Cliffhanger Central: Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood


Who is ready for a review?!

Over the summer I finally read Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood! This series is just so much fun!

Star Cursed by Jessica SpotswoodWith 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.

The Cahill Witch Chronicles are just such fun reads so far! Ever since reading Born Wicked I had been waiting for Star Cursed. Apparently I never actually reviewed Born Wicked though…which makes NO SENSE! I must have just looked over it when planning reviews, but I completely loved it. So, you should definitely read that one before Star Cursed.

In the second book, we pick up where book one left off. Cate has reluctantly joined the sisterhood and is living at their convent only to discover that it is actually a safe haven for young witches to train their powers. I’m pretty sure this is one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much; it takes place in a boarding school! Cate’s world opens up a little bit more as we learn of other witches and the divisions within the Sisterhood. She is delving deeper into the history of Prophesy and what must happen in order to stop the tyranny of the Brotherhood. The always reluctant Cate must make decisions based on who she can trust and who has ulterior motives in order to save those she loves the most.

One of my favorite things about Star Cursed are the scenes in the “hospital”…I cannot for the life of me remember what its called (Edit: Jessica Spotswood herself (!) responded to my question on Twitter and the hospital is Harwood. Thank you!) but the characters we meet here really make what the Brotherhood does that much more hateful and evil. Oh and speaking of hateful…Maura?! Seriously…you’re my least favorite character in any book I’m currently reading because you just don’t get it! She is sooo frustrating and creates so much sister drama that I am sooo glad I’ve never had sisters! haha (I’m sure they’re not all bad like Maura!)

Oh and romance? Yes…the romance is back! Finn Belastra is back and just as swoon-worthy as before…almost even more so because he and Cate can only meet in secret due to the roles each of them must play.  Just think of stolen kisses under the cover of darkness…you’re welcome!

The ending? Cliffhanger central!! Seriously, this ending made me immediately check Goodreads for the release date of book three (which, by the way, is still untitled and has no release date yet..)! So, until then I’ll be checking Goodreads regularly to figure out book three’s release date.

If you like supernatural fiction with just the right amount of romance then you should read The Cahill Witch Chronicles… but you should start with Born Wicked first since it’s book one in the series.

Author: Jessica Spotswood

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (June 18, 2013)

Format: e-book (ARC)

Length: 371 pages

Series: Book 2 in The Cahill Witch Chronicles


Buy the Book:  Star Cursed: The Cahill Witch Chronicles, Book Two


Pleasantly Suprised: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl


For a few years I watched Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garica circulate through my Media Center frequently, by teachers and students alike. I thought to myself, “I should read that.” But I always held back. Then I heard it was being turned into a movie and I thought, “Ok I need to read that.” So I did. Only I listened to it.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohland a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

So I finally read/listened to this! I figured it was time to know what all the fuss was about. And I was honestly, pleasantly surprised!
The main thing I think I enjoyed the most was the male main character and narrator. It is rare in Young Adult fiction to have a male be the narrator. Ethan Wate is a refreshing taste of YA supernatural romance through the eyes of a guy. He was a funny, flawed and incredibly loyal character and I enjoyed hearing the story as it unraveled from his point of view.

The story itself wasn’t most well written or most unique tale I’ve ever read, but it was fun. And this surprised me! I think after I recently read another supernatural YA novel (that shall not be named) I kind of had low expectations for Beautiful Creatures. Fortunately I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself being majorly entertained while listening and really wanting to find out what would happen next    Particularly, as one who majored in history in college, I enjoyed the Civil War references throughout the plot. It was interesting to imagine what Sherman’s March to the Sea (where he burned much of the South in his wake) was like and the effect it may have had on the people who lived there.

One of my favorite minor characters was Marian the Librarian. It’s so nice to see a librarian portrayed in a positive way (again I will not mention that other book ehhhmmm). And I completely hated Ms. Jackson, who reminded me so much of Hilly Holbrook from The Help that I wanted to smack her! But this all makes sense to me now!

The audiobook and narrator were fine.  There were some sound effects that were added in, which didn’t bother me too much, but the song…the SONG! It was SOOO hilariously bad I laughed every time it played. My husband heard it once and even looked at me with disgust on his face! It wasn’t the lyrics that Garcia and Stohl wrote that were awful, it was the audiobook’s take on how it should sound that was bad. We started singing it around the house to be funny and that it was!  I was also pretty distracted towards the end when the narration suddenly shifts to Lena and the audiobook narrator for her just had no inflection to her voice and was pretty boring.

So, other than a few minor issues, I found myself really enjoying Beautiful Creatures. I think I’ll definitely check out the rest of the Caster Chronicles in the future (most likely on audio because they’re just so darn big!) to see what happens in the end. Fans of supernatural YA fiction will most likely find this one a fun and interesting read, so I recommend it to older middle school readers and up.

Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (December 1, 2009)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 17 hours and 38 minutes

Narrator(s): Kevin T. Collins,

Series: First in the Caster Chronicles series


Buy the Book: Beautiful Creatures