Friday, October 15, 2010

Attention Mongers

Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials

Written by: Stephanie Hemphill

Released: June 17, 2010 by HarperCollins

Summary: Wicked Girls is a fictionalized account of the Salem witch trials based on the real historical characters, told from the perspective of three young women living in Salem in 1692—Mercy Lewis, Margaret Walcott, and Ann Putnam Jr.

When Ann’s father suggests that a spate of illnesses within the village is the result of witchcraft, Ann sees an opportunity and starts manifesting the symptoms of affliction. Ann looks up to Mercy, the beautiful servant in her parents' house. She shows Mercy the power that a young girl is capable of in a time when women were completely powerless. Mercy, who suffered abuse at the hands of past masters, seizes her only chance at safety. And Ann’s cousin Margaret, anxious to win the attention of a boy in her sights, follows suit. As the accusations mount against men and women in the community, the girls start to see the deadly ramifications of their actions. Should they finally tell the truth? Or is it too late to save this small New England town?

So, I was really excited to read this book because I remember studying all about the witch trials in grade 11 English when we read The Crucible by Arthur Miller. I remember that I did a presentation using candle wax as a form of fortune telling.

Anyways, exited as I was, as soon as I cracked open the book once I got it home from the library, imagine my surprise when everything was written in verse.

I know this makes me miss out on a lot of amazing literature, but I’m just not a fan of fiction written in verse. I tried to read a bit of this book, but it also changed perspective every page or so with the beginning of a whole new set of lines, so I just set it aside and didn’t bother trying anymore.

One thing that I really did enjoy about this book was the history bits at the beginning and the end of the novel. There were blurbs on each character featured in the book and about how their story in real life differed from that within the book. It also gave their final histories after the whole witch trial ordeal was over.

However, in the end, this book really disappointed me; I think that this is an amazing subject for a YA book and I only wish that it would have been in a format which I would have enjoyed more. Overall, I’m going to give this a 2/10. I really wish that this was a higher rating, but in the end it just didn’t appeal to me at all.

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