Author: Rachel Harris
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Published By: Entangled Teen
On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother-to-be 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?
I've been avoiding this book for the past month or so now, because one, I generally don't read historical fiction, and two, the cover didn't do anything for me. Anyway, the other day, I was checking out book blurbs here and there, I chanced upon My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, and to say that its blurb caught my eye is a bit of an understatement. As a matter of fact, I was besotted (Ha, that's a word that's perfect for the sixteenth century!) from the blurb alone! So that's a lesson for me (and maybe for some of you as well) - never ever judge a book by its cover, or even the genre it falls under. I'm so glad that I gave this book a chance, because I loved it.
I loved it! Yes, I just had to say that twice. If you don't believe me, I read this book in one sitting. That was how much I enjoyed it!
First of all, I have to say that the premise is genius! As I have said before, I usually don't read historical fiction in general, but come on - who wouldn't want to read about a 21st century heroine who was magically transported to the sixteenth century? I also enjoyed the fact that the heroine basically had no idea why she was sent back in time, other than the fact that she was to learn important lessons for her adventure. Cryptic to say the least, huh?
The book's MC, Cat, is a character who I'm sure many will find relatable. She's fun, quirky, incredibly witty, and her passion for art is off the charts. She's at that stage in her life where she has a difficult time letting people in - much less actually developing relationships with other people - but I really can't blame her for acting aloof and being wary. Being the daughter of two Hollywood icons, she's been thrust into the spotlight against her wishes and is constantly judged for her parents' actions, and I know that can't be easy for a teenager. Cat is strong and determined, and I loved reading about her. Her character development throughout the book is amazing.
The first few chapters of the book was a fun, light read for sure. I found myself grimacing when Cat found herself in embarrassing situations one after the other; I couldn't help but grin whenever Cat talked in twenty-first century slang much to the confusion of those around her; and I loved how Cat developed strong relationships with the people she met from the sixteenth century. Alessandra, her cousin, is basically the friend Cat never had; Aunt Francesca showered Cat the unconditional love she never had the chance to receive from her mother; and Cat fell head-over-heels in love with Lorenzo, an aspiring artist who is just perfect. (Cat and I are definitely in agreement here!)
The first part of the book might have been fun and light, but let me tell you, the second half just about broke my heart. One particular scene in the end - Cat asking about a particular painting - made my heart thump painfully, and aspects of the ending made me want to wallow in misery. Fine, I may be exaggerating a bit here, but I myself was surprised at how strongly I reacted to the book's last few chapters. I didn't expect that I would feel so much for these characters - most especially Cat and Lorenzo - but next thing I know, I can't stop thinking about them! I will definitely never forget these two characters.
Overall, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century is a remarkable read. Rachel Harris was excruciatingly detailed in writing about sixteenth century Florence that I truly felt like I was with walking along with Cat in every step of her adventure. This book will make you feel a myriad of emotions, and I will definitely be rereading this in the near future.
Rating: 5 Stars