Blog Tour & Giveaway: A Tyranny of Petticoats edited by Jessica Spotswood

I’m so happy to be part of this blog tour for a historical fiction, kickass book! A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers, and Other Badass Girls was edited by Jessica Spotswood and includes short stories from a variety of female YA authors. Three questions were asked of all contributing authors; today I’m featuring answers from Leslye Walton, Elizabeth Wein, and Jessica Spotswood.

A Tyranny of Petticoats

Also available as an e-book and in audio

Summary (From the publisher): Crisscross America, on dogsleds and ships, stagecoaches and trains, from pirate ships off the coast of the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago. Join fifteen of today’s most talented writers of young adult literature on a thrill ride through history with American girls charting their own courses. They are monsters and mediums, bodyguards and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos. They’re making their own ways in often-hostile lands, using every weapon in their arsenals, facing down murderers and marriage proposals. And they all have a story to tell.

Our authors are as diverse as their characters. To give readers a better sense of their diverse processes and experiences writing for this anthology, we asked three questions of each contributor:

  1. What inspired you to write about this particular time and place?
  2. What was the most interesting piece of research you uncovered while writing your story?
  3. Who is your favorite woman in history and why?

Here are their answers:

Jessica Spotswood is the author of the Cahill Witch Chronicles, a historical­ fantasy trilogy, as well as the contemporary novel Wild Swans. She grew up near the Gettysburg battlefield but now lives in Washington, D.C., where she works for the D.C. Public Library system as a children’s library associate.
Twitter: @jessica_shea, Facebook, Instagram

Jessica_Spotswood credit C.Stanley Photography (1)

What inspired you to write about this particular time and place?
I’ve been fascinated with New Orleans since my first visit when I was twelve. The city was French, then Spanish, then French again briefly, was sold to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase, seceded to join the Confederacy, then became part of the United States again. The architecture, food, and music all reflect this unique history as well as Creole, Cajun, and Haitian influences. By 1826, there was a large number (according to the census, perhaps as many as twelve thousand recorded in a city of forty-six thousand) of gens de couleur libre, or free people of color, which made New Orleans unique among antebellum Southern cities. Most free blacks were mixed-race; some were descended from slave mothers and white fathers, and others emigrated from Haiti after the revolution. They were educated property owners, a thriving middle class of businessmen, shop owners, and tradesmen who went to mass at Saint Louis Cathedral, attended the theater and the French opera, and sometimes had slaves of their own.

What was the most interesting piece of research you uncovered while writing your story?
In 1786 Governor Miró passed the tignon laws, which required women of African descent — slave or free — to cover their hair and refrain from excessive attention to their dress. In response, women of color began to wrap their hair in beautiful, colorful scarves called tignons and were still as beautiful and eye-catching as ever. The law was basically to preserve racial and class distinctions, because some free women of color were so light-skinned and richly dressed that they were mistaken for white.

Who is your favorite woman in history and why?
I’m fascinated by Nellie Bly, who was an intrepid lady reporter. She wrote about the problems of poor working girls and called for the reform of divorce laws. She was a foreign correspondent in Mexico, but the editor of her Pittsburgh paper kept assigning her stories for their women’s section about fashion and flower shows, so she resigned and moved to New York. Most famously, she feigned madness while working undercover to write a series on the abuse of institutionalized women at the asylum at Blackwell’s Island. In 1888, she also tried to recreate Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days and filed dispatches to her paper via telegraph. She only took seventy-two days, like the boss she was.

 

Leslye Walton is the author of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, which was a 2015 Pacific Northwest Book Award winner, as well as a 2015 YALSA William C. Morris YA Debut Award finalist. She lives in the Pacific Northwest but has recently been finding her dreams filled with vast desert skies and the gorgeous pink flowers of the prickly pear cactus. Her short story is the result of those dreams.
Twitter: @LeslyeWalton, Facebook

Leslye_Walton

What inspired you to write about this particular time and place?
I was interested in exploring the juxtaposition of power and limitation, a blurred line that has defined the lives of women throughout history. I wondered what it might have been like to live as a young teenage girl during a time of upheaval and change in American history, while also capturing a time and place where cultural and national identities felt at odds. I suppose these thoughts wove themselves together, because suddenly I had Valeria, Rosa, and Maria Elena, three immortals sent down to live as Mexican-American sisters during the years after the Texas Annexation.

