Cover Image: Wild Is the Witch

Wild Is the Witch

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Member Reviews

Thank you Netgalley for an arc copy of this book! YA is hit or miss for me because I am not the target auduience. But Rachel Griffin is now an auto-read author for me. I appreciate and enjoy her characters and thoughout plots. I have always enjoyed stories about witches and magic! Nature and animals become characters in her books as well.
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3.5 stars

Wild is the Witch follows Iris Gray, a young witch, who accidentally enacts a curse that could have dire consequences. In order to stop it she must journey through the Pacific Northwest wilderness with a boy who hates witches to make sure her magic isn't unleashed on the world. Forced to work together, Iris and Pike trek through the wilderness in search of the bird that could cost Pike his life. But Pike doesn't know the truth, and as more dangers arise in the woods, Iris must decide how far she's willing to go to keep her secrets safe.

I loved all the animal and witchy magic in this book so much. This definitely felt like a love letter to animal lovers and conservation efforts and I loved that so much and I feel isn't something you see a lot of in books! I also really enjoyed the wilderness and forest-y setting of this book, a lot of the book is spent with Iris and Pike in the forest and trying to survive which felt so atmospheric and at times spooky. 

The relationship between Iris and Pike was fine for me, like I wasn't completely obsessed but also they didn't annoy me (which can often happen in YA romances lol) and I thought they were quite cute. I thought the hate to love vibes were pretty good and the slow softening (despite the book being pretty short) was done well. I'm also a bit of a sucker for forced proximity/survival together so I feel like that helped me like their romance as well! 

I think the main thing for me that hindered my enjoyment slightly was this book felt so fast paced and surface level. There were so many interesting themes and character dynamics to explore but the book just seemed to gloss over them in favour of moving the plot quicker. 

Overall this is a fun YA romance with a hint of magic and sweet characters! Definitely a great summer/autumn read if you want a great story to read in one sitting.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for an arc of Wild is the Witch. 

I loved this so much! 

Iris, the main character, clearly suffers from anxiety after experiencing a horrific trauma and the way that this anxiety is written made my heart race. I was right there with Iris feeling her overwhelming inner struggle. Even though I did not necessarily like Iris as a human, her character was written in a way that I felt an emotional attachment to her. 

The action picks up quickly and holds through to the end, which is something I highly enjoy in a fantasy novel. It helps pull me in. And, dear god was I sucked in. I finished this 320 some page novel in one sitting. 

The description of the magic system, and how the magic is connect to magic the world already has in it was refreshing and descriptive. There was no room to wonder how a person came into their magic. No holes. 

Plus it was just cute at times. The animals were cute. Her mom was cute. The wolf was adorable. And the mini romance was cute.
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I won't go over the description of the book, you can find that almost anywhere!

However, I will say that this is the perfect magical YA love story I have read in a long time.  Its full of wonder and love which I enjoyed that most! 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC!
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I was so happy to have received the ARC for this as I adored The Nature of Witches. Wild is the Witch does not disappoint and is a quiet yet powerful story of acceptance, being true to who you are and also a love letter to the forests of the Pacific Northwest. I was drawn into the story right from the beginning and as with her previous book, Rachel's beautiful prose and a well crafted story build to a heartfelt and satisfying conclusion. 
Iris Gray and her mother have moved to the Pacific Northwest after a tragedy that occurred in their hometown in Nebraska. While Iris was not responsible for the misuse of magic she feels responsible and her community turned against her and her mother which forced them to move. Since then Iris and her mother started a wildlife refuge and rehabilitation center but have told no one that they are witches. Pike Alder is a college student working at the refuge for experience and college credit. He antagonizes and annoys Iris to no end and seems bent on making everything into a competition he must win. Events lead to a misdirected curse, a backpacking trip that forces Iris and Pike to work together and consequences that could affect thousands. 
This was an easy story to fall in love with as both Iris and Pike are well realized characters who each have personal challenges to overcome. I always enjoy how nature centered Rachel's stories are and her descriptions of the lush forests are lovely.  I loved how complementary the magic system is with the natural world and it so makes me wish it was the reality of our world. A delightful story!!
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This was a good little light read. I really liked the story development and the ending. I would definitely recommend
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Wild is the Witch was a magical read rich with beauty and splendor.

A curse that was never supposed to get out, one that was just a way to relieve some stress, is released by Iris and it’s a race against the clock to fix things before the boy she cursed dies.

I loved the magical system in this book. This seemed so organic and realistic. I loved Iris and her absolute love for animals and how she feels so connected to them. And I really enjoyed the way that she and Pike progressed their relationship from dislike to like to more.

