Do you ever have one of those books that has pretty much everything you love in a novel, and you’re sure you’re going to absolutely adore it... except then you read it, and while you do like it, there’s one huge detail that’s ruining the entire thing for you? Born Wicked is that book for me. It has a lot of aspects I truly enjoy in a story. The historical fantasy aspect of it, as well as the nice alternate version of New England, make for a wonderful setting. Though at times the dialogue felt a bit modern, and I did often question how Cate came to be so revolutionary without having had much direct influence from someone who thought that way, otherwise everything worked together in that sense. I also enjoyed how there was a romantic subplot, but it didn’t take over the entire novel. It did have a purpose and added actual urgency to the story, instead of just being included for some cheap drama. I didn’t even really mind the slight love triangle that was included, as it was done passably well. The writing was good, and though it’s a slower novel that’s more character driven than plot driven, I was never really bored while I was reading it. The slower pace of things, I felt, was a good way to show us how quiet Cate’s life in Catham is. So, what was my issue? Unfortunately, it all came down to Cate herself. I really, truly did not like spending time inside her head. The novel itself tries to have several feminist messages, and it would have succeeded far more in delivering those messages if Cate didn’t immediately turn around and be judgmental of the other girls in town. Her disdain for them is based entirely on the fact that they’re not like her; the vast majority of them like their feminine, girly dresses, and because they’ve been taught to be so, they’re quiet and subservient and sometimes not bright. Hate the war, not the victims, Cate. At one point, Cate even refuses to wear pink, since it’s such a popular colour for the simpering girls in her town. I honestly couldn’t stand Cate. Her devotion to protecting her sisters was sweet, but every time she called another girl an idiot, I wanted someone to slap her, I really did. Granted, she is proven wrong at some turns, but it doesn’t feel like she ever truly learns her lesson, and I fully expect to find her still judging girls as inferior and stupid in the next book. Honestly, Cate nearly ruined the entire novel for me. I kept hesitating in picking it up because I couldn’t stand to read her dislike for other girls, and I dragged my feet in finishing it because of that. I truly do hope it’s done away with entirely in the next novel. Cate and the series would be much stronger for it.See more of my reviews at On The Nightstand!