What was the most interesting piece of research you uncovered while writing your story?
I loved learning all the intricate details about the family ranchos of that time and the lush Rio Grande landscape of yucca plants, honey mesquite trees, and prickly pear cacti.

Who is your favorite woman in history and why?
Oh, this is an impossible question! There are so many admirable women in our world’s history, all with incredible and oft times terrible stories; it’s virtually impossible to pick a favorite. I suppose, though, if I had to choose one, I’d have to admit that I am currently infatuated with Petra Herrera, a revolutionary war hero who led over four hundred female soldiers during the Mexican Revolution, if only for the sole reason that she proved that women could be just as effective as men in the art of combat.

 

Elizabeth Wein is the New York Times best­selling author of Code Name Verity, Rose Under Fire, and, most recently, Black Dove, White Raven. All three feature women as pilots in the early twentieth century — such rare birds in their own right that a black woman among them is a veritable phoenix. “The Color of the Sky” is a closer look at one of the real pilots whose life inspired a character in Black Dove, White Raven.
Twitter @EWein2412

Elizabeth Wein_credit David Ho

What inspired you to write about this particular time and place?
Bessie Coleman, the first African-American woman to become a licensed pilot, inspired me!

I earned a private pilot’s license late in 2003. That year also happened to be the one hundredth anniversary of the Wright brothers’ historic first powered “heavier than air” flight. I took part in a worldwide celebratory fly-out on December 17, the exact anniversary. But I was also the only female student pilot on the airfield where I learned to fly, so I became interested in flight, the history of aviation, and women in aviation all at the same time.

Bessie Coleman is one of the most amazing early female aviators. She got her international pilot’s license in 1921, and she was not only the first black woman to do so, she was the first American to do so — male or female, black or white. No one — of any color — would teach her to fly in the United States, because she was black and/or because she was a woman; so she took some French classes, found some sponsorship, and went to France to learn to fly. I am in awe of her initiative, her positive outlook, and her determination.

Though she died young, and tragically, in a flying accident (which is what my story in A Tyranny of Petticoats is about), Coleman was committed to opening a flying school that would allow young people of all races and sexes to learn to fly. Until her early death she traveled around the United States giving lectures and film presentations in schools to encourage young people to learn more about aviation, as well as fund-raising for her flight school dream.

The time and place of my story was dictated by the focus on Bessie Coleman — but to make it authentic, I ended up finding out quite a bit about Jacksonville, Florida, in the 1920s — its schools, churches, neighborhoods, and transportation systems!

What was the most interesting piece of research you uncovered while writing your story?
It was undoubtedly the amazing real historical characters I discovered as I was peopling my fictional tale. I want to write stories — books, even! — about all of them.

Except for my main character Antonia and her family, most of the named characters in “The Color of the Sky” are based on real people. In addition to the obvious — Bessie Coleman herself — I also had to find out more about the lives of Myrtle and Henry Wade Vencill, Louis Manning, William Wills, Robert Abbott, and John Thomas Betsch. I desperately hope I’ve been respectful of their historical counterparts — especially Betsch, who is in jail when my story ends!

The week following Bessie Coleman’s death in April 1925 must have been a heartbreaking time in John Thomas Betsch’s young life. He was only twenty-one at the time. College-educated, Betsch was the publicity chairman of Jacksonville’s Negro Welfare League and an aviation enthusiast; he was also a strong advocate for racial and sexual equality in Florida and continued to be so throughout the first half of the twentieth century. His legacy is evident in the lives of his children: MaVynee Betsch, who graduated from Oberlin College with a double major in voice and piano in 1955, sang with the German State Opera, and then devoted her later life to conservation; Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, who became the first female president of Spelman College, president of Bennett College for Women, and co-author of Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women’s Equality in African American Communities; and John Thomas Betsch, Jr., a jazz musician who has lived in Europe for the past thirty years. It makes me happy to know what a better world John Betsch helped to create for his own children and for generations to come. I’d never have known about these people if I hadn’t been digging for information about the circumstances surrounding Bessie Coleman’s fatal accident.

