stars Cate is sixteen Three months before her seventeenth birthday she has to choose at the intention ceremony if she s going to marry or join the Sisterhood What is the Sisterhood The Sist
*2.5 stars*Cate is sixteen. Three months before her seventeenth birthday, she has to choose, at the intention ceremony, if she’s going to marry or join the Sisterhood.What is the Sisterhood?The Sisters are the feminine arm of the Brotherhood, only without any power: they do not preside over legal disputes, or create addendums to the morality code, or judge the cases of girls accused of witchery. They live isolated in convents in the cities and dedicate their lives in service to the Lord, educating girls in their elite boarding schools, occasionally serving as governess.Cate does not want to join them. She promised to take care of her sisters, Maura and Tess, and how could she do so, while being in New London?The story takes place in 1900 in New England, a place where witches are either sentenced to the prison ship or the madhouse. Let’s say that they don’t want to be discovered and live in secrecy. She could marry…that would be the wisest choice. But to whom? There’s Paul, the childhood friend in love with her. And there's Finn, their new gardener whom she comes to appreciate…very very much. Why? I have no idea. Sure, he’s sweet and gentle but, to be honest, I found him normal and pretty boring. Nothing special. Same goes for Paul, actually. Needless to say, I did not care for the romance.Cate is a good character and how much she cares for her sisters is admirable. I wish we had seen more of Tess, the younger sister, though. She seems to be present mostly at the beginning and then not so much anymore. Maura, her, is and that's great except for the fact that she and Cate don’t have the best of relationships.The plot had potential but there wasn’t enough magic, in my opinion. I believe it’s mostly because they have to hind it but, still, a story with witches needs witchery! And, the pacing, it was too slow. There isn't much happening in the plot and so there are some parts that drag or feel like fillers.The writing was good enough but there was nothing different, from the majority of YA books, in it. It didn’t impress me but it was pleasant enough to read.I believe the sequel may be better, since I thought the ending was interesting and gives a lot of possibilities. I will read it, but it certainly will not be a priority.If you want to read a story filled with magic and exciting romance, this may not be the perfect choice but, if you want to read a story containing family as one of the themes, some cute romance and an historical setting, this is it.Bestseller Born Wicked By Jessica Spotswood is a Kindle 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 onlyEverybody 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.. Author Editor Feminist Slytherpuff I live in Washington, DC with my playwright husband, where I also work as a children s library associate for the DC Public Library If you re interested in interviews or guest posts, please contact me at jessicaeathor gmail.. A viral Books Born Wicked Actual rating: 3.5. Rounded down for the pointless motherfucking love triangle.Mother didn’t trust Father to fight for us. Truth be told, she didn’t do a very good job of it herself. She left me with a diary full of cryptic warnings and a responsibility that should have been hers.I will keep my sisters safe...while I have breath left in my body.I'm an idiot. This is what I get for not reading the summary. For some fucking reason, I thought this was an adult novel. It's not. I thought it was magical realism. It's not, it's about witches. I thought it takes place in the modern US. It doesn't. Then I thought it took place in 18th century US. That ended quickly when I encountered a family named the Ishidas (there weren't a whole lot of Japanese people in the US in the 18th century, ok?). This book is an alternate history of the US with a Puritan-like religious sect called "The Brotherhood" in charge, in which witches existed and are persecuted.So now that we've finished discussing how dumb I am for not paying attention to the summary, let's discuss the book itself:The not-so-good:- Completely fucking pointless love triangle: what's better than one awesome guy?! Two of them! WHY?!- I-don't-want-to-be-a-witch syndrone: the main character suffers from it.- The length: It's a long book, and there is a decided lack of action. This is an alternate history of the 1900s US, expect plenty of courtship and tea parties with your witchcraft.The good:- Surprisingly feminist: there's a big message about female empowerment, education, and oppression in this book.- A likeable main character who doesn't feel like a Mary Sue: she is not a pretty pretty pretty girl like the summary tells you. She's dowdy, she's awkward, and she's more a mother hen than a peacock.- An interesting, if initially confusing-as-fuck alternate history: once you get that figured out, we're golden.- Diversity: people of color. Lesbians. A tongue-in-cheek reference to how liberal the alternate Middle-Eastern countries are in comparison. The witches themselves are believed and abhorred by the Brotherhood for being women who live with other women, and it's implied that they're lesbians. They're not, but it's the prejudice.- Interesting and unexpected side characters: you think a character is a stupid trope? Nope!- A well-drawn sisterly relationship: this is a book about sisters, and it shows.The Summary: You must watch over your sisters for me. Keep them safe. There’s so much I wanted to tell you. And now I haven’t time.Contrary to the fucking summary, 16-year-old Cate Cahill isn't "too pretty." She's the rather dowdy oldest sister to her younger siblings, Tess, 12, and Maura, 15. Her mother passed away when she was 13, leaving her with a cryptic message and a mission to watch over her sisters.It's a pretty important mission, because the Cahill sisters have a secret: they're witches. Not even their despondent, grieving shadow of a father knows. It's a secret that could kill them because they live in an alternate version of circa 1900 United States. This US is ruled by The Brotherhood, a fanatical religious sect that doesn't believe in the rights of women. This is because over 100 years ago, they defeated the witches, women said to be powerful, wicked, evil, lustful. They are kept controlled, regardless of their lack of magic.The Brothers are afraid the witches will rise up again someday, Mother said, so they loathe the idea of powerful women. We are not permitted to study and go to university as men do, or to take up professions.Since then, the Brotherhood has led a reign of purity, chastity, where women are subdued and submissive.The message is clear: women who are too opinionated or too educated, too odd or too curious, are punished. They deserve whatever fate they get.Women like us.Women are evil. Magic is reviled. The Cahill sisters are witches who must practice their witchcraft in secret, and they hate it. Spirited Tessa cannot help using spells where she shouldn't. Fiery Maura wants the freedom to practice her witchcraft---she doesn't feel like magic is something of which they should be ashamed.