What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Look at that cover? Doesn't it just pull you into the story of Born Wicked?
Here is the summary from Goodreads: 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.

What I Liked: 1) I adored Finn Belastra. He was kind of like, the strong silent type, the one who people don't notice at first, but then he comes in and wins your heart. 2) I also really enjoyed the setting. It was the late nineteenth century, in an alternate reality where the rule of law was the Brotherhood, a group of men in leadership who rule by a strict moral code. 3) Cate's loyalty and strength for her sisters. Don't be fooled by Cate's outward demeanor. She's fierce and strong when it comes to protecting her younger sisters. I always like seeing that in books, family protectiveness. Her sisters may think she overdoes it a bit, but I really loved how strong she was for them. 4) The cover! I just love how well the cover fits with the book. A lot of covers these days are pretty girls in fancy dresses (not that I'm opposed to those) but this cover in the garden with the vividly colored flowers just really captures a key idea of the book. 5) There was a twist near the end of the book that in looking back, I thought I should have seen coming, but I just didn't see it at all. So, I liked that it was able to throw me for a loop. If you've read it, you'll know what I'm talking about. I thought it was pretty surprising, particularly for the time period. 6) The way it ended. Okay, I loved/hated the way it ended. I hated it for the characters, because you know how I get emotionally attached to some characters, but I also loved the new ideas that it's going to open up for the subsequent books.

What I Didn't Like: As an audiobook, this one didn't move quite fast enough for me. While the narrator was good and seemed to capture Cate's demeanor well, there is passion in the writing that wasn't quite as well portrayed through the audiobook form. I also had the opportunity to read the hardcover, and thought that was a better medium for the story! The beginning is still a little slow, but it picks up nicely.

Overall thoughts: Born Wicked is Jessica Spotswood's stunning debut with charming and unique characters, and a plotline driving readers forward with it's twists and turns. The altworld historical setting made for a vivid and rich atmosphere with surprising evils and allies. The ending will only leave readers wanting more from the book, and I know that I'm curious to find out what's coming up next for Cate and her sisters.

My rating: 4 shots

This book was read as a part of my Debut Author Challenge 2012!


  1. Glad to see you loved it!! I did as well--and Finn. Ah, Finn, he was such a great guy! Can't wait to keep reading about the characters in future books.
    Great review,
    Ninja Girl

  2. Great review Courtney, I have seen this book around and it is getting both kinds kf reviews, I am intrigued by your review. I love historical books and I want to now know what the big twist is and what happens at the end. I will have to check this out.

  3. LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I cannot wait for book #2!!!

  4. I'm so glad you lIke it. It's fabulous!

  5. Great review! I look forward to reading this one.

  6. Evertime I see this cover I want it on my bookshelf :) The fact that you got emotionally attached means it was really good! I can't wait to read this one!

  7. I just saw this book at the store last night, it's really beautiful in person!

  8. Ninja Girl - Thanks! Finn was great, wasn't he? *swoons*

    Heidi - I hope you get the chance to check it out sometime soon! It was definitely a new kind of book for me, because I don't read a whole lot of historical fiction!

    Kate - I know! And I heard we might be seeing a cover soon...though that could just be a rumor!

    Amber - It was terrific. A great new series on the scene.

    Kathryn - I can't wait to hear what you think!

    Jackie - I know, this one it one of those beautiful covers that you just want to display for others to see!

    SweetSwan - It is! I love having a copy of it on my shelf!

    Thanks for stopping by, everyone!!


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