Another fascinating woman I learned more about while writing “The Color of the Sky” is Willa Brown. I’d known about her because she turned up in the research I did for my novel Black Dove, White Raven, and I like to think that the life of my original character Antonia will closely follow that of Willa Brown. Brown graduated from Indiana State Teachers College in 1927 and went on to help establish the Coffey School of Aeronautics in Chicago. Willa Brown was the first African-American woman to earn a private pilot’s license (which had not been established when Bessie Coleman earned her international license). During World War II, in addition to training black pilots and flight instructors, she joined the Civil Air Patrol and became its first African-American officer. Throughout most of the twentieth century, Willa Brown was a tireless activist for racial and sexual equality, both on the ground and in the air.

I would love to go on — every single one of the characters who appear in “The Color of the Sky” has a fascinating history — but perhaps these brief portraits will inspire readers to do some digging for themselves!

Who is your favorite woman in history and why?
This isn’t a question I’ve thought about before — I don’t have a tried and tested answer that I give. I have many favorites, for different reasons at different times in history and at different times in my own life. If you’d only asked me to name “my favorite woman of all time,” I’d have said my grandmother, Betty Flocken.

But I’m going to go with Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906–2001), because her voice as a writer and a pilot sings to my soul. I knew and read her written work long before I became a pilot myself. Her inspirational Gift from the Sea, which has never been out of print since it was first published in 1955, has been my guide throughout my adult life — as it was to my grandmother fifty years ago. Indeed, it was my wonderful grandmother who introduced me to Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s writing.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh was the wife of Charles A. Lindbergh, the early aviator who’s best known for his pioneering flight across the Atlantic in 1927. As a couple they skyrocketed into the media in 1932 when their infant son was kidnapped and murdered. Charles Lindbergh bordered on being a Nazi sympathizer in the years leading to World War II and, though he flew fifty combat missions in the Pacific for the United States and finished his life as an environmental activist in 1974, his image never entirely recovered in the public eye. Anne Morrow Lindbergh soared to fame on her own as a gifted diarist and travel writer, managing to transcend the brightness and shadow that her husband cast. Her clear-sighted and lyrical voice is one of the most prolific and honest of the twentieth century.

She was the first American woman to earn a glider pilot’s license and accompanied Lindbergh on early global exploration flights as his radio operator as they attempted to discover the best long-distance routes for future commercial airlines to places like South America and eastern Asia. She was a friend and deep admirer of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, another of my pilot-writer heroes (and author of The Little Prince). Despite the tragic loss of her first baby, she went on to raise five children, a free-thinking collection of writers and aviators in their own rights.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh was a quiet, private, shy, and privileged woman and didn’t have to do the kind of groundbreaking work that Bessie Coleman had to do. But her dedication to her craft, her prolific life’s work, and her ability to recover and forgive make me strive to be like her.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions:
Must be 13 or older to enter and have a U.S. or Canadian mailing address
One winner will be selected
Use the Rafflecopter widget to enter

Don’t forget to visit the other blogs on the tour so you can learn more about each author!

 

Tyranny-of-Petticoats-Banner

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Recently Added to My TBR

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

There are currently 1,384 books on my Goodreads to-read shelf. I know I’ll probably never read all of them, but that’s okay because I’m always adding to that list! Today’s post focuses on the ten books I’m most excited about that have recently been added to my ever growing list.

Which books have you recently added to your TBR?

 

Waiting on Wednesday–Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood

wow

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.  It’s designed for bloggers to spotlight the upcoming releases that they simply can’t wait to read.

I adore Jessica Spotswood’s historical fiction trilogy, The Cahill Witch Chronicles, so discovering that she’s written a contemporary realistic novel has me over the moon excited! I like that the summary provides a mysterious vibe to the story and the idea of legacies and curses. I just know this is going to be a fun book to read!

Wild SwansTitle & Author: Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood

Release Date: May 1st, 2016

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Summary (From Goodreads):

The summer before Ivy’s senior year is going to be golden; all bonfires, barbeques, and spending time with her best friends. For once, she will just get to be. No summer classes, none of Granddad’s intense expectations to live up to the family name. For generations, the Milbourn women have lead extraordinary lives—and died young and tragically. Granddad calls it a legacy, but Ivy considers it a curse. Why else would her mother have run off and abandoned her as a child?

