The perfect blend of magic and nature intertwined with a romance that will have you interested to read more.
Wild is the Witch is an enemies-to-lovers romance that takes a hike into the wilderness and builds up that romantic tension from beginning to end.
Rachel Griffin is excellent at combining fantasy with contemporary storytelling. For that reason, I liked Wild is the Witch, but The Nature of Witches is still my favorite.
The Nature of Witches had an intense and thoughtful narrative, allowing it to be layered (see review here). Now, that is not to say Wild is the Witch was a disappointment; it just wasn’t as good, in my opinion.
Wild is the Witch follows Iris, a natural witch who works at an animal preservation facility using her gift and magic alongside her mother to care for the animals. Witches are not a kept secret; the world is aware that they exist, and while they are mostly accepted, there are those who shun them.
Pike is one of those people. He doesn’t know that Iris is a witch, but his comments and attitude grate on Iris, sparking her to do something she never thought to do: curse him. Iris sets the curse to let go of her anger, but before she can dispel it, a snow-white owl, a natural magical amplifier, swoops down and steals the spell. Should the owl die, the curse will be unleashed and affect everyone around her, possibly killing hundreds.
Now Iris, alongside Pike, has to embark deep into the Washington wilderness to find the owl before it’s too late. A lot of tension develops between the characters, as well as a sense of urgency.
A Lot to Unpack
Both Pike and Iris have a lot of baggage they have to unpack. Pike has reasons for disliking magic and witches, but one rotten apple does not make them all bad. As for Iris, her past haunts her, leaving her a hollow version of herself who refuses to let others get close to her.
Their relationship was well-developed, but there was too much instant physical attraction. They are not friends, and for a girl who has worked alongside this boy for the better part of the year, all of a sudden, she finds him attractive. It didn’t fit well early on in their dynamic. It works later on; the more the tension shifts, the more their relationship changes, but it feels out of place at the beginning of their journey.
That was the biggest downfall of the novel.
What Griffin does really well is include mysticism, nature, and wildlife with such emotion. She sets up the scene and transports the reader to the forest of Washington. It is a magical read, and the way Griffin unpacks Iris’s past trauma and helps her come to terms with it allows her to grow and develop into a wonderful character.
As much as I liked Wild is the Witch, I wanted more. Griffin told a story without flourish, imbuing it with heart and magic, but compared to her debut, I found it lacking.
This was a pretty good YA book, with all the teenage angst. It did take a minute to get into the story but once I did I couldn’t put it down. There is an animal death though that I know will upset some people. Especially if you weren’t expecting it.
I had a great time with this book. There is something about Rachel Griffin's books that just pulls me in. I found that with her books I tend to enjoy the overall story and magic more than any of the romance that's included. In this book, it was the mother-daughter relationship that I really liked reading about. I will admit I wasn't the biggest fan of the animal deaths that take place here and it was a turn-off for me, but that's just me personally. Overall I'm glad to add another witchy magic book to my list! I would recommend giving this a read.
So boring and so painfully YA. It was supposed to be full of magic but it was just boring. I don’t know if I’d try with this author again.
There are some books that I really enjoy because I read them at the exact right time. Wild is the Witch is definitely one of those books (don't get me wrong I definitely would have liked this book regardless). I really liked this story; it was magical throughout and the romance was really well developed. Iris lives in the Pacific Northwest with her mom who runs a wildlife rescue. She hides her and her mother's magic from the world, especially from Pike, the intern at the rescue who she cannot stand. When she casts a curse on him after a particularly frustrating interaction and an amplifier owl steals it and flys off, Iris and Pike set off on a trek through the woods to find it and stop the curse. The enemies-to-lovers and forced proximity tropes were employed so well in this book! I loved reading about how Iris and Pike's love story unfolds. The central conflict between them was actually well developed and while there is some natural miscommunication, it didn't rely solely on that trope (which is one of my least favorites tropes in romances). I found that by the end they both understood each other much better. I also loved how Iris's character was developed throughout as she learns to trust her magic and not hide it from the people close to her.
The writing in this book is completely atmospheric. I was definitely transported to Washington and felt like I was in the trees while reading this book, which was a feat considering I was on vacation in a very different climate when I read this book. I was fully immersed in this story throughout and was rooting for Iris and Pike the whole time. My only gripe about the book was that I wished there was more of the magic itself. I wanted Iris to be able to use her powers and to get more explanations on how the magic works. However, I think the plot and the writing make up for that and that overall, I really liked this book! I enjoyed this witchy book with an adorable romance. I would definitely recommend to fans of YA romances and books with witchy vibes.
I loved The Nature of Witches so I was very excited to get the chance to read Rachel Griffin's second book. The magical yet realistic world she's built is so consuming, I love that the source of the witches magic is always related to nature and the elements. Such an enchanting read, I can't wait for her next witchy release.
A wonderful magical realism story that is so well written that it almost makes you completely believe that the magic and witches could actually be real! I loved it so much, I read it in a day! Great book to escape the everyday!
