Very surprising read. Was not expecting it to be as dark or fascinating as it was. Read it in one sitting and highly recommend it. Uplifting ending, despite everything.

Lots to talk about regarding what's actually happening to Lacy, what she's dealing with and how she's growing. Fantastic discussion book. Quite a few people seemed to dislike it for its handling of grittier topics and even a few cited cultural appropriation regarding the mentioning of Native peoples in connection to magic. I pers
May 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Probably this needs a special shelf with WITCHES OF WORM, SEASON OF THE WITCH and a couple more. Every one of them is well done, with the enduring question of whether the occurrences are due to cast spells, or merely co-incidence. In this case, Lacey was raised by her mother to believe she has the power to control others, and a strong leaning toward darkness. But her step-mother, who has had an equally strong influence on her life, has taught her to support and enjoy the life around her. When La ...more
Keith Carmona
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Magic in both subject and words, Tricia Stirling crafts a wonderful story of a girl between two worlds trying to emerge into becoming who she desires to be while still gathering pieces of the past--memories of her lost father, fragments of her possessive and erratic mother, all while clinging to her previous life in Chico while trying to fit in living in Sacramento. While young adult coming-of-age books are common, what makes this book unique is the struggle between the mystical and the real and ...more
I've never read something like that. This book truly was unique, a wonderful book about a mother-daughter relationship with a twist of magic.
I love Stirling's writing style; I felt the book was incredibly well written and very poetic.
This book for sure wasn't something I was expecting, but I am happy to have read it.

A more detailed review will soon be up!
Dec 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like Lois Duncan for a new generation. With swearing.I would have devoured this when I was in junior high. #nostalgia
4.5 stars. This was a really unique book, and it was short and sweet. The designs for the chapters and the cover are some of the most beautiful illustrations I've ever seen in a book!!
Feb 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Different, but alright.
Apr 28, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a frustrating one for me. It started off well, but the rest left me disappointed. The motivation of the characters felt off to me for most of the book. Our main character, Lacy, fears her mother, but wants to be like her at the same time. She disagrees with her on almost everything, but then goes along with her without a fight. I never felt like we were given a good reason to perceive her as a threat other than variations of Lacy deciding "there's no point fighting, she always wins." In ...more
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lacy is happy living in her small town with her lovely stepmother after the death of her father. She tends her garden, cuddles her cat, and looks for the magic in everything. But when her mother returns to take her back, Lacy is thrust back into a life she has been trying to leave behind. There is something sinister at work in Lacy's life now and she must fight to get rid of it, lest it takes over her.

This is a witchy, flowery, sad little book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Lacy is so full of grie
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This novel was definitely a sort of surprise.

I kind of randomly picked this book from my laundry room's 'leave a book take a book' shelf. I expected it to be a fairly straight forward 'young witch' type story with more fantasy than substance.

This novel is not that, at all.

I am often mesmerised with works that have a lot of psychological elements that I could dissect. The novel grasped me due to my own experiences with negative thoughts, depression, and self harm. There's always something so sat
Jan 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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