But when her mother unexpectedly returns home with two young daughters in tow, all of the stories Ivy wove to protect her heart start to unravel. The very people she once trusted now speak in lies. And all of Ivy’s ambition and determination cannot defend her against the secrets of the Milbourn past….

Review: Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

Star Cursed finalTitle: Star Cursed

Author: Jessica Spotswood

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Release Date: June 18th, 2013

Interest: Series / Historical fiction / Paranormal

Source: NetGalley

Summary (From Goodreads):

With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate’s friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

Cate doesn’t want to be a weapon, and she doesn’t want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood’s schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she’ll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess’s quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.

First, if you haven’t read Born Wicked (my review), then please stop reading this review and go get a copy of that to read 🙂

I devoured Born Wicked and have been looking forward to reading Star Cursed ever since!  Jessica Spotswood really knows how to write an engaging story full of suspense, romance, and magic.

Star Cursed picks up not long after the cliffhanger ending in book one.  Cate is with the Sisterhood and understandably unhappy about it.  She misses her sisters, her garden, and of course Finn.  While I sympathized with Cate, I enjoyed learning more about the Sisterhood and the history.  This also opened up the story to more characters and witches, adding some interesting layers.  Some of the characters left me skeptical, while others I really enjoyed and want to know more about.

I had a tough time reading sections with the Brotherhood because they are so harsh and brutal in Star Cursed.  At times I felt like I was reading a historical fiction-turned-dystopian novel.  The laws they created and the way they started treating women is horrible!  I couldn’t help but keep hoping that Finn wouldn’t turn to their side.  A ton happens in this part of the storyline, but I still have no idea what to expect in the third book, especially after reading the ending.  This part of the storyline really draws a line between Cate and Maura and their relationship.

We get to know Maura and Tess in Born Wicked, but I feel like I know each of them so much better after reading Star Cursed.  I absolutely adore Tess.  I have a lot of things to say that I won’t say about Maura.  The situations and conflicts that take place are really defining Cate, Maura, and Tess.  One of the sisters left me speechless at the end, so now I have another thing to look forward to in book three.

The mood is a little darker in Star Cursed than it is in Born Wicked, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Finn is present just enough to satisfy my need for his character presence, but ultimately this sequel is all about learning more about Cate, her sisters, and the Sisterhood.  I tend to worry about books in the middle of a series/trilogy because sometimes they fall flat, but thankfully Star Cursed does not suffer from that.  It’s just as fun and suspenseful to read as Born Wicked.

Favorite Books of 2012

To be honest, this has been kind of a tough reading year for me.  I finished my Masters, I’ve been working on feeling better and getting healthier, and I’ve been working my butt off in my classroom (new classes, new units, etc.).  I’ve still read a large amount of books, but I’m hoping 2013 will be a smoother, easier reading year.

Putting this list together wasn’t any easier this year than it was last year, but I’m happy with the group of books I’ve decided on.  This is a list of the ten books that have stayed with me this year.  They aren’t numbered in any particular order.

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood (Goodreads)–I’ve blogged about this debut quite a few times this year and it’s because it’s just that good.  I love the time period, the romance, the magic, the characters, etc.  The sequel doesn’t release until later in 2013 unfortunately, but it will be worth the wait.

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington (Goodreads)–I still enjoy reading paranormal fantasy, but it’s not as alluring as it used to be.  Jessica Shirvington’s Embrace series, however, has held my interest because it’s exciting, mysterious, and oh-so-swoonworthy.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Goodreads)–Maggie Stiefvater is a rock star.  I love the magical realism in this story and even though I read this over the summer, I’m still thinking about the characters and the awesome ending.

Born WickedEmbraceThe Raven Boys

Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen (Goodreads)–This actually released in 2011, but I didn’t read it until this year.  If you haven’t read it yet, and you can handle a gut-wrenching story about bullying, I highly recommend you get a copy.  It recently released in paperback which helps a book budget.  The characters in this book are sure to stay with you for a long time after you finish reading it.

