Monday, August 5, 2013

Review: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century
Author: Rachel Harris
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Genre: Young Adult

~Synopsis~
On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore. Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?


~Prelude~
I love Rachel! She is super sweet and she is a talented writer. I received an ARC for A Tale of Two Centuries and realized it was a second book (I seriously do this all the time). I usually like to squeeze in the first book before I read the second so I decided to pick up My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century. Then a couple of my blogger friends, Trish @Between the Lines and Sheri @Tangled Up in Books, read it and raved so I knew I needed to pick it up now. I am so glad I did.

~Review~

This book was sweet, charming and fantastical. I absolutely adored everything about it from the characters to the plot to the setting. Rachel is definitely on my list of authors I’ll always read. This book was just what I needed when I was struggling to immerse myself in reading.

From the very beginning, I loved Cat. She had all the makings to be a spoiled rich brat with the famous mother and the producer father, but she was laid back and reserved. She didn’t like the limelight and didn’t want it. For so long it was just her and her father so now that he is engaged to Jenna, Cat finds herself feeling like the third wheel and struggling to bond with Jenna. I think any 16 year old would feel the same because change of that magnitude is difficult at that age. Jenna wants to throw her this elaborate sweet sixteen party and Cat wants nothing to do with it. When she goes on a tour of Florence by herself, she enters a gypsy tent and leaves transported back to the sixteenth century.

“Reyna is a psychic mind reader, because if this is her special brand of bibbity-bobbity-boop,  than she made my exact daydream from earlier in the courtyard come to life.”

Rachel did such an amazing job describing the setting, the art work and lifestyle of that time period. I felt like I was transported to sixteenth century Florence with Cat. I could imagine the dresses and the piazza market and the countryside picnic. I loved that Cat immediately had a positive outlook and went into this experience with an open mind. She found it as an opportunity to open up and be herself with nobody watching or judging. She has always been reserved and closed off to others but she opens up to her “cousins” Alessandra and Cipriano and she opens her heart to Lorenzo.  Cat has never gotten close to people because they usually use her to get close to her mother or father so opening up and befriending Alessandra was hard for her but it was an experience that she can never forget. Alessandra was her first genuine friend.

Lorenzo is very charming and he takes an immediate liking to Cat. She sees him as a “player” of his time and tries desperately to avoid his advances. However, she finds herself falling for him and letting him in. It is clear that his attraction to her is mutual and that he is falling for her as well. When Lorenzo opens up to Cat and tells her that “she is his new dream” my heart did a little flutter. Their romance gave me butterflies in my stomach. I have to admit, I was nervous about how it would end because they are from 2 completely different centuries and neither can exist in each other’s world forever.  I honestly had no expectations for how this would play out or end but I was pleased with it.

“His voice is barely above a whisper as he says, “Patience D’Angeli—Cat—you are my dream now.”

Cat finds herself comparing her Aunt Francesca and Alessandra to her soon-to-be stepmom and she realizes that maybe Jenna is not as bad as she thought. The experience really opens her eyes to all she may be missing and to see that Jenna is willing to offer her the motherly love that she never received from her own mom. When Cat goes back to her century, she sees everything with new eyes and finds herself opening up more to Jenna, new friendships and the possibility of love.

This book was unlike any other young adult novel I have read and I enjoyed the unique storyline. Rachel’s writing was also fantastic and it is obvious that she researched well and gave accurate interpretations to the time. The ending left me excited to jump right into A Tale of Two Centuries and I’m glad I was able to do that. Thanks Rachel!! <3

~IPOD Picks~
“Sparks Fly” by Taylor Swift
“Happily Ever After” by Sara Evans



10 comments:

  1. I just read a review of the sequel to this book and this review made it official - I had to add it to my TBR list!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  2. RachelHarrisWritesAugust 5, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    So so so SO much love for you, Chelsea. You can't imagine how big my cheesy grin is right now. It's big ;)


    Thanks so much for reading, and I'm so glad you enjoyed My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century! *dances* Now to chew my nails off as I wait for your reaction to A Tale of Two Centuries (he he)


    xoxo
    Rachel

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  3. Fab review Chelsea, so glad you loved it too :-). So cute and the setting was swoon-esque. I really felt like I was Florence too. Will be downloading ATOTC,s as soon as its available.

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  4. I have yet to read a Rachel Harris book. This sounds like a great one! Different from what I have been reading lately so probably quite refreshing.

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  5. I picked this one up a few weeks ago because I kept hearing about Taste the Heat and didn't realise she wrote YA too. This sounds super fun and sweet, definitely up my alley!!! So glad you loved it!

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  6. Yay!! So glad you added it. This book is adorable and the second book is even better. I def recommend reading this one first or you might be a little lost in the second one but it is worth it!

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  7. LOL. You truly are an amazing writer. I have loved all of your books and I can't wait until the next one comes out. It is so versatile of you to be able to write adult and young adult and have them both be so good. You definitely need to be recognized! :-)

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  8. Thanks! I agree, I absolutely adored the setting of this book. I have been to Florence (a long time ago) and it is a beautiful city.

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  9. Go forth and read her books now :-) You will really like them CeCe.

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  10. I think you would like this one and the second book is even better. Taste the Heat is also great. She is a very versatile author. :-)

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