Book Review: When My Heart Was Wicked by Tricia Stirling

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Book Review: When My Heart Was Wicked by Tricia StirlingWhen My Heart Was Wicked Published by Scholastic Press on February 24, 2015
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 192
Format: ARC

"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?

(Last Updated On: November 1, 2021)

Lacy lives with her step mom in Chico after her mother mysteriously disappeared. She was home alone for a few days while her mom was off who-knows-where, so she called her dad and step mom and went and lived with them for a while. Originally, she hated her step mother and even did everything that she could just to spite her, but eventually she ended up adoring her, even after her father died.
A few years later, her mother turns up again out of the blue and says that she’s taking Lacy back home to Sacramento, even though she’s come to love her life in Chico. She even made friends and was starting to do well in school. Why would she ever want to leave? Sadly, there’s no way at all for her to stay, so she has to go back home.
For some reason, whenever she’s with her mother, Lacy finds herself becoming more and more like her. When she was with her step mom, she was really nice and sweet, but now that her mom’s back, she’s finding herself doing things that she regrets all the time because it’s not something she’d usually do. Why is this all happening? Read the story to find out!

My favorite thing about this book would have to be its originality. It was unlike anything that I’ve ever read before. I absolutely love the whole botany side to this story as well. I’ve always been interested in learning about botany and this book definitely helped with that! The main protagonist, Lacy, was a huge botanist. She believed that some of the plants could help with healing and stuff, which was really awesome.
I felt so bad for Lacy at times. I could tell that she really was a good person all the time underneath, but something about her mom made her behave in ways that she hated so much. She was in a battle against herself somehow. It’s like Lacy believed that her mom brought out a darkness in her, so she made it come true. At times like that, I just wanted to give her a huge hug and tell her everything was going to be alright in the end.
This book also taught be a lot about science, surprisingly! Lacy, on top of botany, is really into chemistry, and every once in a while there’d be a whole paragraph or two about chem, which I found to be pretty cool. It’s not often that I read a book and actually learn something educational! I’m definitely going to be picking up anything else that Tricia Stirling writes in the future!
Have you read this novel? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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  1. Is there a second review to this book? I feel like I've seen a similar cover with a different concept I'm not sure. I avoided some of the review for like spoilery reasons but overall it sounds like an amazing book. I'm probably gonna head over to the bookstore and find myself a copy because this definitely intrigues me. Nice to see ur blog, new follower here 😀

  2. When My Heart Was Wicked sounds really good, Krystianna! And to actually have a story that involves magic, but still manages to be very original is like such a big bonus I can't even begin to tell you how excited that made me!
    Adding to my TBR asap 🙂

  3. That sounds like a very original story! I like when books have scienc-y things that take part in the story! I also really like stories where the main character is a little bit dark and not completely perfect. Those layers of moral are always interesting to explore! Also, the cover is really gorgeous! Really want to read this one now!

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