Title: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century
Author: Rachel Harris
Series: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century #1
Genre: YA time travel romance
Published: September 11th, 2012
Source: E-book received free from Entangled Teen for honest review
My rating: 5 stars
I had wanted to read this book since I first saw it on display at the bookstore where I worked the year it was published. So when Entangled Teen was asking people to do some reviews on it, I volunteered to read and review it. I am very glad that I did, because I ended up enjoying it as much as I'd hoped.
The main character is a girl named Cat. She is the daughter of a famous Hollywood actress and a famous Hollywood movie director. Her mother, the actress, however isn't around. Having always been very self-centered and more concerned about her own career and falling in love with every guy that came along. So Cat lives with her father and her soon-to-be stepmother. Cat likes how happy her stepmother makes her father, but isn't really excited for the big sweet sixteen birthday party that she wants to throw Cat. One thing Cat had requested for her birthday had to do with a trip to Florence, Italy. Her request on their first day there is to be able to go out and do some exploring on her own. And what she chooses is a guided tour where she gets to see Michelangelo's David. At the end of the tour she notices a gypsy tent. She decides for the fun of it to go check it out. When she gets her reading, the gypsy has a strange reading, and for some reason tells Cat to make sure to learn whatever lessons she is given in the near future. Cat is confused by all this, but she heads on out of the tent.
Only when she heads out of the tent, now she seems to be in a different time, no longer present day Florence, but now Renaissance Florence. A man is calling her name, and when she next looks down, she is no longer in her jeans and normal clothes, but in the appropriate dress for the time period. She follows the man to a carriage, realizing that she is speaking and understanding Italian somehow. It seems as if she has been transported into the body of a girl who had been orphaned. And this girl actually turns out to be a member of Cat's own ancestors.
She is taken to live with her aunt and uncle, and two cousins, a boy and a girl, both near her age. She becomes good friends with the girl, Alessandra, and soon falls for the boy, Cipriano's, best friend Lorenzo. There are mean girls in this time period as well. One that even asks Cat to get up and sing in front of the rest of a party, something that Cat does NOT do well with, singing. Cat's new family is wonderful, but she must realize what time period she is. She tends to use the same kind of slang we use in modern day, often having to explain what things mean, or blame it on coming from her life in London where they do things differently. She is lucky enough to still have her backpack with her phone and some magazines and cosmetics. Of course her phone doesn't work, other than she is able to listen to some music.
At one point Alessandra figures out that something is really off about Cat, and Cat gives in and explains to Alessandra that she is from the future. Even so, being in this time, it is important to find Cat a husband, something that her uncle does, meaning well, although who he sets her up with is an older man that something feels off about to Cat.
Now Cat must decide whether she wants to run away with Lorenzo, but in doing so, will he have to give up his dreams of being an artist? And is it fair to the girl who Cat has taken over her life for now. Cat also wants to get back home before anything like actually getting married to this guy takes place. She soon learns that what she was so worried and upset about at home might not be as bad as she thought, that maybe her father's fiance is someone who really does have her best interests at heart, and maybe she can get past how her mother has treated her.
I really liked the story. The characters seemed very realistic. Even the mean girl, while yes, definitely a mean girl, was not necessarily doing anything that didn't make sense for a girl of that time period to expect. I liked the love story, and I liked that Cat didn't expect things to just happen how she wanted and possibly ruin the way things were meant to go. I like the way the author wrapped up everything at the end as well. I look forward to reading more books in this series, and seeing what else could happen in another story.