Review * Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

July 5, 2013 Reviews 4 ★★★★

Review * Born Wicked by Jessica SpotswoodBorn Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Series: The Cahill Witch Chronicals #1
Published by Putnam Juvenile on February 7, 2012
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 330
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Add to: 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 Thought…

  • Born Wicked surprised me a bit. I was expecting it to be light and fluffy and it wasn’t all light and fluffy. It wasn’t dark and dreary or anything, just not as light as I thought it would be.
  • I’ve always had a slight fascination with the Salem Witch Trials and witches (it all started with The Witch of Blackbird Pond) and the Cahill sisters did not disappoint. I loved the relationship that they had (or didn’t have) with magic as well as their relationship with each other. You can tell that the three sisters all love each other, but there are plenty of arguments between them.
  • Cate and her sisters live in a town that is, of course, anti-witch because, you know, witches are evil! In order to protect herself and her sisters they have become recluses, which backfires on Cate because it makes them out as strange.
  • I really liked Cate and her sisters, Maura and Tess. Tess, the youngest, is advanced for her age (academically and magically) and is always the calm one . Maura was my favorite sister. I enjoyed her tantrums and her defiance. Cate reminds me in some ways of myself. Some of the things she worried in regards to her sisters were small and silly, but made sense at the same time. She also has a tendency to do what is right, even if it will impact her negatively.
  • Born Wicked is kind of a love triangle, kind of not. At a signing earlier this year Jessica Spotswood said that it was never intended to be a love triangle and that to her there is only one choice for Cate, but I can see where people got the impression that this is a love triangle because there are two guys! Guy #1 is Paul and is an old childhood friend who has recently come back to town to essentially find a wife (girls have to declare themselves before their 17th birthday – more on this in a moment). Obviously he wants Cate. Finn is the booksellers son (I know, you don’t even need any more info than that, right?) and gardens at the Cahill place on the side, which is where he meets Cate.
  • I loved the secondary characters. Finn’s mom was my favorite. She has been running the bookstore since Finn’s father died, much to The Brotherhoods dismay. Cates friends were great too.
  • The Brotherhood makes me all sorts of angry. So many things wrong with them, like: if a girl doesn’t have a husband to declare they will pick some lecherous old man for them. Basically all women are bad and should remain in the home and raising babies. I know that in the past this was the general feeling (amongst the menfolk) but in Born Wicked is even more so. Basically their a cult. A crazy one.
  • The Sisterhood is associated with The Brotherhood, but really, they just take in girls who either decide (or get no offers) not to marry or are deemed crazy (i.e. a witch) and are forced to live there. The Sisterhood is one of the places that Cate fears, for a witch to be sent there would be dreadful (though death would be worse).
  • Born Wicked takes place in the past, an alternate history. I found this to be a little confusing in the beginning. I knew Born Wicked is a historical book, but I couldn’t seem to pick out the time frame right away. Once I figured out it was an alternate history all was well. I wish there would have been a little more history. With it being an alternate history I wanted to know more!
  • Born Wicked had quite a few twists. Some of which I had inkling about, some of which took me completely by surprise. I liked the direction that it’s going and I can’t wait to read Star Cursed.

Notable Quotes

“Reading is the perfect escape from whatever ails you.”

“The universe has yet to take my wishes under consideration.”


4 Responses to “Review * Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood”

  1. JennRenee

    Great review. I agree there really isn’t a love triangle. Cate knows who she wants and doesn’t hesitate.

    I love this series. The second book I thought was even better.
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