Wendy Darling's Reviews > Born Wicked

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
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Jun 28, 2011

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bookshelves: young-adult, 2012-publication, pn-witches, read-2012, costume-fiction, skimmed-or-unfinished, alternate-history, supportive
Read 2 times. Last read December 29, 2011 to January 4, 2012.

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.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading (Kindle Edition)
June 28, 2011 – Shelved
December 29, 2011 – Started Reading
December 30, 2011 –
page 116
35.15% "I detest the word "smirk," and it seems like I see it in so many YA novels. So far, this is keeping my interest, though..."
January 4, 2012 – Finished Reading
May 8, 2014 – Shelved (Kindle Edition)

Comments (showing 3-52)

message 52: by Tatiana (new) - added it

Tatiana Classifying this sort of books is agony!

Wendy Darling Yep. Especially in YA. :)

message 50: by Cristina (new)

Cristina ooh! I cannot wait to hear what you think about this :) It sounds like it will be so good.... but you never know.

Wendy Darling I like witch books, Cristina, but yes...you never know with these things. Fingers crossed!

Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews) I love that cover!

Wendy Darling Isn't it pretty? The colors are so lovely.

message 46: by JoDeen (new)

JoDeen wow what a beautiful cover

Wendy Darling III know! I'd like to lie down in in the grass in a pretty dress with flowers on my head.

message 44: by Soumi (new) - added it

Soumi Good, bad or moderate ?

Wendy Darling Not sure yet; I'm only 100 pages in. Nothing much has happened thus far.

message 42: by Jessica-Robyn (new)

Jessica-Robyn I have been dazzled by this cover. I'm never sure what to make of witches in YA, but seriously can this please be good so I have an excuse to just stare at the the pretty, pretty picture.

Wendy Darling It's actually more of a historical drama so far, Jessica-Robyn. (New England, early 1900s.) That part's just fine so far, I just wish more was happening with the witch part as well since I'm a third of the way in!

Cassi aka Snow White Haggard I'm guessing pseudo. The beginning is a little slow.

Wendy Darling It's a good problem to have, Sam. :) I think I'm going to pick it up again tonight, we'll see how this goes!

Sometimes I think it might get the "historical" badge and then sometimes the word "smirk" is used so much I want to stick it in "costume fiction." I know the word's been around for a long time, but it's still so jarring to see it. It definitely wasn't as commonly used as it was here, at least in the books I remember reading that were written during this time period.

Cassi aka Snow White Haggard Sad you didn't like it but I understand. It wasn't the romance so much as the world that I liked. Maybe I feel overburdened with the futuristic stories so this was a nice change. (But I can see how you could lose interest as well).

Wendy Darling Well, I didn't dislike it, Cassi...I guess I just wasn't excited by it as I'd hoped I would be! I did like the feel of the book, though, which did seem much more appropriately "period" than many other historical YA novels I've tried. I rated it a 3 to indicate my own personal taste rather than it being a reflection on the book, in this case.

Wendy Darling Thanks! I too have a tricky relationship with historical fiction, and historical YA fiction in particular. There are things about this book that are very pretty, and perhaps I'd feel differently about it if it was a straight-up novel without any of the paranormal elements to it.

But like I said, I do think some other readers would enjoy this more than I did.

message 35: by oliviasbooks (new)

oliviasbooks I'll follow Cillian's lead. ;~)

message 34: by Chelsea (new) - added it

Chelsea I'm a huge fan of historical fiction but this doesn't sound too appealing. I may get this out from the library to be on the safe side ... my expectations are rather low at this point in time though.

Wendy Darling Probably best, olivia. :)

I think trying it out from the library first is a great idea, Chelsea. Let me know what you think of it if you end up reading it!

message 32: by Annika (new)

Annika First Tatiana's review and now yours, Wendy; this book is going off my list. If there were enough magic in there I think I'd end up really liking it but since it's mostly romance... no, thanks.

Chelsey I felt the same way! I was so excited about it and receiving it from a friend made me want to love it even more, but I just couldn't get into it! There was nothing necessarily wrong and all my friends seemed to adore it, so I kept trying. I'm glad I wasn't the only one to feel this way :).

message 30: by Sesana (new)

Sesana Wendy, I love to read history, but not historical fiction. Too much of the latter has little to do with the former. But worse are writers who rewrite history to fit their own agendas.

Wendy Darling Yeah, I don't think this is an Annika book.

I agree, Chelsey, there wasn't anything huge that was "wrong," I just didn't feel a connection to the story or characters. But if people do, I can see how they might like it!

