Thursday, June 19, 2014

Young Adult Review: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, 1) by Rachel Harris, September 16, 2012. 304 pages. Published by Entangle Teen. Source: library.
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?
First Sentence:
I'm trapped.


I have been a fan of time-travel books for quite sometime now, but, I'm always nervous when finding a new, to me, author writing about it. Especially when I take into account the ones that made me fall for the time travel in the first place. That being said, I enjoyed Rachel Harris' My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century so much!

As this is the first book I have read by Rachel Harris, I has no idea what to expect when it came to her writing and the characters and world she would be creating for her book. While I was nervous going in because of the hype monster, hence why I'm just now reading it two years after it was published, I found myself enjoying it immensely for many reasons.
    I admit, that the first couple of pages of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century has me worried as to whether or not I was going to enjoy reading about Cat and her adventure. It's just something about overly rich characters that make me cringe when they are the main character in a book; mainly, it comes down to the way they speak and act that just grates on my nerves. But, with Cat things were definitely different. I loved how she wanted a normal life and birthday, not some over the top televised shindig, because it made her easy to read about. While I was saddened at the way she treated her soon-to-be step-mom at first, it was a perfectly normal reaction and I enjoyed seeing how that relationship evolved.

As for the writing, I really think that Rachel Harris did a fantastic job of recreating 16th century Italy. I really enjoyed watching Cat try to blend into 16th century Italy because she did such a horrible job it and because it was pretty cool to see her see Italy from two perspectives, that of what she knew fro her times and that of seeing it at the height of the Renaissance.
   The other thing that made her writing so enjoyable was seeing how her trip to the past, and spending time with her ancestors, changed her and helped her to move pass some of her troubles. This is one of the few books where a character who needs to learn something actually does. It doesn't just forget what they came to know when returned to their normal life. That right there is one of the reasons I enjoyed reading about Cat and seeing her struggle to open herself to others.

In the end, what I really enjoyed most about My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century would have to be the character development and the bond between a couple of the characters. I really enjoyed seeing Cat open up the love her ancestors gave her while there because it was well written and left me feeling like the characters, not just Cat herself, had progressed by the time the book ended. As you can guess, she probably rubbed off on them just a little bit.

The only thing that was a little disappointing in the book would have to be that I figured out why Cat was sent to the past and what she needed to learn pretty much from the point where the gypsy tells her, something along the lines of, watch and learn. So, while a little predictable at points, I enjoyed seeing how Rachel Harris brought the whole thing together.

Final Verdict: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century- A charming tale of time travel, love and 16th century Italy. Definitely a fun read.

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century earns

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