My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (Paperback)
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Short Description for My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother 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 F
- Published: 27 September 2012
- Format: Paperback 260 pages
- ISBN 13: 9781620611357 ISBN 10: 162061135X
- Sales rank: 50,873
Reviews for My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century
A Great YA Historical Read [Warning: SPOILERS]
This was such a fun, cute and refreshing read! I initially picked up this book thinking it would be a fun trip to the past but when I finished, I realised it was so much more than that - it was a coming of age book about growing up and that there are sometimes more important things in life.
I really loved the way this was written. Imagery, extremely descriptive, it was verb and simile paradise!
There were so many types of imagery utilised:
Aural: "the clanging church bells...", "birds are singing and chirping happy music"
Olfactory: "the overwhelming stench of sewage overwhelms me", "the heady scent of incense tickles my nose and I sneeze"
Visual: "vibrant red poppies explode against the deep jade of the grass and the lush gold of the wheat fields" THEM COLOURS OMG
Tactile: "I feel soft fabric brush against my leg"
Gustatory: "he tastes like the wildflower-honey pastries inside, sweet and intoxicating"
"Warm water sloshes over the sides of the wooden tub as I scoop up a handful of gardenia-scented bubbles and blow gently, creating a iridescent, rainbow-infused cave". UNF GIVE ME A BUBBLE BATH NOW!
Like **** it was sensory overload and I loved it. As nobody really knows what Renaissance Florence feels like (or Renaissance anywhere really) these descriptions were crucial in placing the character in said time period.
The book is filled with amazing descriptions and I really felt I was in 1505 Italy. I think other than the meadow, I loved the way Michelangelo's David was detailed:
"Look at how his right leg is tense and supporting him while the left one is bent like a warrior's. His furrowed forehead perfectly shows he's facing incredible odds, yet his nostrils are flared and his eyes are fierce... Look at the veins in his hands and feet, the cords of his neck, the folds of skin on his upper thigh" WOAH I don't even know a block of marble can be described like that but after reading that I'm bowing down to Michelangelo (even more than before that is).
And the juxtapositions and antitheses! It really helped iterate the difference between Cat and Patience's worlds.
"Dejected, I fling the phone and watch it crash into the painted chest... Hanging over the chest is my wrinkled ball gown from last night."
The story itself was cute, interlaced with heartbreak, humour and lessons-to-be-learnt. I really liked what the main character, Cat, learnt on her trip back in time. What she thought was her redeeming qualities because of the way her mother acts (Cat stays out of the spotlight so she doesn't make mistakes that land her on the front pages of tabloids like her fickle mother), are actually what's holding her back from who she really is. Lesson learnt: it's ok to make mistakes as long as you learn from them.
Cat finally gives her heart to someone - and what I REALLY like about this is that because she's 16, Harris doesn't explicitly say she falls in love at first sight and all that crap, but rather that he ignites feelings in her she hasn't felt before. Then Cat PROGRESSIVELY starts falling harder for him, longing for his presence more and they admit they CARE for each other. And the love that blossoms from that ERMAGHERD BE STILL MY HEART "You want to be with me; I know that you do". Cue my wrenching heart and burning eyes. The romance is entirely believable so that was a winner for me. Lesson learnt: it's ok to let your guard down and let your heart guide you - but sometimes love is not enough, there are things you have to sacrifice. And in the case of Lorenzo? That love might just set you free.
The presence of her bubbly aunt Francesca and beautiful cousin Alessandra remind Cat of her future-stepmother and it's here that she finally sets her prejudices of her stepmother aside and realise Jenna isn't all that bad. The comparison of her Renaissance ancestors and their parallels to her stepmother allow her to see the good in Jenna!
I loved all the characters in here. I especially LOVED Lorenzo. His gentlemanly behaviour was expected of someone of that period but there was that extra spark and other side to him that made me (ahem I mean Cat) fall in love with him. The passion between Cat and Lorenzo was definitely there and god so many teary eyed moments!
Alessandra was a breath of fresh air with her innocence but fiery passion to be an actress. I think her presence helped Cat understand the importance of having a friend there when times are hard. Lesson learnt: don't try to tackle everything on your own, friends are there so you can tell them your problems and it sucks to lie to them.
