Title: When My Heart Was Wicked
Author: Tricia Stirling
Published by: Scholastic Press, February 24, 2015
Format/Source: E-Arc provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Summary via Goodreads: “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?
The old Lacy was a bit of a bad girl. Not afraid to say mean things and stealing just for the heck of it. The new Lacy, now out from under her mother’s thumb is a lot different. She believes in science and magic. She has a passion for plants, a belief in their healing power.
That all changes when her mother, Cheyenne, comes back and takes Lacy away from her step-mother. It’s not long until the old Lacy starts to come back out and we start to question if that’s who she is or is it because of her mother’s influence.
Cheyenne is evil. She is not a good person at all and is a horrible mother. She is emotionally and in a sense physically abusive towards Lacy. She was manipulative and would say the creepiest things to her daughter. Even when she claimed she wanted to be good mother to Lacy, it wouldn’t last very long. I really did not like her at all.
My biggest problem with this book was that it seemed like for a chunk of the book, nothing really seemed to be happening. Most of the big events in the book were from flashbacks and something that happened before the story starts. The summary talks about a traumatic event that makes her contemplate revenge, but the biggest event happens before the story and it just didn’t seem to fit for me. Lacy’s reactions to most things seemed very muted. She wasn’t really dramatic so revenge didn’t seem like her kind of thing, even for the old Lacy.
Another small problem I had was the repetitiveness. Whenever you read books about someone who has a passion for something, like Lacy’s passion for science and plants, authors tend to feel the need to remind the readers of that passion throughout the book and it’s a very fine line between being informational and repetitive. I feel like it was mentioned a few too many times in this book.
Despite all of that, I found the writing to be very beautiful. It was descriptive and almost lyrical. The writing definitely made this book better. It definitely read like a debut novel to me.
Overall the story did not hook me like I was hoping, but it was an okay story and just a little weird. My expectations were not met with this book, but it is short and the writing is beautiful, I still think people may like this book and I will probably look to read more from this author in the future.