by Tricia Stirling
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (February 24, 2015)
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"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?
Dear When My Heart Was Wicked,
I had a tough time with you if I'm completely honest. I'm still not sure what exactly happened or what exactly I read, because the style you're written in is.....different. I'm still torn over if I actually liked you or if I didn't. Maybe you just weren't a Becca book, in general.
You follow the story of Lacy, who is a sixteen-year-old girl, struggling to find herself and identify with the bad/good side of her personality. After her father dies, she finds herself staying with her step-mother in Chico, where her magic is good, but unfortunately, Lacy's real mom, Cheyenne, who represents bad magic and brings out the worst in Lacy, never stays away for long, and comes back to take Lacy back to Sacramento with her. Cheyenne will stop at nothing to to keep control over Lacy, and before long, Lacy can feel the darkness starting to return. But after a traumatic encounter, will Lacy turn to the dark side for good or learn to keep ahold of the light?
Lacy was a unique character. I felt like she had a tremendous amount of character growth, despite you only being 190 or so pages. I loved the fact that she was so interested in science. I felt horrible for her when Cheyenne came and took her away from her step-mom, because Anna embodied all that was good in the world. She was good for Lacy. Cheyenne, on the other hand, was a complete psycho. There are a lot of things she did to Lacy that I felt needed to be expanded on. She was abusive, manipulative, and almost bi-polar with her emotions. I still don't understand some of the stuff she did to Lacy, and how she felt they would help their relationship as mother and daughter.
I had a rough time sticking to reading you, because I was a little bored with what was going on. I think that might have been because when I read magic in the synopsis, I was expecting witches and the like. Sure, Lacy makes a few spells and all that, but I just wanted more on the magic part. There were a lot of darker issues inside your pages too, which was a surprise, because I haven't read that in a book in awhile. Cutting, drugs, sexual stuff, stealing. I suppose I should have expected that too, because of course, it's part of Lacy's "dark" side, and some of those things are things that happen to Cheyenne.
I think the only thing that kept me interested, When My Heart Was Wicked, was wanting to know what was going to happen in the end and the fact that your author has a beautiful written voice. But if you would have been a hundred pages longer or more, I probably wouldn't have stuck with you. There was just something missing to make you a book that I really enjoyed. Maybe there was something deeper about you that I wasn't able to grasp. I honestly have no idea. But if I were to suggest you to someone, I would say that anyone who likes a book about self-realization and darker issues, to give you a try. Ultimately, that isn't the type of book for me unfortunately. 2 stars to you, When My Heart Was Wicked.