Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Review: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris
My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century #1)
By Rachel Harris
Entangled Teen
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

To Sum It Up: As the daughter of both a famous actress and director, Cat Crawford has grown up amidst the glamour of Hollywood. She hates the spotlight, however, which makes Cat dread her upcoming sweet sixteen bash even more. But first Cat is off for a vacation in Italy with her father and future stepmother, a trip that finds Cat traveling back in time to the Renaissance. She is now Patience D’Angeli, who is not supposed to use modern slang or technology. As Cat tries to blend in with the era, she’s also on a quest to discover why she’s been sent back to the past.

Review: I’d seen My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century quite a bit around the blogosphere, and the positive buzz landed it on my to-read list. The time travel element of the novel also intrigued me; a Renaissance Italy setting? Yes, please! Once the novelty of our protagonist, Cat, finding herself zapped back to the past to sixteenth century Florence wore off, however, I found it rather hard to stay focused on the book. Both the characters and the plot fell flat for me; I just didn’t feel the need to know what happened next.

By far my favorite aspect of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century was the attention to period detail. The time travel was an immersive experience thanks to the vivid imagery that really brought the Florence that Michelangelo knew to life. Cat happens to be an art aficionado, and she could not have asked for a more perfect era to be sent back to. Her attempts not to get caught using her iPod or modern lingo are pretty amusing at times. Everyone thinks she’s Patience D’Angeli, who has arrived in Florence from London to live with her aunt, uncle, and cousins. Luckily for Cat, Patience’s social gaffes, of which there are quite a few, are attributed to her unfamiliarity with Florentine culture.

What I found most difficult to get used to was Cat’s narrative voice. Her mom is a famous actress whose romantic exploits are constant tabloid fodder. Her dad is a famous director and the parent Cat is closest to, but his bubbly fiancĂ©e, Jenna, is a rather unwelcome addition to the family. While Cat tolerates her stepmother-to-be, she’s totally averse to Jenna’s plans to throw Cat a monstrous sweet sixteen party in her honor. Cat is not one for the Hollywood spotlight and doesn’t want that kind of attention. She tends to keep to herself because she never knows who’s just being nice to her because of who her parents are. All of the above are recurring thoughts of Cat’s throughout the novel, and I just didn’t think her problems were all that bad. She wasn’t a character I could relate to, and that’s what makes me hesitant to continue with this series.

The ending features a very interesting twist that does pique my curiosity about the sequel, but again, I’m not sure that’s enough of a draw for me. Curiosity might win out eventually, but for the moment I’m in no rush to sate it.

All in All: The time travel was well done, and I did enjoy watching Cat explore sixteenth century Florence. I wasn’t as enthused with her as a main character, though; her life sounded pretty privileged to me, so I couldn’t drum up a whole lot of sympathy for her.


  1. Oh it's too bad the main character was such a disappointment! This sounds like a really fun read - and the anachronistic humor from using technology sounds like something I would enjoy too! But I'll probably give this a miss - I like to feel sympathetic towards the main protagonist.

    1. I do, too! I thought Cat had a pretty cushy lifestyle that she didn't always appreciate; I mean, she got to go on vacation in Florence! Or maybe I'm just being unsympathetic here, lol.

  2. OMG I have a bad experience with this book and your review is making me feel a bit better.

    So a few years ago there was a giveaway for this, entered and won it. Girl, I have to keep on doing follow ups for my prize coz I was so eager to read this. The author replied maybe once or twice but after my third follow up, it fell on deaf ears.

    1. Oh, that sucks! I think this was a Kindle Daily Deal when I bought it, and I should have checked the library for it first. It took me about a month to read because I couldn't really get into it.

  3. Booo, my last comment got lost! Ok here we go again hehe: I'd also been seeing a lot of buzz for this one and like you the element of Time-Travel paired with Renaissance Italy was enough to grab my attention. After reading your review here though, I'm in no big rush to pick this one up. The inability to connect with the MC is probably one of my biggest turn-offs book wise and from what I gathered from your review, I think I'd have a hard time connecting to Cat as well. If you do end up continuing with the series and there's some improvement, I might just bump this one up again but as it stands, I'm in no big hurry. I'm sorry this one didn't work out for you but thanks for the excellent review!

    1. Grrr . . . I hate when Blogger eats comments! It's been happening to me quite a bit lately. :/

      Cat just wasn't an MC I could warm up to, and I found the romance aspect of the novel kind of lukewarm. I think I expected a lot more from this based on its positive buzz, and it ended up not quite being my cup of tea.


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