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King (Goodreads)–I just read this a couple days ago, and I knew it had to go on this list.  There’s a reason A.S. King is one of my absolute favorite authors and Astrid’s story is now one of my top reasons.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Goodreads)–This is technically a middle grade title, and I did read it with my ears, but Auggie’s story is for everyone of all ages.  This is an incredibly touching story that begs to be read by everyone.

LeverageAsk the PassengersWonder Book Cover

Easy by Tammara Webber (Goodreads)–If you’re new to the world of New Adult like I am, I suggest starting with Easy.  This book is seriously awesome and one I could not put down.  I love the character growth, the steamy romance, the setting, everything.

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin (Goodreads)–Sometimes I need a lighthearted book that will make me smile and laugh.  This debut did all of that and more.  I love reading it to my YA Lit classes because it works well as a read aloud and it’s that much fun to read over and over again.

Boy21 by Matthew Quick (Goodreads)–I’ve praised this book over and over again and I won’t stop.  It’s a great story about friendship, loyalty, self-discovery, and family.  I hope you read it.

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller (Goodreads)–As soon as I finished this debut I knew it was going to be a 2012 favorite.  But let’s be honest, it’s an all-time favorite.  I’m still thinking about Travis and Harper and I read this back in the spring.  Trish Doller is an author to watch.

easyFreshman Year & Other Unnatural DisastersBoy21Something Like Normal

Reading Gaps

This month both Cindy Minnich at Charting By the Stars and Donalyn Miller at The Nerdy Book Club posted about reading gaps.  I’ve posted about my literary Achilles heel this year, which is similar to both of these posts.  Since posting about my own reading gaps, I’ve read quite a few fantasy novels and loved them.  I’m still sticking with my 2012 challenge to read more fantasy and science fiction, but I’ve decided to add to that challenge for 2013.

It’s my goal in 2013 to read more historical fiction and LGBT fiction.

Eleanor & ParkI can’t explain why I’m not more drawn to historical fiction, especially since I’m a history minor.  I love American history.  I love the 1920s.  I’ve even bought quite a few historical fiction YA novels to add to my class library because I have students who enjoy reading that genre.  But for some reason I don’t make time to read it myself.  This year I read and loved Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood.  The Diviners by Libba Bray wasn’t my favorite, but I still enjoyed reading it.  So maybe I need historical fiction with a magical twist?  Even though I don’t like thinking of the 80s as historical fiction, it is for our teens right now.  Besides Eleanor and Park (which I know I’ll enjoy) and Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal, are there other YA novels that take place in the 80s or around that time and have been written recently?  I like reading historical fiction that feels contemporary, even though that’s kind of backwards.

Here are some historical fiction novels I’d like to read in 2013:

I Am JI love contemporary realistic fiction, so reading more LGBT fiction really shouldn’t be a difficult challenge for me.  I think this is a gap for me simply because I haven’t made a strong enough effort to read more of these novels.  It has nothing to do with not liking novels with LGBT issues or characters.  I want to read more of these books because I know I have students who need these stories.  I just read Ask the Passengers by A.S. King and absolutely loved it.  Every Day by David Levithan wasn’t my favorite for a few reasons, but I love how he wrote A as a character who understands love outside of gender and sex.  I’ve been wanting to read I Am J for I don’t know how long.  If you have any suggestions for me, I’d love to have them.  I’ve already moved The Miseducation of Cameron Post to the top of my reading pile not only because I’ve been wanting to read it, but also because it’s a Morris shortlist contender.

Here are some LGBT fiction novels I’d like to read in 2013:

 

Top Ten New To Me Authors of 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

I’ve read some pretty fantastic books this year written by some pretty fantastic authors.  I love reading debut novels, so many of the authors featured on my list are debut authors.  I’d love to know which “new to you” authors of 2012 are your favorites!

1. Trish Doller–I’ve been raving about Something Like Normal since I read it this spring.  It’s a stunning debut and I absolutely CAN’T WAIT until Trish’s new book, Where the Stars Still Shine, releases next year.

2. Matthew Quick–I know his YA debut released in 2011, but I didn’t read one of his books until this year when I read Boy21.  This is another book that I rave about on a regular basis.  I love Boy21 so much I’m reading it out loud for the second time this year since I have a brand new group of students this trimester.

