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My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century Paperback – September 18, 2012
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-A trip to Florence suits Hollywood-native Cat Crawford just fine for her birthday, but she is not happy about the huge sweet-16 party her soon-to-be-stepmother wants to throw. A solitary afternoon of sightseeing ends at a gypsy tent, where a fortune teller says to the teen, "A great adventure is in store for you. Be sure to keep your mind open to the lessons ahead." When she leaves the tent, she discovers that she has traveled back in time to Renaissance Italy and is now Patience D'Angeli, a distant family relative. Her one reminder of the present is her backpack of makeup and modern gadgets. She finally shares her secret with her younger cousin, who then tries to help her fit in as a proper young lady. Lorenzo, a dashing young man and fellow artist, catches her eye, but the smitten girl finds herself betrothed to a much older, creepy guy. All turns out well in the end. Girls will like the romance and the many gorgeous young men (past and present). The details of the Renaissance dress and artwork, which add to the story's historical setting, clash with modern-day slang terms, providing a good amount of humor. Light and charming, this debut novel will appeal to those who want to leave the real world behind for a while.-Diana Pierce, Leander High School, TXα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Harris' debut is a knockout. Her characters are charming and wonderfully entertaining, and they're set in a unique and well-defined world that will capture your imagination from the very first page -- RT Book Reviews
A fun, romantic romp....a totally fun and totally satisfying read --Lisa T. Bergren, author of the River of Time Series
Fresh and funny, Harris's detail-rich writing makes for a truly charming debut novel --Holly Schindler, author of Playing Hurt
Goodness gracious, I haven't laughed like this in weeks. --Ayanami Faerudo, Whatever You Can Still Betray
A new favourite. Highly creative and interesting characters. LOVE. -- Jana, The Book Goddess
My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century is a book that demands to be read in one sitting --Stephanie Kate Strohm, author of Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink
If you're looking for a book that manages to be emotionally engaging and captivating, without being draining or too mentally challenging at the same time--this is the book for you! - Evie Bookish Reviews
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My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris is a cute read that focuses on Cat, a cynical but somewhat spoiled 16 year old, who doesn't want her father to marry his current girlfriend, although all signs point to her being pretty nice. Sounds like your typical teen novel. Then enters a twist. Cat and her family go to Florence, where she meets a magical gypsy (aren't they all?) who whisks her off to the 16th century to "learn some lessons." OK, I'm making this a little more basic than the plot really is-- but essentially, we are swept away like Cat, and watch this modern teen try to make it in the 16th century. Gorgeous gowns, hot guys, and intrigue all abound in this book.
There's a lot to like about this book. Cat, although spoiled, is a fun protagonist. That's a tough balance to make but Harris pulls it off. I loved all the descriptions of both the modern world and the old world. The art references, etc, are great as well, and I learned a thing or two! I liked that Cat also was able to fumble and fall but get up again (HEART the singing debacle!), as she wasn't perfect the first (or maybe second) time around. And she definitely had some room to grow and develop over the course of the novel. Alessandra was a wonderful side character, and I enjoyed learning about Cat's family, overall.
My biggest beef with this book, which is not as much a criticism of the book but more of an opinion about it, is how clueless Cat is, almost to the point of me exclaiming, "How did you not see that coming?" But then, I thought about this for a while and pictured my younger 16 year old self in this position. While certain aspects of the plot were crystal clear in my now adult head, I could see how this may not even appear on her radar, especially coming from the modern world back to an older one.
Overall, a fun, light read (just what I needed) with some great characters and terrific description, with room for a sequel or two! Here's to hoping!
Cat Crawford is the daughter of a very well-known film director, but all she wants is to just stay under the radar. Unfortunately, her stepmother (who, may I add, shares the same name as me) has plans to make her impending sweet sixteen a "most extravagant occasion", to say the least. Cat wishes she could just avoid the event altogether. In an ironic turn of events, that wish for avoidance appears to come true when Cat is whisked away by a mysterious gypsy to 16th century Firenze.
SCORE!!! Right? Well, maybe not for Cat...
Although Cat is a little rich girl who seems to never have had to want for anything (well, except for a normal, loving mother) she quickly won her way into my heart with her art appreciation and snarky attitude and style. Bonus points: She is also a character who sounds like a teen. Not so much because of the slang (which was used only sparingly to make her stick out even more in the past) but more so because of how she appears to embody that somewhat limited mindset that most teens still retain at her age. Cat is a very good and caring soul at heart, she just needs a bit of encouragement to nudge her in the right direction.
Lorenzo is a swoon-worthy Italian-stallion. While reading about him, I had to force myself to imagine my husband's face under a tuft of blonde hair so I wouldn't feel too guilty. I ADORED the fact that Lorenzo was super sweet and slightly awkward inside that hot bod. And his patience and acceptance of Cat's unusual 21st century mannerisms sealed the deal. He's perfect.
Another memorable character who becomes Cat's good friend and confidant in the 16th century is the timidly adorable (although quite average for her time) Alessandra. She plays a fairly important roll in this book, and I can't wait to see where her own story will continue to take her...
I appreciated the way that Rachel explained many of the mind-twisting items involved in time-travel situations. For example, the ways she explained the fact that Cat could understand the language after she moves through time. Or the correlation between the pear, Cat and well... to say more would be to spoil. But pears are veeery important, y'all. Such explanations go a long way in resolving what could have potentially been major plot holes. On the other hand, I would have LOVED to have seen more shock and confusion in the reactions of the other characters every time that Cat committed a 16th century "no-no". For the most part, the reactions were too far subdued, and lacking real confusion. Acceptance was the result more often than not. The explanation for Cat's presence in the 16th century, as well as her overall "uncouthness", was based on her being "a foreigner". While that is certainly an acceptable excuse, I still hoped for more awkward confusion. Don't get me wrong, though! The reactions to Cat's fish-out-of-water personality were still plenty funny, even if easily accepted.
I would recommend MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY as the perfect beach read for these last days of summer to any fan of historical, time traveling, comical, romantic novels... aw heck, if you enjoy a good read that is guaranteed to make you smile, then this book is for you. It is delightful, simply delightful.
Thank goodness we can look forward to even more time-traveling mayhem with the follow up, A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES. Beam me up, Scotty, I'm ready to (time) travel once more! (But if I ever have to read about a 16th century "bathroom" again... Uh... Just warn me in advance next time.) ;)
Most recent customer reviews
While there are a few teen-issues (boys, parents, steps, etc.Read more