This is a great story filled with hope and desperation for understanding and acceptance. Iris wants nothing more than to rectify the mistakes she has made and protect the boy that she is learning isn’t actually as bad as she thought he was.
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* I will not put a synopsis because that’s easy to find to here’s just my review after reading the ARC given to me via NetGalley*

Wild of the Witch is the perfect YA magical story.   This is a quick, cute read that I think will be extremely popular with younger girls. The magic system is extremely unique and beautiful. The magic is used in much more of a contemporary style compared to a fantasy so do not expect crazy spells and big magical moments, they are small and woven into a modern world. Iris is not only a young witch but is struggling with anxiety and Rachel Griffin does a great job talking about mental illness in a way that fit the story. I loved seeing the characters grow and change as the story progressed. I would’ve loved an Epilogue!!!

Bonus points for taking place in the PNW and describing the vibes perfectly!
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I had heard great things about Rachel's first book but never had chance to read it (that will change for sure). I enjoyed this book more than I expected to. It’s simple, in a good way and very easy to get through. The story isn’t bogged down or overcomplicated by unnecessary characters and subplots, it flows nicely. . The Pacific Northwest setting is atmospheric and beautiful and being I lived in Seattle before it was nostalgic as well. The main character’s struggles with anxiety ring true. Overall would recommend :)

Thank you to SOURCEBOOKS Fire and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this digital ARC
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I am pleasantly surprised by this book.

After reading The Nature of Witches, Rachel Griffin’s first published work, I wasn’t too excited for Wild Is The Witch. Still, I decided to take a chance on this author again and see how she has improved since her first book.

And it paid off.

The biggest problem I had in The Nature of Witches was the pacing of the writing: TNoW felt like it went by too fast, and I couldn’t end up caring for the characters. In Wild Is The Witch, however, while it starts off feeling a little too fast-paced, the pacing evens out by the middle of the book.

I also found myself really enjoying the characters in this book and their relationship. Iris and Pike don’t like each other all that much, fulfilling that enemies-to-lovers plotline and gracing me with that sweet, sweet banter you know I love. It was easy to enjoying reading about their snark as they traveled through the forest in search of this bird, and I found myself excited to see where this story would take me.

I ended up reading this book within just a handful of hours and cried pretty hard at the ending, so I can definitely say that I enjoyed my reading experience. It’s easy to see how the author has improved since her debut, and I’m interested in seeing any other books she may publish in the future.
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Banished from her first home, novice witch Iris now lives in the Pacific Northwest where she and her mother established a wildlife refuge using their magic to heal.. The thorn in her side is Pike, a witch hating intern. To deal with her frustration she casts a curse to turn him into a witch with the intentions of destroying it. Unfortunately it was iintercepted by an owl who then flew away. Now Iris and Pike must trek through the mountainous forest to find him before he unleashs the curse. And Iris can't let Pike know why it is so vital. Witch tales have long been a go-to read for me and I enjoyed this atmospheric and emotional novel.. The classic enemies to lovers trope was subtle and blended well with the theme of nature and magic.. I would not consider this a fantasy but more a character driven contemporary with elements of magic. The narrative conveys the need to be aware of climate and environmental changes and its impact on wildlife and the natural world. The main characters were well drawn and as things unfold they learn lessons about honesty and acceptance and facing challenges. A fast and immersive read.
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This might sound weird, but reading Rachel Griffin's books is like discovering Narnia. They're choose-your-own-adventure books, Like The Nature of Witches, you could easily read Wild Is the Witch as a simple YA story about magic and enjoy it. But for those who want to read between the lines, it is a thought-provoking take on humans and their relationship with nature / animals, as well as a poignant story of overcoming grief.
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What a refreshing story! Every time I opened it I felt relaxed and comforting. It really had great comfort reading vibes! This is the type of story I could’ve just kept reading and reading! Rachel Griffin’s writing style is fantastic! It reads smoothly and worded so nicely. She gives great descriptions to describe the setting, characters, and the vibes of the story well. I really enjoyed how modern times this book was with that fantasy/magical twist. Following Iris and Pike on their hike to find the owl was never dull. Every chapter kept me wanting to keep going!

The magic of this book was fascinating. I really liked how it was very close to nature and allowed Iris to communicate with the animals. The description Iris gave to Pike of how the magic works that they can’t create something only use what nature has given, honestly was such a fresh way to view magic in YA. Usually we always see magical elements of being able to fix any issue with it. I really enjoyed this being more natural at heart and that idea they only can do specific things with magic. And how their magic isn’t all powerful where with a snap of a finger everything is better. 

Iris Gray and Pike Alder immediately became two fictional characters I adore. Each of them brought such a wonderful energy to the story. I loved reading about them going from “hating each other” to learning who each other really are. This part of the story was definitely my favorite. They both disliked each other for their own reasons, but never really knew each other. I like that this journey allowed the two of them to realize I don’t actually hate you, I just didn't know a single thing about you. Their banter and growing friendship into a relationship blossomed so wonderfully. I just could not wait for them to finally admit how they felt! The some what slow-burn was so good!
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The tropes for this book sold me!! All my favorites put in a cute little book! 

