Precious's Reviews > Born Wicked

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
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's review
Apr 25, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites
Read from January 08 to 21, 2012

Originally posted at Fragments of Life.

Cate, Maura and Tess were beautiful, educated by their father and intentionally isolated from the other girls. Cate had always thought that keeping away from the other girls, not drawing attention to herself and to her sisters was the safe thing to do. But with her 17th birthday and her intention ceremony just a few months away, she started having doubts, especially when more and more girls labeled as bluestockings were being accused as witches and arrested. I admired Cate's dedication and love for her sisters despite the constant tension between them. I loved how I was able to see the complicated happenings at the Cahill household.

In Cate’s world, girls were supposed to talk, act and dress properly. Women were naturally wicked according to the Brothers who preach in church. They were the source of temptation and they were the ones who ended up in an asylum after being accused of witchery. I find the norms of society difficult to bear with and terrifyingly strict. Since the death of Cate’s mother, Cate tried to stand as the protector of her sisters, caring for them, teaching them and warning them against the dangers of magic. But her task was hard to do especially when Maura never listened to her and Tess was too enthusiastic to use magic.

Paul was Cate’s childhood friend. He just came back from New London and he asked her hand for marriage. He was the sweet, fun and handsome boy-next-door type who knew Cate well. Although he was a bit too proud and overconfident, he definitely worked his charm on women. In the beginning, I wanted Paul for Cate. But that changed when Cate’s gardener, Finn Belastra entered the picture. Finn was the intelligent, eccentric, quiet and mysterious type. He was a keen observer with smart ideas, sharp thoughts and funny remarks. He could read and get Cate. But what I really liked about him was that he was a true gentleman and a passionate lover.

Enter the Brotherhood and Sisterhood. The Brotherhood was composed of men serving God who made sure that they kept everyone in line, by line I meant the ‘moral line.’ They preached, walked in that self-righteous way of theirs. They had the right to accuse and arrest girls for witchery. The brothers were scary. If I lived in that time, they would be on the top of my hate list. Their counterpart, the Sisterhood was composed of girls serving God and girls who were forced to join the Sisterhood, either because they didn’t want to marry or no one asked for their hand. But the Sisterhood also became a refuge for girls.

Born Wicked was generally filled with surprises. I kept gasping, staring wide-eyed at the pages every now and then. The novel grabbed me by the hand and led me deeper and deeper into its alternative historical setting. I loved reading about the dresses, corsets, tea parties, strict social norms, scandals and of course, witchery. The author’s attention to detail paid off. Nothing felt off. I think that the novel was backed up with enough research and this made everything even more believable and realistic. The pace was just right for me. It was just right for me to absorb all the details and establish the setting and allow me to get to know the characters.

Born Wicked is the enchanting, romantic, tragic story of Cate Cahill, one of the bravest heroines I’ve ever encountered. Witchery, romance, scandals and history packed in an engrossing YA novel. I highly recommend this to paranormal romance readers, historical readers, romance readers and witch enthusiasts!
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01/14/2012 "starting this one! :)"
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Cass -  Words on Paper So excited to read this book! Hope you enjoy.

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