18 February 2012

Review: Born Wicked

Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1) by Jessica Spotswood
Publication date: February 7, 2012
Publisher: Putnam

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.

Everyone seems to love Born Wicked. This will, unfortunately, be another book I will go against the grain on. I feel like the narrator, Cate, only talked about two things: what everyone is wearing and she hates being a witch.

What Everyone Is Wearing:
Every time someone enters a room, Cate describes in great detail what he/she/everyone is wearing. I began to dread the party scenes. I understand it's a historical novel and period clothing is a part of the atmosphere the author wants to create. I get that and I usually love that, but I feel like Spotswood went overboard. I get that Cate and her sisters' new clothing was important to them. It's a big deal. But the author would also go into great detail about the clothes of other people Cate was with or saw. This was perplexing to me because from what I got from the book, Cate doesn't care for clothing so why would she talk about it in great detail? There's a difference between an important piece of clothing that means something to the character and just a piece of clothing.

She Hates Being a Witch:
Cate hates being a witch and she talks about how much she hates it all the time. Normally I can stand a negative nelly. Example, I adore Briony in Chime and, holy crap, does that girl hate herself. I wish I pinpoint the difference in the two characters, but Cate began to get on my nerves a bit. Maybe because she doesn't have the self-deprecating humor that Briony has?

Spotswood does a great job of world building and giving Born Wicked a "classic" feel. Her writing style fits the time period perfectly. I didn't realize the book was going to be mainly centered around the romance. Don't get me wrong, I love romance in my books. Romance is da bomb, but I think the reason I wasn't pulled into this one is because I didn't feel a connection between Cate and her two love interests. It felt kind of bland to me. I also found myself wanting more story progression in Born Wicked. I feel like the majority of the book is Cate talking about clothes and attending parties and just talking. All of the action finally comes into play in the last few pages and it is awesome. I thought the book was finally getting interesting at the end and then it ended. Sad face. Luckily, there's a next one.

I recommend this book to fans of romance and historical fiction. Just because I felt this way, doesn't mean you will. I seem to be in the minority anyway. ;)

Oh Born Wicked, how I wanted to love you. I like you, but I guess we should just shake hands, say we had a good time, I'll tell you I'll call you, and then part ways.


  1. You're feelings of mild like for BORN WICKED are exactly the feelings I had for CHIME. I didn't hate it, but it just didn't do it for me. Of course, I'm in the minority there, too. Historical fiction has just recently started growing on me and I guess I just read this one at the right time, I'm sorry it wasn't a fave for you. Although, she does talk about clothes all the time, you are definitely right on about that one :0)

  2. I think this might be the first review I've read for this that wasn't a total rave. It's good to see another opinion sometimes! I think I'll be checking this one out sometime (I am quite a fan of historical fiction).

  3. @Sarah: I'm always so scared when I post a review opposite to what others think of the book. Thank you for being fair as someone who I know loved it. :) I used to be obsessed with historical fiction when I was actually in the "YA age" but somewhere it petered out. Recently, though, it's been coming back full force and I can't get enough of it.

    @Allison: There's a first for everything. Yay! ;) You should definitely check it out! I may not have enjoyed it as much as others, but it's worth a read. Thanks for commenting!


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