I enjoyed the magic system and the vivid scenery that comes off the page. The banter 🤌🏻

If you’ve read Nature of witches I think you will love this book even more!

Overall, just a little too YA for my taste. But a huge improvement from Nature of Witches.
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"Wild is the Witch" by Rachel Griffin is an addictive and perfectly witchy YA novel written in mesmerizingly vivid prose. This atmospheric tale draws readers into a world of vulnerability, anger, judgement, and the severe consequences of a single action done out of hate. Centred around a deep, magical connection to the natural world, Griffin creates a story that is absolutely impossible to put down until the very last word.

Iris Gray is aware that for some, the existence of witches is considered to be a curse, one that should be eradicated. For Iris, her magic is a gift that brings her closer to the earth and animals than humans could ever dream possible. Yet, after an incident involving magic in her old hometown forces her to flee, Iris realizes magic can be both a curse and a blessing depending on how one perceives it.

Settled in her new home with her mom in Washington, Iris works on a wildlife reservation, using her magic for good—with the exception of the curses she creates but never casts as a way of dealing with her emotions. That is, until the infuriating summer intern, Pike, makes a comment that has Iris casting the deadliest of all curses, one that is swept away by an owl before she can destroy what she created. Now, she’s forced to work with the intern she cannot stand and hope to track this owl down before her deadly curse is unleashed upon Pike and the innocent people of her town.

Prepare to be absolutely blown away by Griffin’s beautiful prose, the astounding concept of magic, and the never-ending tension that bleeds through every page. This original and captivating story will easily have readers immersed in Iris’s tantalizingly bitter world where magic doesn’t automatically make someone a superhero and it can easily turn a person into an outcast. While being a hero isn’t how she desires to be perceived, she does want to change the way people see magic, so they can understand it’s a gift and not worth fearing. Iris’s connection to the earth and animals through her magic and her determination to share that awe of what she can do with others is contagious to the point where it’s easy to keep rooting for her even though the mistake she makes is unforgivable. Iris is a character that readers will stick with and relate to because of her determination to right wrongs and her vulnerability. 

The magic in this story is original and beautiful. Those who love the outdoors and animals will easily connect with Iris who adores nature and adventures. Even the insufferable Pike will win readers over with his stubbornness, smarts, and the easy banter he casually strikes up with Iris, much to her reluctance. 

“Wild is the Witch” is a book worth adding to your TBRs and picking up once it makes its way into bookstores. It’s addictive, fast-paced, and full of muscle-winding tension that will make Iris’s story easy to devour in one sitting. Look for this thrilling tale on its expected publication date of August 2nd, 2022. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with a free e-arc of this novel and the opportunity to share my honest opinion in this review.
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Admittedly YA is not my favourite genre and unfortunately, this was just an average read for me. Considering this is a witchy romance I wish there was more magic and more romance.  The romance to me felt forced, one minute they hate each other, and the next they are in love. I love fantasy, and magical novels for world-building and fantastical elements. This book had very little of both. 

What this book does well is it accurately conveys what is like to live with anxiety. Overall, a solid 3-star read. 

Thank you Netgalley and Source Books for this arc in exchange of an honest review.
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When the Nature of Witches came out, it was one of my most anticipated books and I was heartbroken when I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. But Wild is the Witch completely redeemed anything I felt about Griffin's debut. I read it in a matter of days, loved the banter between Iris and Pike, loved the magic system and while the story was tropey and predictable, it was the exact comfort you want - need - from a book like this. The whole vibe was dreamy and magical and this was exactly what I was hoping I would get from a YA witch book. Loved it.
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I was so excited to read this I kept telling others how this book sounded amazing and I couldn't wait. Did I work myself up too much? No, I don't think so, because there really was so much potential. 2.5 stars.

I haven't any issues with the writing style, but I did with the characters. I understand that a young witch has gone through trauma and has some issues, so I hope folks understand that my frustration that she knew what the right thing to do was but kept avoiding it and made things tons worse. I was also frustrated at how things resolved at the end for one of the other characters who accepted the outcome like a champ that it allowed our author to neatly and conveniently wrap things up in a bow. Life's messy and, though we are talking about magic for most of the book, I think a YA audience can deal with more reality about consequences and how time is needed to adjust to life-altering changes.
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I absolutely loved this book!

I loved Iris and Pike’s journeys from being mistrusting of each other to understanding.

This was the perfect magic realism story that I needed in my life, it almost makes you believe that magic can exist on our world!
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Thank you to SOURCEBOOKS Fire, and NetGalley for providing me with a free e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

This YA, magical romance does exactly what it says it will. It provides a simple, if at times predictable story which can be read fairly quickly and enjoyed for what it is. Following an enemies to lovers plot, the romance does at times seem forced however much of this is made up for in the world building and magic system that Griffin has created.

While the characters are fairly standard, there is almost a disconnect between them and the reader which makes it difficult to empathise or root for them.

For the most part, this is an easy read, but not a memorable one.
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