Author: Jessica Spotswood
Published: February 7th 2012 by Putnam Juvenile
Source: Around The World Tours
Description: "Blessed with a gift..."cursed" with a secret." 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.
I Give This ...
I really had high hopes for this book. The cover and title really capture your attention and then the description pulls you in. It was on my must read list the moment I saw it. While it didn't disappoint in the end, it took me awhile to get into it.
I think my initial problem lied with Cate. She really was boring at first. But, she's suppose to be this way. She carries the weight of their little world on her shoulders. She has taken on the responsibility of keeping their magic a secret from everybody. Plus, she basically the mother figure since she died a few years prior and their father is largely absent. That's a lot for a young woman to handle. I think her downfall was trying to suppress the magic instead of trying to learn to use it wisely.
But as Cate learns more about who she is and what she really wants, she really blossoms. By hiding her magic, she hasn't learned what she is fully capable of. She's more afraid of it than anything. I really enjoyed reading about her journey learning new things, even if it shocks her. I also learning a little bit about her sisters. I think we've just skimmed the surface when it comes to Maura and Tess (especially Tess). I get the feeling that the scope of their powers is something this fictional world hasn't seen. I'm curious how that might play out.
I enjoyed the romance in this as well. Cate convinces herself in the beginning that the perfect person for her is the next door neighbor. She hasn't seen him in 4 years, but they use to be best friends. He's from the right family and seems to be just the right fit. But, Cate falls for someone else. I thought it was perfect, and worked with the new Cate that emerges throughout the story. I'm not sure if Paul really cared for Cate, but at least his jealousy seemed genuine but never callous and mean.
I disliked the Brotherhood and the Sisterhood in this story. They represent vastly different things. But yet, neither group is really interested in Cate (or her sisters) as a person. They both want something from her and will use whatever means to get it. I was actually shocked at the Sisterhood's actions in the end. I was really wanting them to be the good guys.
This turned into a great story at the end. I feel that's something that rarely happens and is really worth pointing out. I can't wait to read the next one!