Saturday, March 28, 2015

Review: When My Heart Was Wicked by Tricia Stirling

When My Heart Was Wicked by Tricia Stirling 

Published February 24th 2015 by Scholastic Press

"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? 


I feel like I just watched a really weird episode of Supernatural. You know the set up right before the Winchester's rush in to crack the case. The devil witch of a mother uses spells & drugs to keep her daughter by her side. She also uses some seriously black magic to steals her daughter's heart.

I must admit cover lust hit me hard on this one. I mean just look at it, it's gorgeous. I also was thrilled to see the blurb with the promise of a girl battling a wicked past and darker part of herself. This story was more along the lines of an abusive mother and a daughter feeling guilt for not being able to "fix" her. Cheyenne is the type of mother who just up and leaves her daughter one day to fend for herself. She also had burned Lacy for asking too many questions and tied her to a tree so she wouldn't wander off. I wish I was exaggerating. Then one day, Cheyenne up and just disappears leaving lacy to fend for herself for days until she finally calls her dad to come pick her up. Years and years later after lady's father death, Cheyenne is back to claim Lacy. Sadly the law is not a friend so, she must go.

The dynamic between these two was strenuous on good days and down right uncomfortable on bad ones. The bad outweigh the good ten fold. Cheyenne was a manipulative, irresponsible person and it made me so anger to see Lacy give in her to and not defend herself.  I also can very much relate to this. My mother was a raging alcoholic among other issues. She would leave me home alone at 6 to go to the bar up the street all afternoon and would yell at me for getting upset and calling a neighbor to come stay with me. She has long since passed away but there is something so fundamentally wrong with a situation when the child doesn't feel safe around a parent. This is one part of the story that Tricia hit right on the head. Her descriptions of Cheyenne's behavior was so very eerily similar to what I endured that I ended up in tears quite a few times out of sheer memory alone. This made me hate her and I wanted so desperately for Lacy to tell her to F off but she doesn't. It's so easy to forgot that other side of the coin where no matter what it is still your mother. The only one you have so you still long for approval and love no matter what the cost. Well, in Lacy case she lost her heart. 

The magical elements in this story were spread few and far between. I don't know if they were meant to be witches or not but there was way too little of this for my taste. Yes, there were a few binding spells but nothing huge. The magic was almost as it if peppered into the plot as an after thought. Perhaps it was meant to be a suggestive type of things but the story didn't have a very good flow because of this. It was choppy with weird flashbacks where all Lacy did was tell us what a terrible person she used to be. Well I didn't see a whole lot of that either. I CALL FALSE BLURBING! Yes she wished some bad things but she wasn't like the grim reaper or anything, which i what I was kind of expecting. Disappointing to say the least. Here is an example of a random chapter just dropped in between two other chapters discussing Lacy's school drama.

I am capable of bad things. Moved by jealousy I am capable of evil. When I was little I wanted to go to Paris. I wanted my mother to myself and I did bad things to make that happen. In the end it didn't even matter; she left me all alone. I wish I were a robot incapable of emotion. The best thing would be not to let myself feel anything at all. 
This is a sad, compelling train of thought but it just didn't fit where it was randomly dropped. This style of writing was highly disruptive to the flow. Had this story not been the length it was I would have most likely put it down or just skipped to the weird end to figure out what the hell was going on. When the plot crescendo finally did come to light it was resolved in a really cheesy manner. So meh! I will not be continuing on with this series, as if there is anything else to write about. The relationships were done well but that was all that held this story from falling completely apart.



  1. It is always very disappointing when a book seems to deviate from what the blurb tell you it is about. And even more when the paranormal bits are thrown in randomly and don't seem to be as significant and they should have been.
    Thank you for the very honest review Britt!

    1. I'm sad since the writing was okay but it just was too broken up. Thank for visiting me love!

  2. I was so looking forward to this book!!! Sorry that it didn't work for you.