3. R.J. Palacio–I was late to jump on the “Everyone needs to read Wonder!” bus, but peeps, Everyone needs to read Wonder!  I’m so impressed by how Palacio wrote this book and has been able to reach so many readers across age levels.  I have sophomores reading Wonder and singing its praises.  I’ve been telling teachers I work with to buy it and read with their kids.  I will buy R.J. Palacio’s next book without a doubt.

4. Tammara Webber–Sigh…I LOVED Easy.  I hope Tammara Webber writes more New Adult novels because I had the worst book hangover after reading Easy.  I want more of her books!

5. Jessica Brody–I’m way late on this one!  I was asked to be part of the 52 Reasons to Hate My Father blog tour, so I was lucky enough to receive a copy to read.  And it was so much fun to read!  Since adding it to my class library, a few of my students have requested that I buy more of Brody’s books which I’m happy to do because I want to read all of them.

6. Jordan Sonnenblick–Again, he’s been around for a few years, but only this year have I been aware of his books.  I read Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip, and since then I’ve been reading more and more of his books.  They’re great as audio and great as a traditional read.  His writing is engaging and his stories are heartwarming.

7. Jessica Spotswood–I bought Born Wicked on a whim and then read it straight through.  I’m usually hesitant to read historical fiction, but Jessica Spotswood wrote her debut in the best way.  Her historical fiction is romantic, magical (hence the witches), and engaging.  The language of the time isn’t overdone, but balanced and easy to read.  I can’t wait to read the sequel; I wish I didn’t have to wait until this summer!

8. Miranda Kenneally–I’ve read both Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker and love them both.  They’re incredibly popular in my classroom which made me eve more excited to find out that Kenneally is signed on to write six more books with Sourcebooks.

9. Rae CarsonThe Girl of Fire and Thorns released in 2011, but I didn’t read it until this summer.  I love Rae’s writing style and the characters she’s included in this high fantasy trilogy.  The sequel, The Crown of Embers, just released this fall and its been receiving lots of rave reviews.

10. S.J. Kincaid–I read Insignia last fall, but it didn’t release until this summer.  S.J. Kincaid is an exciting new voice in YA with the Insignia trilogy.  It’s exciting and refreshing and full of guy-appeal.

Can I Switch Places With These Characters, Please?

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

 

Top Ten Tuesday is one of my favorite memes, especially when we get a prompt like today’s.  So often when reviewing and discussing books, we mention our love of the setting/world or how we would love to spend time with the characters.  Today’s prompt asks us to list the ten characters we’d like to switch places with for 24 hours.  Here we go!

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen (Goodreads)–I don’t really want to deal with Auden’s home life, but I love the town she’s staying in over the summer.  I love beach town settings, and this one’s a favorite.  Plus, I like Eli 🙂

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Goodreads)–I can’t say that I’d be very good at demon hunting or anything like that, but I would love to cuddle up with Jace and hang out with Simon!  Clary can go ahead and sit a day out so I can have fun with these Shadowhunters + Simon!

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan (Goodreads)–This is still one of my favorite books because it’s incredibly funny and I love the cast of characters.  I’d totally be okay with switching places with Norah and running around New York with Nick all night.  I’ve never been to New York City, and I don’t have a character crush on Nick or anything, but he’s a cool guy and he really knows his music.  How fun would it be to hop from crazy New York club to crazy New York club all night with your friends!

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (Goodreads)–If you’ve read this book, I don’t think I need to explain myself, do I?  Living in Paris for a school year.  Eating delicious crepes.  Going to famous museums.  Etienne St. Clair.  Enough said. 🙂

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin (Goodreads)–I really have no desire to repeat my high school years, but I would love to spend a day with Kelsey Finkelstein because she is so darn funny.  I love how melodramatic she is and how loyal she is to her friends.  If I could choose a day, I’d choose the last day the school play is performed.  I’m pretty sure that would be the best.  Or the night of the tooth mishap.  Either would be funny.

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood (Goodreads): I love this book’s time period and the powers the girls have.  And I have a book crush on Finn.  It would be fun to spend a day in the garden with Finn and maybe part of the afternoon at a gossipy tea gathering.  Writing this makes me feel like I’m an old soul or something because I don’t know many people who would want to spend their day like this! 😛

Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy (Goodreads): This is one of the cutest middle grade books I’ve read, first of all.  Second, I would absolutely love to spend a day in Lilah’s shoes so I could communicate with my Grandma Rosemary.  I love that Lilah gets to spend more time with her Bubbie.  Those of us who have lost grandparents know how special and precious that extra time would be.