“We’re witches, Cate. We were born that way. Magic isn’t shameful, no matter what the Brothers would have us believe. It’s a gift. I wish you would accept that.”Whereas Cate worries all the time, and wishes she weren't a witch.I frown at my reflection in the pond, wishing with every fiber of my being that I weren’t a witch.Cate and her sisters are of marrying age, and a conniving neighbor with the aspiration of being the next Mrs. Cahill has convinced their dad to get them a governess---a dour Sister. A convent-like organization for women who don't marry. Cate and her sisters aren't fond of the idea...that's one more person they have to keep their secret from, but this governess isn't the plain sourpuss of a nun they expected. She is young, she is beautiful, she is fashiomable...Sister Elena is pretty—no, beautiful—with smooth brown skin and black ringlets peeking out from beneath her hood. And she’s fashionable—as fashionable as the Brothers’ strictures will allow. Her dress has a wide bell skirt in a soft pink that reminds me of Mother’s peonies. And she may just be the ally that they need.Cate has more on her mind than just the secrecy of her magic, she's of an age to marry, and for girls like her, there are only two choices once she turns 17: marry, or become a sister. Will she be marrying her childhood sweetheart, Paul...who understands her.“A life with you will never be dull, will it, and that’s just what I want. Think about it, Cate. That’s all I ask. Can you do that?”Or the mysterious Finn.Finn squares his shoulders—which have gotten a good deal sturdier since the last time I saw him. Or paid attention, at any rate. How long has it been since I actually looked? He’s gotten awfully handsome; it can’t have happened overnight.Adding to her headaches is her mother's mysterious message, it seems like Cate and her sister are in danger. There is a prophecy---will they be the one to fulfil it? Hell, will they live long enough to see it?...if the Brothers found out, they would kill me. Immediately and without trial. Perhaps they’d make an example of all three of us—burn us at the stake, or hang us in the town square, the way they did in Great-Grandmother’s day.The Setting: Whaaa?! This book was really, really confusing at first. I thought it was historical US, it's not. It's an alternate version of the US, where witchcraft exists and is stifled for fear. Around 100 years ago, the Brotherhood gained power. They killed all the witches, they set up a Puritan-like regime under which women aren't allowed access to higher education (some Brethren don't believe women should read at all) and should be submissive to men at all times. They use the witches' power to justify suppressing young women and making them subservient.They cared nothing for protecting girls’ virtue. They would have women aping men— dressing immodestly, running businesses, even forgoing marriage to live in unnatural unions with other women.”This book has a lot of diversity. There are Japanese families and side characters. The governess has "brown skin." There are lesbians, it is implied that some of the witches are lesbians.Furthermore, with the Middle Eastern circumstance these days where women are denied access to education---this book makes a tongue-in-cheek reference to the liberalness of the Middle Eastern countries compared to the US in this alternate universe.I hold back a sigh. What I wouldn’t give to share in the freedoms of Arab girls. They’re allowed to inherit property and go to university; they’ve even been given the right to vote.Overall, I felt like the world building was very well-done, if confusing at first.Cate: I hate that I’ve taken this small happiness away from her. When I was her age, I liked to run through the gardens, and I suppose I was careless with my magic, too. Now I have to play mother for Tess and Maura, and ignore the wild girl that still bangs in my heart, begging to be let out.A really sympathetic character. She is a girl who is forced to grow old before her time. She has to play disciplinarian to her two contrary, wilder, free-spirited sister, and it sucks the life out of her to do so. There is no question that the sisters love one another, and Cate feels her responsibility heavy on her shoulders. She is prepared to give up her own happiness to keep them safe.It’s been years since I’ve let myself consider what I want. It hardly matters. I didn’t want Mother to die; I didn’t want Father to turn into a shadow of his old self; I didn’t want the responsibility of policing my sisters. I certainly never wanted to be a witch in the first place.The universe has yet to take my wishes under consideration.I love her occasional moments of anger and resentment at having been forced to grow up so fast, so soon.It’s rare that I’ve let myself feel angry with Mother. She’s dead; she can’t defend herself. But now I’m shaking with it. How could she? How could she die and leave me here to deal with all of this alone?What I didn't like about Cate was her hatred of her own powers. She has an unique power, and no, she doesn't feel like a Mary Sue. Cate believes her witchcraft wicked, she hates her powers, she thinks herself evil. I don't like that. If I had powers, even if they were presecuted, I'd revel in it. Find a way to work it to my advantage. Don't be a motherfucking pussy. EMBRACE THE POWER. Cate sometimes feel week because of her own denial, and I didn't appreciate that character flaw, especially when power is something I would so embrace.The Romance: I want to chase right after Finn. I don’t care how big a fool I’d look.But I can’t. I’d be no better than that Penelope. Paul’s just proposed; I can’t go chasing after another man, one who may not even want me.Why?! Fucking why?! Paul is PERFECT. Here we have a case of a completely needless love triangle. She has her childhood best friend, Paul, with whom she has an understanding, which means that everyone in the 'hood knows they will get married one day, and she knows it, and Paul knows it, except BOOM, OUT OF THE BLUE COMES FUCKING FINN. Who takes all the Funn out of things. Sorry, couldn't resist.Paul is so nice. He understands Cate so well. They get along so well.“Because we’re alike, you and I. We want adventures, not quiet nights at home by the fire. I think I could make you happy if you’d let me.” Paul’s voice goes gravelly, and he takes both my hands in his. Which is why I don't fucking understand the need for a love triangle at all.