when my heart was wicked book coverReviewed by Jessa Larsen

Lacy is your typical teenager. Well, except for the fact that she’s completely obsessed with science classes and believes that magic and science can work side by side. She’s particularly interested in botany, the science of plants, and wants to learn the healing power of plants. When her father dies prematurely, she wants to stay and live with her stepmother, Anna. She fears what might happen if her mother comes for her. Will Cheyenne take her away, back into a dark and evil sorcery?

Unfortunately, Cheyenne isn’t long in coming, and will stop at nothing to reign supreme, controlling Lacy’s actions, and even her heart. Soon Lacy succumbs to the dark. Does she have the willpower to fight the evil in her mother’s heart? Or is it too late? Is this her true form? She wants to fight it, to find the good she had when she lived with Anna. She must find the source of Cheyenne’s power before it’s too late.

The writing style of Tricia Stirling reminds me very much of another favorite author of mine, Francesca Lia Block, author of titles like I Was a Teenage Fairy and Weetzie Bat. When My Heart Was Wicked is written in a poetry gone novel type of way. A realist whimsy to which you can relate. I love the hypocrisy of a flowing disconnect that really resonates within me.

Lacy is your regular teenage girl, winding her way through the complications of growing up and being forced into the world of adults, ready or not. Her mother doesn’t seem to want to grow up, but at the same time, wants the power of an adult and uses that power against her child. It’s a tug-of-war of love and hate. Mixed throughout the story is a touch of magic that can be dangerous and may have a will of its own. I fell in love with Stirling’s writing and her work is likely to join my collection on the shelf.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Jessa lives in Utah with her husband, two kids, two small chihuahuas, and a cat called Number One Boots Kitten. She balances her work as a website admin with her hobbies of watching anime and playing video games.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Scholastic Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.