Author: Rachel Harris
Series: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century #1
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Date: September 2012
Source: ARC from publisher
Genres: Historical Fiction
Buy the Book • Goodreads
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 was a breath of fresh air! I loved the sound of the book from the blurb and I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint one bit! This debut is full of charm and is a light funny read while staying true to beautiful sixteenth century Rennaissance Florence.
Cat Crawford is the daughter of a famous Hollywood director and actress. Since her mother abandoned her and her dad, she likes her life out of the spotlight. So when her future stepmother Jenna steps in and wants to plan an extravagant Sweet Sixteen party to further her own career, Cat vehemently refuses and it takes a trip to Florence, Italy for art-loving Cat to reluctantly be persuaded by her dad. Little did she know her trip would whisk her back to the sixteenth century in order to learn some important lessons about herself!
It was great fun reading about Cat trying to fit into sixteenth century culture. When she arrives, she assumes the role of Patience D’Angeli, a relative from England, and stays with her aunt, uncle and cousins Cipriano and Alessandra. Her ‘Englishness’ hides a whole mess of historical faux pas, but the reaction of the locals is priceless. I love how Rachel Harris writes Cat with such spunk that you can’t help root for her, even through that cringe-worthy singing!
One of the best parts of the book is Cat’s relationships with her new era family. Her aunt and uncle welcome her into the family with open arms, and she learns to love them even though her aunt looks remarkably like her estranged mother. She also gets along famously with her cousins Cipriano and Alessandra and the three of them form a strong friendship. It’s lovely to see her and Less (as she nicknamed her) eventually become best friends and I got a warm, fuzzy feeling when they both opened up to each other. I loved Alessandra and her genuine affection and general niceness made her a stand out character for me.
And of course there’s Lorenzo, Cip and Less’ friend who is obviously gorgeous, but is also caring, strong-willed and artistic. He also has that air of confidence and debonair attitude that a modern boy wouldn’t have and Rachel writes him pitch perfectly. Despite her reluctance to trust anyone, Cat eventually opens herself up to his affection and I loved their little dates (especially the waterfall scene) and seeing the relationship grow. She encourages him to follow his dreams as an artist and the little ‘easter egg’ when Cat eventually makes it back to her own time was just one of the many little touches that make me love this book.
If you’re in the mood for something charming, undeniably sweet and incredibly feel-good, then don’t hesitate to pick this book up! I’ll be waiting (im)patiently for the sequel!