Blog Tour: My Super Sixteenth Century ~ Review, Excerpt & Giveaway
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 Firenze.
Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore.
Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?
My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century is quite light and an easy read compared to the Waterfall series by Lisa T. Bergren. It wasn't quite as heavy nor emotional nor as thought-provoking provided it was not really the goal of Harris. The story is geared towards those young adults who are in the cusp of being sixteen and entering a new phase of their teenage lives - the changes that one might encounter, more responsibilities that they need to shoulder and more expectations might face not that they're not fifteen anymore. Contrasting the life that 16-year-old in the 21st century with that of a 16-year-old in the 16th century best illustrates that fact. And it took travelling to the sixteenth century (sixteenth century -> sixteen years old - a coincidence) for Cat to learn a lesson.
One thing I enjoyed in reading the book was the humor that often sprouted like mushrooms in the most unexpected places. Cat's punches kept me laughing for at least two hours that my friend looked at me like I was crazy. Well, more crazy than usual. But more than humor aside, Rachel Harris did quite an incredible way to tell a coming-of-age story - one that was told in a beautiful setting (despite the lack of a proper toilet, the richness of the Renaissance Italy more than compensates the fact), great characters and a cliffhanger ending which got me all pumped up for the sequel.
As much as I don’t want a fancy shindig held in my honor — um, hello, trying to escape my Sweet Sixteen drama was the whole reason I ended up here to begin with — I almost wish myaunt would host one, just so I could put that sour expression back on Antonia’s face. Obviously she doesn’t like sharing thespotlight. Lucky for her, I have no interest in doing so.
My family starts our descent down the stone steps toward the courtyard. When I spot our carriage waiting at the far end ofthe square, I barrel past Alessandra, my only thought of ending this night. I’ve almost made a clean getaway when a hand snakes out of the darkness.
“I am sorry we did not get to talk more this evening,” Lorenzo says, stepping into the dim corner of the courtyard. He’s so close I can feel his breath skimming across my hair,and I shiver. “Cipriano is going to arrange a day in the countryfor the four of us tomorrow, a getaway from all the noise and interruptions of the city.”
All I can do is stare up at him. How, after that horrendous performance, is he still remotely interested in me? Is his overinflated ego that stubborn?
He gazes down at our joined hands and begins rubbing slow circles on my palm. In the dark, with the moonlight causing his golden curls to shine, he almost looks like an angel. The right side of his mouth kicks up.
A fallen angel.
A soft laugh escapes Lorenzo’s lips. “Patience D’Angeli, you fascinate me.” He shakes his head as if he can’t believe it, andhis eyes travel across my face.
I actually forget how to breathe.
He leans down and kisses the hand he’s holding, then lifts his eyes to scan the area. We’re alone. He stands and presses his lips against my forehead. The seconds meld together as I struggle between needing to push him away and wanting to pull him closer. I take a breath and push my hand against his hard chest.
He steps back, grinning, and says, “Until tomorrow, I shall see you in my dreams.”
The words act like cold water.
Ladies and gentlemen, our player from the piazza has returned.
I shake my head as he ducks back into the darkness. During the entire interlude with Lorenzo, I hadn’t said a single word. I didn’t push him away, act aloof, or tell him the truth…that I’m really not fascinating at all. I was a brainless robot, completely under his spell.
“Patience?” Alessandra’s voice rings out into the night, jolting me to reality.
Giving myself a mental shake, I yell back, “Coming!”
I slide out of the shadows, disgusted, and as I stride toward my waiting family, I try to ignore the happy butterflies dancing a jig in my stomach.
As a teen, Rachel Harris threw raging parties that shook her parents’ walls and created embarrassing fodder for future YA novels.
As an adult, she reads and writes obsessively, rehashes said embarrassing fodder, and dreams up characters who become her own grown up version of imaginary friends.
When she's not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, you can find her homeschooling her two beautiful princesses, hanging out with her amazing husband, or taking a hot bubble bath…next to a pile of chocolate.
MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY is her debut novel. She did have her own fantabulous Sweet Sixteen in high school. Sadly, it wasn't televised.