In Honor by Jessi Kirby (Goodreads)–Am I allowed to pretend Honor isn’t honoring her brother that just died?  Because if so, I’d switch places with her for a day.  I’d want to spend time getting to know Rusty, and I think it would be cool to revisit the scene when she’s swimming really early in the morning.  For the most part, their trip to California was fun to read (with the exception of a few sad/scary parts).

I know that’s not ten characters I want to switch with, but it’s the best I can do today.  Let me know which character you’d like to switch with!  I’m sure I’ll feel the same way, or even better, find a new book I want to read!  Happy Tuesday! 😀

Book Trailer Thursday (57)–Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Sigh.  I love this book SO MUCH (my review).  I really like the actor they chose for the trailer and the scenes they included.  Some really minor details, but important in my opinion, from Born Wicked are represented in the trailer.  Seriously, if you haven’t read this book make sure you do so pronto! 🙂

Born Wicked Book CoverSummary of Born Wicked (From Goodreads): 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.

 

Review: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Title: Born Wicked, 330 pages

Author: Jessica Spotswood

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Released: February 7th, 2012

Interest: 2012 Debut Author

Source: Purchased

Summary (From Goodreads): 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.

Prepare for some gushing because I positively loved Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood!  I read a number of glowing reviews for Jessica Spotwood’s debut, but I wasn’t sure if it would work for me.  It’s weird, but even though I have a minor in history, I don’t always enjoy historical fiction.  The paranormal twist in Born Wicked really grabbed my interest, so I decided to give it a whirl.  I’m happy to say that within the first couple chapters I was hooked!

Jessica Spotswood has written a novel with lush imagery.  The Cahill sisters live outside of town in the country.  Cate loves to be outside working in her garden, so we get wonderful descriptions of the roses, the trees, and the rest of her garden.  Cate and her sisters often practice their magic in the rose garden, so I often felt like the setting was another character in the novel.  Much of the story takes place in the fall, but with the girls’ magic it often transformed into a spring garden.  I’m always impressed when an author takes the time to describe the setting, especially when this is done without being verbose.  I love the late 1800s time period; Cate’s world is one I’d like to spend a day in.

Like I said, I’m not always instantly drawn to historical fiction, but Born Wicked had me captivated.  A  number of my students really enjoy historical fiction, but it isn’t as popular as paranormal fantasy.  The easy blend of these two genres in Born Wicked could easily appeal to both my historical fiction fans and paranormal fantasy fans.  I’m actually really considering using this debut in my Young Adult II class which will focus on the study of different genres.

I’ve never read Sense and Sensibility, but I love the movie with Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson.  I bring this up because I kept thinking of this movie while I was reading Born Wicked.  The Cahill sisters reminded me of the Dashwood sisters because both sets of sisters are in need of finding a good husband.  The restraints are similar in the sense that they need to marry well-off men, appearances are everything, and women don’t hold much power.  Born Wicked is similar in this regard, but the added supernatural twist and the lore of the Brotherhood and Sisterhood really add to the plot.  Because Cate and her sisters are witches, they are even more intimidated by the Brotherhood because they know they’ll be severely punished if their secret is discovered.  It’s not easy being witches, especially since they’ve grown even more into their powers since their mother’s death.  There are so many secrets and suspicions that really drive Jessica Spotswood’s novel.  Cate doesn’t have many marriage prospects because she’s more concerned with protecting her sisters, but if she doesn’t choose soon she’ll either have a husband chosen for her by the Brotherhood, or she can join the Sisterhood.  Because both groups focus so much on religion and are against witchery, neither options are very appealing to Cate.  It doesn’t take long for some very interesting options to become available and some very unsettling secrets to be unveiled.

I couldn’t put Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood down, and then when it ended I couldn’t believe it.  There’s a jaw-dropping ending that has left me feeling desperate for the second book in the series.  The world of YA is saturated with paranormal fantasy, but Born Wicked is not one to pass up or ignore.  I highly recommend reading it as soon as possible!

%d bloggers like this: