Cover Image: Wild Is the Witch

Wild Is the Witch

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Member Reviews

I could tell going in that I was likely going to love this book. It's witchy season, after all, and this fits the bill. I love the different connections to magic explained throughout the book, and how magic is used by witches in tandem with the way the natural world works. The writing was beautiful and elegant, and the characters were well developed and multi-dimensional. Even the animal characters with non-speaking roles in the story had their own personalities and quirks. It kept me on my toes enough to keep me turning pages quickly to find out what happens next.
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There was something so sweet and unexpected about this truly magical story.  The focus on the natural world, tender relationships, and a vague but non-preachy reference to personal responsibility rounded out this story.  Nothing I’ve ever read has made me want to visit Washington State the way this has.  I think I was nearly 3/4 of the way through the book before I realized it was a YA offering.
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I really enjoy the world Rachel Griffin has created. In this book we follow Iris, who cast a curse accidentally-ish, and Pike, the co-worker Iris doesn't like and casted the curse on. But the curse lands on an owl, a super powerful owl and the Iris and Pike have to trek through the pacific northwest to find it. I really like an enemies to lovers book and this one was filled with lots of grumbling. Super fun and a great story, can't wait to read more from Rachel Griffin!

Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for providing me with an arc for an honest review!
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Always a breath of fresh air, Rachel Griffin’s second novel mixes nature and magic with a rivals-to-lovers arc to cast a perfect spell over readers. Featuring a pair of main characters with backstories that set them at odds but who are determined to work together to save an endangered owl (and ultimately prevent a curse), this story takes readers on an emotional journey of learning to embrace vulnerability, taking accountability for your own actions, and learning to forgive both others and yourself.
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I could feel the wind blowing through my hair during this gorgeous read.  Iris is a witch and witches are not well liked.  She and her mother live in the Pacific Northwest where her mother runs an animal rescue.  They use their magic to help heal the animals.  There is a handsome but annoying boy who interns there.  When Iris curses him as a coping mechanism, things go horribly wrong when the curse attaches to an owl.  Owls amplify magic.  Iris and the boy must go into the forest to find this owl before it is too late.  This book is atmospheric with some good steamy romance mixed in.  I couldn't put it down.  A must read for this witchy season!
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A really fast-paced book with an excellent magical storyline. the writing was absolutely amazing and I was completely immersed in the story
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I wanted to love this story. It was a bit too slow for me. I think it’s a really great story for young teenagers but it didn’t hold my attention
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This was such a creatively written story! I loved the idea that magic and science can go hand-in-hand, and that magic isn't created or destroyed, just another type of energy. I also really loved that they named the owl McGuffin as a humorous kind of meta nod to the story overall. I think McGuffin ended up being much more than his namesake, tbh.

There was a lot of emotion wrapped up in this story and even though I wished it would go faster sometimes, it didn't feel like the story was being dragged out unnecessarily. The pacing made sense, I was just impatient and anxious to get to the resolution. I also appreciated how well written the characters were, and how the reader clearly isn't meant to like Pike in the beginning. But as he grows on Iris, he grows on the reader too. This book took a minute for me to get into, but barely - by chapter 2 or 3, I was hooked and all-in. I flew through this book so fast and I ended up really enjoying the whole thing. The setting is gorgeous, the way magic is described is beautiful, and the only thing I wanted to see was a reunion between Iris and Amy; however, I know that wasn't really the whole point of the story. It's hinted at in the end, which is great, but I would've liked to have seen them meet up again to get a feel for how they were going to recover their friendship again.
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Rachel Griffin absolutely delivered with another  atmospheric, inspiring, magical read! I could relate to Iris so much, and her desire to hide away the more vulnerable parts of herself. Watching her slowly open up to Pike was beautiful. I loved the magic system in this book! The way Rachel can tie magic to nature in both her books so far is so unique and interesting! I especially enjoyed that Iris' magic involved being connected to animals. 

Something I typically don't enjoy in books is when characters have to travel and most of the book is the journey getting there, because I feel like the pacing tends to be much slower. However, this was not the case with Wild is the Witch! I felt like the pacing was pretty fast, the stakes were high without being too stressful, and I was invested the entire time both in the relationship between Iris and Pike evolving, and whether or not they would find the owl in time.
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I didn't quite realize this was a YA book but I ended up enjoying the story. Though I don't read YA much anymore, after a few chapters I found I just wanted to know what happens so I flew through it. Great atmosphere, quick read, enjoyable journey. I am always a fan of different magics, and while there may not be the deepest of magical dives in here, the world is whole, makes sense, and has consequences. Sure to be a hit for those who just love witchy stories.
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I liked this better than Rachel Griffin's debut novel. 

Iris and her Mom move to the Pacific Northwest from Nebraska after her best friend Amy kills her boyfriend trying to turn him into a witch like them. Iris is harassed and threatened and they move to escape. They work at a wildlife refuge and rehabilitate wild animals. They use their magic to convey emotion and intent with the animals to let them know they're there to help. 

In typical YA fashion, there's a boy who also works at the refuge and the 2 are constantly butting heads and fighting. They have a disagreement and Pike says something about hating witches and she takes it personally. She goes home and does a stress relief method her grandma taught her. She creates or casts a spell and then burns the components so that the spell is never truly cast. This time she casts a curse to turn Pike into a Mage, so he can learn to not hate witches? But before she can bind the curse to herbs as always, an owl swoops down and the curse binds to it instead. Before she can undo it, he flies away.

She panics and tells her mom she's going to hunt him down, Her mom won't let her go by herself, and insists Pike go with her. She reluctantly agrees and the 2 set off after the owl. Iris tells no one the real reason she's so desperate to catch the owl and constantly has to hide that she's a witch from Pike. They search after the owl, name it, and learn about each other. Once they stop fighting and trying to one up each other constantly they discover they actually get along well. The search becomes more desperate as the owl is in mortal danger and threatens to unleash the curse. I liked the resolution and ending to the story.
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While I did not love it as much as The Nature of Witches, this was a great story about being seen and loved for who you are and not what you are. Absolutely love the premise of magic herein.
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I loved this novel! I am a big fan of witches and this story did not disappoint. Iris makes a mistakes and binds a devastating curse to an owl. Her and Pike set out to try and find the owl but he doesn’t know Iris’s truth. Can these two find the owl without unleashing the curse? I enjoyed the character development with the 2 main characters. All in all this was a delightful read!
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Simple plot, beautiful character development, solid story. Not really a plot driven story. Looking back not a ton of big things happened in the actual book. Some big back story stuff happened, but the main plot is pretty simple and straight forward. The characters were beautifully  and richly developed though. Even the owl became a beloved character or it’s own, which in my opinion is the sign of a great character writer. Not a lot of twists or surprises since it wasn’t so much plot driven. But solid storytelling nonetheless.
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Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this title. 
The novel was fantastic. As a nature lover, I absolutely fell in love with the setting. The author writes in such a lyrical tone that made me fly through this one. The storyline was subjective, but kept me entertained. The world was interesting with witches and magic, it kept me reading.
I will definitely be picking up more of this author’s titles and look forward to reading more.
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This is a relatively quick-paced story about a animal-loving witch and her journey to correct a mistake. In the meantime, she realizes that she misjudged her "adversary", who quickly turns into a love interest. Loosely "enemies to lovers" but still very enjoyable and definitely worth the read. I enjoyed the banter between the two love interests!
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I ended up really enjoying this one. I remember seeing her last book on insta and I really wanted to read it. So when I saw this was on NetGalley I wanted to try out her books and I wasn’t disappointed. 

It said this was YA and that’s not my typical go to read this was wonderful. 

