Friday, March 23, 2012

BORN WICKED by Jessica Spotswood

Born Wicked
Jessica Spotswood

Rating: D

Synopsis from
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. 

My thoughts on the book:
I was so excited for Born Wicked to come out. I waited patiently for whoever had it checked out to return it to the library so that I could read it. I don't like buying books before I try them out first, and I am super that I got this one from the library first. This book was such a disappointment. The pacing was slow, the plot was boring, the characters were all brats, and the world-building was non-existent. I wanted to love Born Wicked so much, but it fell completely flat for me. The only thing that redeemed it was that the writing was good, even if it was boring. That's what saved this novel from an F rating. 

Let's start with the characters. I think Cate was supposed to be a strong woman in an oppressed society, but instead, she just came across as a whiny brat who's too weak to stand up for what's right. Oh she thinks she's noble, but she's not. She's a coward and she's weak. Maura is a temperamental brat, and I wanted her to get shipped off to the nuthouse or something. I really couldn't stand her. Tess was a pushover, but still the strongest of the three. The Sisterhood and the Brotherhood are both bunches of bullies. Finn was weak and Paul was just annoying. Basically I didn't like anyone in this book.

The plot was supposed to be a mystery, I think, or suspenseful, or something. I'm sure there was some point to this book other than to serve the author's purpose of preaching a message, but I'm not sure what, exactly, it was. I mean I guess it could have been a romance, but the ending kind of killed that for me. Sure, Finn and Cate were fine together, but I've seen better couples in YA. Of course, if I had been able to tolerate Finn and Cate, that may have helped. Also, I never felt like anything bad was really going to happen. This is the most anti-climactic novel I've ever read. I was completely bored the entire time. I had to make myself finish this book, and the only reason I did was because I kept hoping it'd get better at the end.

The pacing was slow-as-molasses, and the smallest and most insignificant things drag out FOREVER. There was also no world-building to speak of. I think this was the Victorian era, but they talked in modern colloquial phrases sometimes, so I can't be sure. I mean if she hadn't stated she was in New England and talked about carriages, I wouldn't have know where this book was taking place. And for all the history about horrible witches, Brotherhood, male dominance, etc., I still don't feel like I know anymore about the world than I did to start with.

As I previously stated, the only redeeming factor about this novel was the author's writing. Spotswood has a good writing style, but style alone isn't enough to make me pick up the next book in the series. This is one that I won't be continuing.


  1. Hi Amber, Thanks for popping by my blog, always happy to return the fsvor. I am reading Spellcaster and will have it on the blog Monday.
    I too was looking forward to this review, but I have read mixed reviews, You didn't touch on it in your review, but a lot of people complained about the ending. I laughd at your character descriptions, brats, especially Maura who needs to go to the nuthouse. I don't think I will be reading this one either, Thanks for the honest review.

  2. I didn't really like this book either. It was reallyyyyy predictable. Cate and Finn were of course, predictable, but I like them. Finn is a cool guy. I'm not sure if Cate deserves him lol. I understand Cate's rationale for everything, but I don't like her very much. This book is pretty good, but it's definitely not my favorite of the year. It took me a while to get into this book as well. But it got a solid 3 stars from me. Thanks for the review!!!

    Alyssa Susanna


I love getting comments, and I also try to always return the favor! Thanks for stopping by!