Review: Born Wicked

Born Wicked (The Cahill Chronicles #1) by Jessica Spotswood
Release Date ~ February 7, 2012
Putnam Juvenile ~ Penguin
ISBN13: 9780399257452
ARC received from Penguin Canada via Razorbill Giveaway

Goodreads Synopsis:
"Blessed with a gift..."cursed" with a secret."
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 six months left 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 starts 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.

Born Wicked is striking with its mysterious description and eye-catching cover; because of this, and the comments from a few blogger friends, I knew this was going to be a must-read for me in 2012.

I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. I was absolutely captivated and enthralled by this debut from Jessica, and impressed with its clever writing and intelligent, thoughtful storyline. This book absolutely, positively CANNOT BE MISSED! You won't regret picking this one up, promise.

  1. An intelligent, clever story:
    For those of you who love strong heroines and thought-provoking books, this is going to be one novel that you'll want to pick up. Jessica doesn't shy away from pivotal plot twists that further complicate the story, making it harder for Cate to figure things out. And Cate really does end up having to question everything she's known, everything she's ever taken for granted in her world. Everything just seems to be marbled in shades of gray, making it so unclear as to who the real heros and villains are in this story.
  2. A Beauty and the Beast love story:
    I don't think this was intended at all, but it was something that really struck me while I was reading; Paul is the Gaston to Cate's Belle, leaving Finn as the Beast. Now, there isn't anything wrong with Finn at all, and there isn't any particular curse. It's just that Finn is the last person Cate should fall in love with; but hey, when did that ever stop a YA heroine? Forbidden love is at its best in Born Wicked, with undeniable chemistry and some seriously lucious kissing scenes. Keep a fan nearby to fan yourself; you'll be needing it.
  3. Flawless world building:
    I seriously adored the alternate history Born Wicked was set in; while it takes place in the 19th Century, it isn't a world we're entirely familiar with and Jessica has made some key changes that only showcase the extent of her creativity and really add to the world she's made.
  4. Sisterly love & familial relationships:
    Hurray for stories that don't solely revolve around romance! The relationship between Cate and her two sisters, Maura and Tess is so interesting to read about and I love how they each shine through with such different personalities. It made the book that much more enjoyable to read about.
I seriously loved this book so much, and I can already say that it's going to be one of my favourites for this year. And Born Wicked definitely makes it as one of my favourite books of all time too. I'm so excited to see where this series is headed, and I hope to see many more books from Jessica in the future!

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


Hayley said...

I loved this one too! :) Great review Brenna!

Victoria Scott said...

Perfect review. I am dying to read this. I keep seeing it and it literally pains me not to have it in my hands already. Gah!

PS - Love your site! :)

Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

Amazing review! This has definitely topped my best books list as well! I loved the plot of the sisters relationships, it brought more to the story. And yes the romance between Finn and Cate was amazing!! I definitely did not regret this read (I've already passed it on to some people telling them they must read it!)

Amy @ Turn the Page (YA) said...

Great review - I should get this through the post soon. Im really excited to read it! :)

Lexie said...

Gah! This one sounds so fantastic. I need to buy it. Awesome review!

Jess said...

I love when a novel has good world building. I'm happy to see a positive review of this book !

Jess (Books and Sensibility)

Janiera said...

I'm going to be reading this soon because of how great everyone says it is! It's a little strange though in the trailer that the girl looks exactly like Kristen Stewart.

Nicci @ Paper Dreams said...

I am so glad you enjoyed this one. I really want to read it!! :D

Unknown said...

Wow top book of all time? I must read it! Thanks for the review. :)
Janiera @This is From my Heart

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