Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Book Review: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

3 Mar 2012

Title: Born Wicked
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Release Date: January 25th, 2012
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher for review (Thank you!)

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 six months 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 stars 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.

Doesn't it feel absolutely wonderful when you're finally able to read a particular book you've been lusting after for ages, and you end up loving it? Well, that's exactly what I felt after finishing Born Wicked. This 2012 debut is certainly one not to be missed!

Our main character Cate, is independent, selfless and extremely protective of her sisters. Her willingness to sacrifice her own happiness in order to care for them, and the fact that her thoughts always revolved around her sister’s well-being made her such an admirable character. Even when her upcoming engagement was approaching (and it was a huge deal since every girl had to be engaged before their 17th birthday) she never forgot her duty- to take care of her sisters.

While I loved the majority of the characters, there were several that really annoyed me. And I mean, annoyed as in I’d happily stick a knife through their heart and even then my anger probably wouldn't fade. And yes, to those who’ve read this book, I’m talking about infuriating selfish members of THE BROTHERHOOD and SISTERHOOD. I swear the society would benefit from their riddance!

Oh, FINN <3 Yes, here’s another character I absolutely ADORED! His relationship with Cate was so heart-warming and throughout the book, you’ll constantly go Awwwww <3 at the sweetness between the two! I loved how Finn accepted Cate for who she is, even after she revealed to him her deadly secret, and was willing to protect her with everything he had. These two have got to be the sweetest couple ever <3

I also loved how it was evident from the writing and the way the characters communicated that the story was set in the 19th/20th Century. The last two historical fiction books I read felt like modern day characters  living in the past, so I was so glad Ms Spotswood managed to capture the historical aspects perfectly in Born Wicked!

AND THAT ENDING was so cruel and heart-breaking! My poor, poor Finn and Cate both deserved their own happily  ever after, but NO! Some selfish, heartless and completely thick-headed morons just had to ruin everything! Now I'm seriously DESPERATE for the next book! Why, why WHY did it have to end like that? *cries heart out*

Born Wicked is magnificent start to a series that I'm sure will become one of my favourites <3 After reading this, I'm going to hunt down every single witch-related book out there and devour them! My advice: GO READ THIS BOOK NOW! 


  1. Yaaaaay! So glad to see you loved this Shirley! I haven't read it yet and I wasn't sure I wanted but every time one of my lovely blogger friends love this it makes me wanna read it more.

    Incredible review--you make me wish I was reading this now <3

  2. Ooh, you gave this a great review! I have this sitting in my pile of books, maybe I should bump it a little higher? ;)

  3. To your first sentence - YESS!!! I love when a book actually lives up to the hype I've allowed to fester inside my heart. And hell to the freaking yes. The Brotherhood and Sisterhood INFURIATE me beyond words. =Let's get stab-happy together! But oh, everything you wrote is perfection! Cate was amazing and I so, so adored her relationshiop with Finn. Le sigh. Feathers <3

    Wickedly wonderful review, Shiiiiirleyy! :D

  4. YES FINN! <3 Oh my gosh, Shirley, who knew that scholarly boys could be so dreamy?? x) I loved him so much! And I loved this book so much too! Cate, the setting, the perfect mix of historical fiction and amazingness... You described it all perfectly! And that ending killed me too!!!! It broke my heart what Cate was willing to give up for her sisters and I seriously wanted to cry!! :'(

    But this was an AMAZING review, Shirley! I'm definitely joining you on that witch-book hunt after reading this book! :D <3

  5. YES I will obey Shirley's advice by reading this book! Haha, I've got this one for review as well but I just haven't got the time to read it! I've been hearing amazing things about Finn as well so...yeah! Now you make me so curious of the ending! Aaaaaaa!!! Your reviews are BORN WICKED, Shirley! <3 So glad you enjoyed it! <3

  6. Yay! I just got this book last week, so I'm very HAPPY to hear that you enjoyed it. Now that I read your review, I SOOOOO want to read it VERY SOON. This sounds AMAZING. Fabulous review, Shirley.

  7. eeeh, cant wait to get started with this book, your review are absolutely amazing, makes me want to put down Pandemonium and read this book like right now! Id like to meet Fin and Cate :) Great review Shirley as always. x


  8. Yay! I'm so glad you loved this book too and Finn of course! But I totally agree with you with the ending . . . THAT ENDING WAS SO CRUEL! *cries* Anyway great review!

  9. I think I'm probably the only person who didn't absolutely LOVE this! Eeeek! But, I agree with most of your review especially about the Brotherhood and Sisterhood. UGGHH! They annoyed the hell out of me, especially that damn Elena! But oh yes, FINN <3 It can't even be called a love-triangle because it's so obvious that he and Cate are meant to be together! :D I was just as heartbroken as Cate was at the end *cries*

    Anyway, amazing review, Shirley! If I hadn't already read this, I would SOOO convinced of my need to buy it now <3

  10. MESAAAA, GO READ THIS NOW!!! I don't care what you have to read before this, BUT JUST GO AND READ IT. hahahaa it's amazing <3 Thanks :DD

  11. CELINE! WHY HAVEN'T YOU READ THIS YET? HUH? Oh're reading TFIOS! Okayy I'll let you off this time, BUT YOU HAVE TO READ IT SOON! heheeeee (after Pandemonium, or else I won't forgive youu!) hahahaaaa awwww thank youuu Celine!<3

  12. YES! PUT THIS AS FIRST PRIORITY ON YOUR TBR PILE <333 You won't be disappointed! :DD

  13. ahh cant wait to get started with this book it totally sounds sooooo amazing, I want to meet Finn!!!! like right now! Ok im convinced! Great review Shirleyx

  14. Gorgeous review! Yes that brotherhood needed a stinky dead fish slap from me, I hear ya!!!!



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