Sunday, March 24, 2013

Yay for YA: Born Wicked

Here is the first in my series of catch-up reviews.  This is a book that I read January 27-February 3.  Now it's almost the end of March.  Shame on me.

What's even worse about delaying this review is that it was such a good book!  Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood is a historical fiction, with paranormal and romantic elements, that I thoroughly enjoyed.  I can hardly wait for the sequel, which come out in June.

Checkouts: New to the charter school library
Typical reader: Teen girls in need of sci-fi/fantasy books, or teen girls looking for paranormal romance
Source: Authors Are Rockstars! giveaway

Synopsis: In an alternative turn-of-the-twentieth-century New England, religious orders hold sway and accusing witches never went out of style.  However, some girls and women actually are witches, such as Cate Cahill and her sisters.  Cate is coming of age, and she will soon have to choose someone to be betrothed to, or the priests of the Brotherhood will.  Luckily, her old childhood friend Paul McLeod is home and expressing interest in her hand in marriage - or there's the bookseller's son, Finn Belastra, who is the Cahill's gardener and oh-so-tempting.  All the while, Cate must try to keep the family secret from ruining all she cares for.

My Goodreads rating: 5 stars

Be shocked!  I have given a romance novel 5 stars, a top rating.  What could make it so good that even I can applaud a romantic YA story?

First and foremost, there's the writing style.  It charmed me quickly.  Ms. Spotswood does a great job of introducing the characters straightaway, so that I soon knew them and could relate to and care about them.  Also, there author has no fear of flexing a large vocabulary.  I was scrambling to look up a new word on page 10 (barouche).  I appreciate learning new words, which is difficult to do with YA literature and my already-ample lexicon.  It's also appropriate for historical fiction, because educated people (such as Cate Cahill) actually did have decent vocabularies.

Second, there isn't just a love triangle!  It's introduced a bit late in the book, but there's a third option.  Cate learns some interesting tidbits about the Sisterhood from the governess her father has hired for her and her sisters.  Joining the Sisterhood, which would offer more educational opportunities, delay or stave off marriage, and include other benefits that I'm not going to spoil, is something Cate must consider in addition to the young men that vie for her affection.  Which will she choose?

Finally, there are some great twists to the plot.  That's all I'm going to say about that!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday: March 22 edition

Heh heh, it's been a while.  Sorry.  But I've already made excuses, so it's time to stop avoiding the blog and start posting again.  I am at least six books behind in my reviews.  Let's get this show on the road again!  I'm participating in another Feature and Follow Friday, hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  Thanks for stopping by.

Q: What is your guilty pleasure as far as reading? Is it a genre, or is it a certain type of book?

A: I actually have a feature on this blog called "Guilty Pleasures."  These are books for adults, since I primarily read children's and YA books, and consider myself primarily a school librarian.  You can find those under the "guilty" tag.  Primarily, those are fantasy novels or true crime books.

I'm currently reading a true crime book, actually.  It's If You Really Loved Me by Ann Rule.  She's a great author, if you haven't ever tried her works.  If you like true crime, don't miss her most prominent book, The Stranger Beside Me, about her friend Ted Bundy.  Also, Ms. Rule is originally from Michigan, so she meets my one-a-month goal for reading a book related to Michigan, my home state.

Thank you for visiting my blog!  I do work all day on Friday, and cannot blog from work, so please understand that I won't be prompt in replying to comments.