I loved this story about a small family of witches and how they deal with their powers after something traumatic happens in the place they live. There are themes here that are super relatable - moving somewhere new and starting over, being unsure of your place in the world, discovering your own power during times of great stress - that I think other people will definitely love, even if witchiness isn't necessarily their cup of tea. I'm eager to read other books by Rachel Griffin, especially ones with magical realism as a big feature!! This would be perfect to read around the end of the year, when the air is crisp and feels magical.
I did want to like this book but it took too long to get into the plot. I did not finish this book but do not put it against the author. There are times when I think a book will be perfect for me, but it turns out not to be the case. That said, I always give authors another chance, so I'll look forward to her next work.
I loved Rachel Griffin's previous book: there's something about witches and general natural setting being used as the source of their power. I just love witches that derive their powers from flora and fauna, seasons, weather, etc. This one just didn't hit the mark as well as her first book. I felt less of the magic in this one and more of the relationship tension between the main character and her love interest and more focus on her internal conflict with herself. Which honestly would be fine and all, but I couldn't really connect to the love interest or read much chemistry between them. Rachel Griffin's prose and description of the setting is beautiful as always, making me want to take a vacation out to the PNW. But the characters just didn't vibe well with me.
This book captivated me with its beauty, extending from the cover to the enchanting writing style. I found immense pleasure in the characters, especially the captivating journey of enemies-turned-lovers, and the eloquent portrayal of magic throughout the narrative.
The story revolves around Iris Gray, an 18-year-old witch, who, alongside her mother, tends to a wildlife refuge. In their former hometown, a tragic accident involving Iris’s best friend, Amy, shatters their lives as Amy unintentionally causes the death of a boy who seeks to become a witch. Fleeing the harsh judgment of their community, Iris and her mother embark on a fresh start in the Pacific Northwest, aiming to keep their true nature as witches hidden. However, life takes unexpected turns, and their path is far from smooth.
This narrative is a profoundly atmospheric and emotionally charged exploration of themes such as forgiveness, vulnerability, and the arduous journey of healing. It delves into the intricacies of moving forward in the face of profound pain, offering readers a deeply resonant experience.
The themes and the conclusion of this story left an indelible mark on me, making it a truly memorable read.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for sending a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Short synopsis: Iris accidentally sh sent a curse into a owl, she must find him and reverse it before the council finds out. And to do so she must employ the help of Pike her annoying coworker.
My thoughts: I loved how Iris was forced to work with Pike (who hates witches) to secretly undo this curse she did in frustration towards him. Watching the secrets come out, and seeing the reason behind Pike’s anger and hatred towards witches made soo much sense!
The definitely read as a YA book with some teenage angst and longing, with a couple more adult themes. This works be perfect for an older teenager. The atmosphere was beautiful and the scenery descriptions are always done so well in Griffin’s writing.
Read if you love:
- atmospheric reads
- Witches and magic
- Animals and nature
- Enemies to lovers
- Only one tent
- Granola and kind bars
I loved the nature of witches and this was just as good! The descriptions are amazing and of course great characters! Hopefully there will be more coming!
I'm not usually into witch books, but Rachel Griffin sure knows how to write them. This book was easy to follow but still totally unique and captivating. Great characters, a propulsive story line, and the potential for an awesome sequel. Can't wait to read this author's most recent release!
Interesting but not quite hitting the right book , right time feeling for me. I’m sure it will be enjoyable to other readers.
“My grandmother used to say that to hear the wind is to hear the earth breathe.”
Thank you @sourcebooksfire partner for my gifted copy.
It might be August in the south, but in my mind, it’s autumn. I have been going through my backlist and Wild is the Witch sounded perfect. Turns out, it was.
This was such a cozy feel magical read. Honestly, it gave me the same feels as Taylor Swift’s Speak Now album when I first listened in 2010.
We have two rivals on the journey to save a northern spotted owl. Cute, right? Well, what if I told you the MMC, Pike hates witches and the FMC, Iris, is one. She put a curse on Pike to become a mage intending to give it to the earth as a way to work through her emotions, but the owl grabbed it before she could get rid of it. Oh, the kicker? The owl is an amplifier, so not only would Pike become a mage, but it’s a high possibility a big group of folks would be one. BTW, he has no idea about any of the above. 😂
I loved this book because it was a true YA. You can’t fault Iris for working out her feelings. While she’s working those out the feelings between the two were perfect. The tension, the buildup, perfection.
This was a hug of magical that I really enjoyed. The wilderness and animal aspect just made it 10x more enjoyable. I’m a fan and I’m glad I finally picked Wild is the Witch up.
QOTD: What do you associate with fall? For me, it’s flannel, pumpkin everything (like @nutpods pumpkin spice!), and scary movies. 🧡
Griffin feels almost more comfortable in her sophomore release. The story is just that little bit more atmospheric, the magical rules that little more developed, and her characters a little more real than her debut. I would absolutely read anything she wrote.
Wildly romantic and almost too sweet, this is whole book feels like you’re on a cozy camping trip while reading it. Although, I’m still curious about the sheer amount of stuff they had while backpacking.
My thanks to net galley and the publisher for this ARC. This is my honest review.
This was a great enemies to lovers story. Iris and Pike are unique, well rounded characters and the story is engaging and absorbing. The fantasy elements worked well and the drive to find their owl pushed the narrative along.
It felt immediate and fresh, easy to read and be immersed in the story.