Even characters like Antonia had something important to say. Basically, all the characters had a purpose and they weren't there just for the sake of it.
I also liked how there was no guarantee of a happily ever after. I mean yeah Lucas shows up but Cat doesn't immediately replace Lorenzo and that's what I loved - the uncertainty!
Was there anything I didn't like about this? I think the sheer amount of slang and colloquialisms that even I didn't understand. It got a bit too much for me at times... but I'm going to assume that's how 16 year olds talk nowadays and I fear for that generation. I also wondered how a lot of said slang would be phrased in Italian (typed some stuff into Google translate and that's some weird **** but whatever I'm not Italian so I can't say).
Overall, beautiful imagery, characters with personality and relevance, lessons learnt all in the middle of one of the world's most renowned cultural movements. And that uncertain happily ever after? As my friends say, "**** got real". Yup this did it for me.
This review can also be found: http://pixelski.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/review-my-super-sweet-sixteenth-century.html by Jasmine Chau
Fun & Delightful Debut!
I loved My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century! The characters, the setting, the story.. it was just wow.
Within the first few lines I loved Cat. I thought she was funny, smart and had just the right amount of snark thrown in. I loved her attitude at the beginning but watching the subtle changes and her growth throughout the book made me love her even more. There were plenty of amazing, witty, hilarious comments thrown in this book. Most of them from Cat of course, which was another reason I just loved her!
I really liked all the characters in this book, even the not-so-nice ones. They were all well thought out and even those characters I only met briefly were brilliantly written, I got a good feel of who they were, even from a few short lines. I loved everyone, Cat was hilarious fun and I was totally swooning over Lorenzo, but I had a real soft spot for Alessandra. She was soft and demure but I thought she had *****! Plus her name is absolutely gorgeous and she's a real sweetheart.
I thought this book was amazing. The cover was gorgeous and Rachel Harris weaved a mystical tale full of mystery and wonder; it also taught me some really cool things about Italy and it's art. My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century took me on a magical journey through renaissance Italy, told a brilliant tale of love and left me begging for more. by Myra White
- Top review
Cat, a soon to be 16 year-old girl, travels to Italy with her dad and stepmom but on her first day meets a gypsy named Reyna who sends her to the 16th Century in her journey to find herself
and learn a mystery lesson.
"Reyna: Be sure to keep your mind open to the lessons ahead."
My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century It's a lovely story full of humor, a bit of mystery and sexy accents. Did we mention 16th century clothes? You have to admit, those are fun!
Cat is the daughter of a hollywood director and an actress but all she wants is the cameras to stay away, something hard to do when your stepmom wants to throw you the biggest sweet sixteen EVER.
Cat has lots of issues, she can't trust anyone to get close to her for her and not her parents, she feels like she's losing her dad to a new woman and is sick of feeling she's always supposed to please everyone, but the 16th century is not as fun as it seems, and more than once Cat finds herself in problems with the vocabulary...
"Cat: Who's that dude, Less?
Two verbal gaffes in one sentence-so much for my nailing the old-world gig."
What I really liked about her was how easy to relate she was, how normal she felt. Cat has insecurities like everyone else, but at the same time there's a little person trying to be free and find her place in the world, someone who wants to follow her dreams and step outside of her parents shadow and talent. Inside that shell she created to not get hurt or used there's a girl who wants to know what it feels like to have a real friend, someone you can trust and someone who will be there for you no matter what. And maybe, she's also looking for real love.
Lorenzo, in a way, is very similar to Cat.
He's an artist in a world and a family that doesn't get him. He's cocky, and sexy and he knows that as much as he knows the effect he has on girls. He's a heartbreaker. And he wants Cat.
I love how romantic he is, maybe is the whole I'm-from-another-century vibe but he has a lot going on, the perfect good boy you want to take and keep hidden from the rest of the girls.
I also enjoyed the fact that there wasn't another love interest for her though the secondary characters are a great combination and add a lot for the Story. Her 16th century family is adorable, her aunt and cousin had me laughing through the book with her happy actitudes about everything.
I particularly liked The Ending, it has an original twist to this sort of stories that I wasn't expecting.
