Thursday, January 8, 2015

When My Heart Was Wicked

When My Heart Was Wicked by Tricia Stirling

Disclaimer: I read the advanced readers' copy of this book. It will be released on February 24, 2015. Undoubtedly, there will be minor differences between the version I read and the published version.

This one was a little bit of a curve ball for me. ...yeah.

An amazon summary so we can get to places, ""I used to be one of those girls. The kind who loved to deliver bad news. When I colored my hair, I imagined it seeping into my scalp, black dye pooling into my veins. But that was the old Lacy. Now, when I cast spells, they are always for good."

16-year-old Lacy believes that magic and science can work side by side. She's a botanist who knows how to harness the healing power of plants. So when her father dies, Lacy tries to stay with her step-mother in Chico, where her magic is good and healing. She fears the darkness that her real mother, Cheyenne, brings out, stripping away everything that is light and kind.

Yet Cheyenne never stays away for long. Beautiful, bewitching, unstable Cheyenne who will stop at nothing, not even black magic, to keep control of her daughter's heart. She forces Lacy to accompany her to Sacramento, and before long, the "old" Lacy starts to resurface.

But when Lacy survives a traumatic encounter, she finds herself faced with a choice. Will she use her powers to exact revenge and spiral into the darkness forever? Or will she find the strength to embrace the light?" AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

At the beginning of the story, Lacy starts out as a 'good girl', or someone who is more inclined to make good decisions. She lives with her step-mother (Anna) after her father passed away from cancer. Her mother, Cheyenne, has come to take Lacy away from Anna to live with her.

Lacy is kind of scared of her mother and knows she is a 'bad person'. Cheyenne doesn't have the greatest track record and Lacy used to be more of a wild child when she lived with her mother previously.

So on the surface, the book is about Lacy's relationship with her mother, and her relationship with Anna (her stepmother).

I read it as more of a commentary on the mother figures present in peoples' lives.

Lacy is faced with two strong role models.

Anna, who tries to do kind things, is a vegan (and jokingly a hippie), and had a lot of happy times with Lacy and her late father. Anna had a lot of patience with Lacy as she rebelled against Anna after first coming to live with them after Cheyenne abandoned Lacy a few years ago.

Cheyenne, who performs 'magic' and tends to leave Lacy alone. She's had a very rocky history and seems to twist the truth with frequency. When Lacy lived her mom, she was more of a bad person, a bully if you will.

I think the story really begs the question of what determines a persons' personality; the environment and consequently the people they're surrounded by OR the person whom they idealize and want to be.

The book was less than 200 pages and was an interesting coming of age story. It seemed to want to be kind of whimsical to let the reader interpret small actions (like butterflies being killed) as symbolic, but there was too much of a reaction from Lacy or other characters to let the reader form their own interpretation.

I appreciate what the book wanted to be, but I don't think it achieved it's mark.

Regardless, it was a light, short read. Perhaps the published edition will be better.

Happy reading!

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