This one quote stood out so much to me. I felt so emotionally invested in these characters and the story.
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Told through the eyes of Iris, a young woman with  a complex past and understandable misgivings about her know it all coworker, we quickly slip into the elements of how things work in her world. Witches can do magic, yes, and there are three types Solar, Lunar, and Stellar, each of them gifted with different areas of nature they can steward with their gifts, Stellar being the strongest and concerned with human magic. Iris and her mother are Lunars and run an animal refuge in the Pacific northwest, having left both Iris' father and their old life behind. Two years ago Iris' friend Amy made a fateful mistake by attempting to give her boyfriend magical powers and unwittingly destroyed him because she couldn't help him control the magic she'd unleashed. Amy, as instigator, was stripped of her gifts, and Iris, as witness to the aftermath, was put on trial and publicly persecuted for her involvement. Her father couldn't take the heat and opted to make a separate life without them while Iris and her mother moved on to a life where their magic could take on a healing effect keeping their magic a secret in public life.

 All of this has had an effect on Iris,much of it good, but there is still a great deal of shame and guilt in the way she sees herself and her gift, particularly when her co-worker, Pike, tells her that he doesn't trust witches. She usually deals with these complex emotions by creating spells she can give to herbs and then burn to dispel, but one night an owl in her care flies in just as she's transferring a curse to her usual bundle and carries it away into the wilderness. Not only is the owl carrying a powerful curse related to her fears about Pike, the animal itself is a powerful amplifier for magic. Matters only become more complex when it becomes clear the only one that can help her retrieve the owl is Pike himself, the last person she wants anywhere near the curse and it's effects. 

First things first. Yes, this is a book about witches, magic, and the way both of these things affect the world around them and you should expect some discussion about them. However, this isn't a book that's meant to sell you a complex magical system or  set up a world in which you can expect stronger elements of fantasy, I would actually classify it as something of a magical realism romance. If you're frustrated reading fiction with these traits versus a more wide-sweeping narrative on a larger scale story you're probably not going to be able to enjoy it for what it is and should give it a pass. If you like a simpler plot that focuses on an enemies to lovers narrative with the implied angst and uncertainty with a pretty original and more natural take on witches and their place in society and a facet of nature herself, on the other hand, you're probably going to appreciate this relatively short and entertaining YA novel.
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I enjoyed this YA novel, and a I’m looking forward to reading more from this author. 

Wild is the Witch is a single POV story that follows a 19 year old witch who works with her mother at a nature center. A boy who hates witches works with her, but when both of them must go on a trip to rescue a lost owl things heat up. 

Tropes: forced proximity, single bed
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Wild is the Witch is just the read I needed to remind myself why young adult books can be so great. This story was really well-written, atmospheric, and truly interesting. I would classify this book in the genre of magical realism; it takes place in our world, but society knows about witches and that they are able to perform actual magic. 

Iris is a young witch that relocates to Washington state with her mother after a magical incident involving her best friend and Iris being given a lenient sentence by the Witches’ Council. She decides to hide the fact that she is a witch in Washington and works at the wildlife refuge her mother runs. There is just one problem and his name is Pike Adler, an intern that drives Iris crazy and also hates witches. Iris writes a curse that she never intends to release on Pike that would turn him into a witch, but just as she goes to destroy the curse, an owl swoops down and steals it. If the owl dies the curse will be enacted and worse, it will affect not only Pike, but everyone in the region. Most people do not survive being turned into a witch and Iris knows she has to find the owl and destroy the curse before it is too late. 

I thought that the magic system in this book was really intriguing. I truly enjoyed how Iris describes how she feels when she is using magic and how it created a bond with animals. I do wish that maybe all the different types of magic were explained a bit more in depth, but it wasn’t overall super important to the overall story. 

And can we talk about the banter between Iris and Pike for one second?? Even though Iris believes Pike doesn’t like her and will hate her even more if he finds out she is a witch, the banter between them had me grinning. Pike knew the perfect things to get under her skin, but usually wasn’t even that serious about it. Then Iris comes back with a snarky comment and it was just really cute.

This story is really wonderful. It has so much to offer; forgiveness, vulnerability, understanding, and love. I highly recommend reading this if you enjoy reading books about witches that will bring you joy. 

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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