Rachel has done an AWESOME job in her debut novel bringing us characters that you'll remember. The writing is lovely and traps you right from the start.
And the best news is there will be more!
The sequel is called "Rearview Mirror" and is set to come out in december of 2013 following Less' (Cat's causin) adventures. by xCynyx
This is the debut novel by author Rachel Harris, and I must say its an awesome start! I liked this book right off the bat. I think that the cover is so fitting and funny at the same time once you have read that book. When I read the book blurb I fell in love the storyline. It would be so awesome to travel back in time. Especially to the renaissance period (big dresses). Plus I thought that it was hilarious about how there was the My Super Sweet 16 Spoof of the MTV show.
I really enjoyed the characters. I loved Cat, other then I find that she accepted the time travel too readily, where I would have been pooping my pants. Also she was worried about getting home for a small period then forgot all about home For most of the book. I wished that we had learned more about Cat's mom. I found Reyna to be super mysterious, and hopefully we learn more about her in the future.then there was Lorenzo (swoon). How hot is he. I loved his player reputation. But he was also sweet and romantic. I'm just sad that things between him and Cat had to end. :(
Then Rachel leaves me hanging on a cliff lol with the ending!!! Can't wait for the next book!!!! by Justine
One of the best books of 2012
Also posted: http://jana-thebookgoddess.blogspot.co.uk/
OMG. There's not enough words to describe how much I LOVED this book. Ever since getting an e-ARC late last month, I've already devoured it three times since. It's just that spectacular and mesmerizing. It's already got a place in my favourite debuts and favourite books ever.
What really made this debut book stand out was the characters. Yes, y'all know that I'm a big characters girl. I'm one of those readers where the characters are the most important element of the story. And yes. THIS BOOK HAS GOT EVERYTHING I LOVE IN A BOOK. And I just love love love all of the characters. (Well, except one or maybe two, you know who I'm talking about, right?) Especially Cat/Patience, Alessandra, Cipriano and Lorenzo. *Sigh*. Rachel has written some of my favourite characters EVER.
I want the main character Cat as my best friend. Seriously. This girl just rocks. She's my YA girl alike. She's got a great sense of humor, she's independent and fiercely determined. Not to mention she's funny as hell. I was literally laughing out loud at some of her lines. And what really made me love her more is that she's SO relatable. It may or may not be 'cause we're the same age. And I love that there's mentions of pop culture and the media, and people like Rihanna, Miley, and the Kardashians and that she's such a girly girl. AND she's got a painted pear tattoo. YES.
I really don't want to make this just telling you about how much I adored the rest of the characters, but I have to mention Alessandra. Or Less, as Cat calls her. Cat's 'cousin' was just SO adorable and so sweet and so nice. Gosh. I also didn't expect to like Less's brother Cip (Cipriano), he suprised me a lot. And I don't even need to mention Lorenzo. SWOON. As if I need another reason to wish I was born in the Renaissance time. And Reyna is such an interesting character. I don't think I've ever read about a gypsy as captivating as her!
Italy!! This book is actually set in ITALY. *faints* Yes. Finally. I've never been to Italy (though I freaking want to!) but reading this book just WOW it made me feel like I was actually in Florence, and in the Renaissance time itself. Rachel just has a way of making you feel like you're actually there. Didn't I tell you she's a genius? :)
About the actual plot itself, well what else can I say? It was just perfect. I don't know about you, but I found it pretty unpredictable. And I had such a great time trying to guess what's going to happen next. I couldn't stop reading this (read it in one sitting) and the writing and pacing was just right. :)
I really really appreciated the lessons that Cat learned at the end of the book. Her character development was absolutely astounding. I loved seeing her grow. And I loved (I've lost count how many times I've said LOVED on this review) how highly creative this book is. I loved the idea of the gypsy tent and how Rachel made Cat's family really famous in the modern day world. I haven't read any YA book so far that has a MC with a famous director for a father and an actress for a mother. Nor the idea for a story surrounding her Sweet Sixteen. And lemme just tell you - my Sweet Sixteenth earlier this year wasn't nearly as exciting as this. :P
I don't think I've ever read a book as light or as fun as this. This just reminds me why I love reading. Why I love YA. Rachel Harris, I applaud you! I've already pre-ordered this (AND YOU SHOULD, TOO!) and I can say that I'll happily read everything that Rachel writes. This writer is one to watch out.
