Friday, 4 January 2013

Review: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century

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?

Title: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century ~ Book 1)
Author: Rachel Harris
Publication Date: September 11 2012
Publisher: Entangled Teen 
Length: 304 Pages
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Buy ItAmazon US / Amazon UK

Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Super cute and fitting... however the cover model doesn't look like she is fifteen years old.
Point of View: 1st person, following Caterina (Cat)

My Rating: 4 Stars

“Caterina, a great adventure is in store for you.”

In a day and age where stories about Vampires, Werewolves and Falling Angels are wildly accepted, I know that my following suggestion will seem a bit daft but here it goes...

Suspension of Disbelief:  A willingness to suspend one's critical faculties and believe the unbelievable; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment.

Get to know this definition and love this definition.  You really won't be able to read and enjoy this book without going into it just the acceptance of everything that is happening.  Caterina, Cat to everybody, finds herself transported back to the Sixteenth Century by a gypsy she meets in Florence.  She doesn't speak Italian before she goes to the past but once there she understands and speaks it perfectly.  She finds it hard to not speak in her 21st Century slang but passes this off as being from London where things are different.  It is all very Big (the Tom Hank's movie from the 80's) but if you go in with an open mind you will find it enjoyable and a really good read.

“Powers that be, powers of three, let Caterina's destiny be all that I see.”

The time spent in Sixteenth Century Florence was fun.  Cat is a huge lover of Renaissance art so this timeframe is perfect for her and she even gets to meet one of her favorite artists.  The person whose body she has taken over is Patience D'Angeli and she soon discovers that the family she is staying with are actually her ancestors.  Cat does a lot of growing up as the story progresses and is able to make some decisions that will affect her own life, the one back in the 21st Century.

Her Sixteenth Century surrogate family are lovely.  Her aunt and uncle were sweet but my absolute favorites were her cousins, Cipriano and AlessandraCipriano becomes quite protective of Cat and Alessandra easily becomes a close friend and they even call each other sister.  Cat does not allow herself to get close to others in her 'real life' so the feelings she starts to have for them takes her by surprise.

Of course no young adult book would be complete without a love story and this does not disappoint.  Cat quickly begins to have feelings for a local artist and friend of the family, his name is Lorenzo Cappelli.  He was so very sweet.  I am sure the setting had a lot to do with how much of a gentleman he was and how sweet their interactions were with each other.  He falls for Patience/Cat hard and is willing to change his entire life in order to be with her... so swoonworthy.

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century is the first in the series and the second book, A Tale of Two Centuries, is due to be published in August 2013.  I have to be honest when I had got to around 80% I really could not see how it was going to end or even carry on with another book but then the end came and I was pleasantly surprised with a bit of a twist.  Cliffhanger?  Yes!  But it was a fun one and left me very much wanting to carry on with Cat's story.

 “Lorenzo gently places his hands on either side of my face, lowering his head to stare directly into my eyes. His voice is barely above a whisper as he says, "Patience D'Angeli-Cat-you are my dream now.”

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