Sesana wrote: "Wendy, I love to read history, but not historical fiction. Too much of the latter has little to do with the former. But worse are writers who rewrite history to fit their own agendas."

Wise words.

message 28: by ♥Rachel♥ (new)

♥Rachel♥ Sorry this wasn't a winner for you Wendy but I see you gave it 3 stars which probably means I'll love it! Lol! I've entered your giveaway on your blog, thanks. :)

Wendy Darling Hah, that's so true! It might be at least a 4 star book for you since it's more romance-centered. :) I think I'm getting a reputation for being a cranky-pants, though, I keep hearing "well, if you liked it..."

Amelia, the pragmatic idealist I think I know what you're talking about: liking a book enough, not having anything wrong with it, but not really enjoying it either. That's how I feel about the book I'm reading right now.

And there's nothing wrong with being a crankypants! I've been wearing my pair now for 2 years. You can be our leader :)

message 25: by ♥Rachel♥ (new)

♥Rachel♥ You know me Wendy, hopeless romantic! :)

Wendy Darling Wendy Darling, Crankypants. That's me!

And that's what I like best about you, Rachel. :)

message 23: by ♥Rachel♥ (last edited Jan 05, 2012 10:33PM) (new)

♥Rachel♥ Aww, thanks Wendy. Who says you're cranky pants? Point me in their direction & I'll rough them up for you! ;)

Wendy Darling Ooo, my own personal heart-emblazoned bodyguard! I'll keep you in my pocket until I need you. ;)

message 21: by ~Tina~ (new)

~Tina~ I have a hard time with historical to begin with. I think I'm just gonna take this off my shelf. Great honest review, Wendy!

message 20: by Arlene (new)

Arlene Great review Wendy. I tend to like historicals, so I might check out your give-away. :)

Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews) Uggh.. not the diary-plot-point! I hate that and it pops up everywhere. What a bummer that this is a letdown :(

Wendy Darling Oh yes, the ARC giveaway is open until next Thursday, Arlene, so you have plenty of time to enter. :)

Thanks Tina! I have a mixed relationship with historicals, too.

And yeah, the diary thing has become a bit of a pet peeve for me, Jessie. It's so rarely done well, mostly because its just not a dynamic plot device. Other people have seemed to enjoy this more than I did, though, so I think with this one it's probably just a matter of personal preference.

message 17: by Crystal (new) - added it

Crystal I entered but I pressed enter before I finished putting in my full email lol! If by chance the winner is just 1/2 an email that would be me LOL! Great review =)

message 16: by ~Tina~ (new)

~Tina~ Your too cute Crystal ^^ lol

message 15: by Crystal (new) - added it

Crystal LOL I can't believe I did that!

Wendy Darling Hah! No worries, I will make sure your contest entry goes through, Crystal.

message 13: by Crystal (new) - added it

Crystal Thanks Wendy lol =)

Wendy Darling Oh good, I'm glad you entered the contest! You might like this one, Cill--it's rather Haunting Violet-esque.

message 11: by ♥Rachel♥ (new)

♥Rachel♥ Wendy you didn't say it was like Haunting Violet, now I'm really interested. Did it have humor like Haunting Violet?

Wendy Darling Hm, there isn't a lot of humor in this book that I can specifically remember, Rachel. Not that it's humorless, I just wouldn't make a special note of it being a funny book. I just meant that this is similar to HV with the historical + supernatural + romance thing, with lots of period detailing!

message 9: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Oh noes. But you got me really excited about this, Wendy. Oh well, I do hate books focusing on romance only, look what happened to Die For Me. *shudders*

Wendy Darling I think this was really more of a personal preference thing, Sarah--the writing was overall actually very pretty. Perhaps if readers know to expect more focus on the romance, they will respond differently than I did? If you're interested in the book, I'd still give it a try anyway!

message 7: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah I will try this I think, but it'll not be high on my TBR list. I really don't like reading paranormal novels that focuses on the "romance" a lot.

Wendy Darling Hey, I just finished Partials, which I think you'd LOVE. I am going to be that obnoxious mass recommender when I finally write my review, because I think most Newsflesh fans are gong to lap it right up. (No zombies, just a similar vibe...and awesome post-apocalyptic YA!)

message 5: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Oh my, I absolutely love Newsflesh! Will add this to my wishlist. :)

Wendy Darling I like that even in a thread about a historical/PNR/witch book, we still work the conversation around to zombies and the apocalypse, hah. ;)

Greta is Erikasbuddy Awesome review! Was curious about it but now I know it won't hold my attention :)

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