Did you hear me screaming from right here when I heard that there will be a companion novel (starring Less!) called A Tale of Two Centuries? Yes? No? Yeah that was me. Please please please gimme the book now. I don't think I can handle the wait. *suffers* by Janalou Cruz
Sure to Hit Your Sweet Spot
Full of charm and heart, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century is one girl's magical journey towards finding herself.
My Super Sweet is a book that I had been looking forward to since I first read the synopsis, and I'll admit it, the cover totally hooked me. I'm so happy that I got the chance to read it early because I simply adored it.
Author Rachel Harris did a phenomenal job of recreating Sixteenth Century Florence. So many details that could have been easily overlooked, such as the silverware and plumbing used, helped lend a nice touch of authenticity. The manners and speech of the Sixteenth century felt real. I loved that Cat continually struggled throughout the story to behave in a manner that reflected that era.
The characters in My Super Sweet all hit the right notes. Cat was lovable, awkward, funny and charming. Alessandra was a doll. I love that she openly embraced Cat and gave her no choice but to love her. Lorenz was super swoony, everything you expect in an Italian gentleman, without coming on too strong.
I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the story. Cat's journey towards trust, being open to love was one any of us can learn from. But besides the lesson, My Super Sweet was fun! The setting provided the perfect opportunity for an escape. In fact, it's the best Italian getaway you can hope for,short of actually going there. The ending was absolutely perfect. I think I may have even cackled with glee. I can't wait for the next adventure!
Whether you're looking for a story with depth, a sweet escape, or better yet, both, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century is a book that will find your sweet spot. by Andrea Thompson
Charming debut that stays true to Rennaissance Florence
Originally published at Winged Reviews.
My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century was a breath of fresh air! I loved the sound of the book from the blurb and I'm happy to say it didn't disappoint one bit! This debut is full of charm and is a light funny read while staying true to beautiful sixteenth century Rennaissance Florence.
Cat Crawford is the daughter of a famous Hollywood director and actress. Since her mother abandoned her and her dad, she likes her life out of the spotlight. So when her future stepmother Jenna steps in and wants to plan an extravagant Sweet Sixteen party to further her own career, Cat vehemently refuses and it takes a trip to Florence, Italy for art-loving Cat to reluctantly be persuaded by her dad. Little did she know her trip would whisk her back to the sixteenth century in order to learn some important lessons about herself!
It was great fun reading about Cat trying to fit into sixteenth century culture. When she arrives, she assumes the role of Patience D'Angeli, a relative from England, and stays with her aunt, uncle and cousins Cipriano and Alessandra. Her 'Englishness' hides a whole mess of historical faux pas, but the reaction of the locals is priceless. I love how Rachel Harris writes Cat with such ***** that you can't help root for her, even through that cringe-worthy singing!
One of the best parts of the book is Cat's relationships with her new era family. Her aunt and uncle welcome her into the family with open arms, and she learns to love them even though her aunt looks remarkably like her estranged mother. She also gets along famously with her cousins Cipriano and Alessandra and the three of them form a strong friendship. It's lovely to see her and Less (as she nicknamed her) eventually become best friends and I got a warm, fuzzy feeling when they both opened up to each other. I loved Alessandra and her genuine affection and general niceness made her a stand out character for me.
And of course there's Lorenzo, Cip and Less' friend who is obviously gorgeous, but is also caring, strong-willed and artistic. He also has that air of confidence and debonair attitude that a modern boy wouldn't have and Rachel writes him pitch perfectly. Despite her reluctance to trust anyone, Cat eventually opens herself up to his affection and I loved their little dates (especially the waterfall scene) and seeing the relationship grow. She encourages him to follow his dreams as an artist and the little 'easter egg' when Cat eventually makes it back to her own time was just one of the many little touches that make me love this book.
If you're in the mood for something charming, undeniably sweet and incredibly feel-good, then don't hesitate to pick this book up! I'll be waiting (im)patiently for the sequel!
Thank you to Entangled Publishing for providing a copy for review. by Daphne (Winged Reviews)under review