Cover Image: Wild Is the Witch

Wild Is the Witch

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Member Reviews

Rachel Griffin knows how to create the most interesting contemporary witchy worlds that integrate magic in such a seamless and natural ways. I didn't love this newest book quite as much as her first but it was still a fun YA adventure story between two teens tasked with chasing after an owl to rescue it after Iris accidentally curses it. The banter between Iris and Pike was great. The two are total opposites who do not get along but the forced proximity of their journey brings them closer to overcoming differences - the biggest of which is that Pike hates witches and doesn't know Iris secretly is one. Definitely recommended for fans of this author. Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early digital copy in exchange for my honest review!
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First, I loved this book. Possibly because the setting is one of my favorites, or maybe because animals can make any story better. The pacing is perfect. We start out with the MC living isolated from her community because of a horrific incident where her best friend tries to turn her boyfriend into a witch and he dies. She is cleared of wrong doing, but her and her mom still leave and create an animal sanctuary in the Pacific Northwest. One of the ways the MC deals with her feelings is casting spells and then neutralizing them. When her coworker and nemesis Pike says things she doesn’t like about witches she decides to curse him to become a witch and then send it into the ground. But in a fun twist an owl swoops down and takes the curse instead. Oh and the owl is an amplifier. This is where it gets interesting as Iris and Pike set out to capture the owl and spend a dangerous and heart breaking few days in the woods. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review.
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Please see the review I attached to the audio format. 

I love the Pacific Northwest setting, the adventure hiking camping animals and magic. 

If I were to give a critique it would be that I would’ve enjoyed more world building. The story was quite short and I appreciate that not every book must be a series however a little bit more magic would’ve been nice.

Great book!
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Rachel Griffin has done it again: she has created an amazing magic system, intriguing characters, wonderful relationship dynamics, and a compelling plot. I love how the owl was s central to the events that happen, and the feeling of nature throughout the whole book. Both Iris and Pike are extremely relatable characters and I love the physical and emotional journey that they go through. I also really liked that the ending was more open-ended and didn’t completely have all the closure that these characters are going to need, which leads the feeling that this was the start of their journey instead of the end. I would have liked to see more of Iris and Pike’s interactions before the curse caused the events in the book to take place, but I really enjoyed it and completely devoured it.
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This cover is lovely... that and the fact that it was Rachel Griffin drew me in. I loved The Nature of Witches last year and was so excited for this new book, sadly it feel a little flat for me. 

What I loved about the first book was the beautiful magic/power structire that Griffin had built out and how the humans and witches lived together and worked with one another. I fully expected this book to have an extension of that world and power structure, and it didn't. I felt like this magic was a bit meh in comparison. The magic in this book is three types and they are briefly described a few times but there isn't a lot of explanation.

Iris is the type that can use their power with animals, to communicate a bit and heal them/ help them. She works in an animal sanctuary with her mother and a grad student named Pike. While the book it a bit about the magic, it is really a romance. It is an enemies to dating relationship between Iris and Pike. It was cute. Iris can be super stubborn, independent, and she is really in her own head a lot. Pike is kind of an ass, he is entitled and bossy and a know-it-all and although they make it work with a friendship and then being together, I never really liked Pike all that much. 

This was an ok read, it wasn't horrible, it wasn't wonderful it feel solidly in the middle. It was pretty quick paced and the plot was handled ok. There is a woman/woman relationship which is nice but that seemed very back-burner and only for the rep than the actual plot. Overall, this one was good... I am happy that I gave it a shot and it was a fast read for me.

Review will be live on the blog on 8/9/2022
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Rachel Griffin writes so beautifully. I devoured her first novel in one sitting, and this book was no different. The Nature of Witches and Wild is the Witch are great companion novels. If you liked one, then you will like the other
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This book was cute. More a romance novel with some magic, than a fantasy books - but not necessary a flaw - with the enemies-to-lovers trope.
Very comforting, but never exciting, always sweet. the plot was very simple, the writing extremely fast paced and this is, perhaps, the reason why i didn't fall in love with it. I 
I would recommend it? yes, to very young adult readers that need this kind of book, because it's perfect for those readers that need a book to learn how to overcome grief, loss and moving forward from painful situations. In that, it's brilliant, not too sad, not too heavy but welcoming and a real cuddle!
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I love a witchy read and these ones are good with animals and they have a nonprofit animal refuge in the Pacific Northwest. How fun does that sound?

Definitely got sucked in after Iris gets upset with her anti witch coworker/intern. She writes a spell to release her frustration and it ends up going wrong now she has to trek through the wilderness to search for something but she has to take him with her.

The thoughtfulness in Pikes packing of food and survival gear shows that he has been paying attention to her. But she wasn't seeing any of that.

I love how they both had a tragic background that made them fearful of eachother at different points. But also loving someone and having them see your rough edges is scary. Being vulnerable and showing all of yourself to someone can be very scary because of the fear they will reject what they don't understand.

Love this cover too! 

Thank you sourcebooksfire and netgalley for the e-ARC for my honest and voluntary review.
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This book was adorable. Both characters were a level of neediness in their own way that meshed together perfectly. But could they see that? Of course not! The descriptions of nature and it’s relationship with the witches was wonderful. And I so want to live in an animal sanctuary now with an owl.
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Last year I  fell in love with Rachel Griffin;'s writing . The Nature of Witches was in my top 20 books of 2021. Her writing was lush ,ethereal,  and the story line unique reminiscent of Marian Zimmer Bradley or Mercedes Lackey . The way she wrote about witches and magic made you believe in the power of the universe around us and the possibilities that just maybe this isn't a story of fiction.  Her characters were courageous and living out loud, just one step outside of nature and all of the beauty we take for granted 
When I saw Wild is the Witch was available I was beyond excited to be approved.  Not one paragraph disappointed. I had hoped this would be a spin off or sequel , but the treat this book was  so much more. 
Pike was my fave character. Yes he annoyed Iris every day but when he admitted why he annoyed her on their trip camping I swooned :
"“You double-check everything, sometimes triple-check. You pace when you’re stressed. You push your palm to your chest when you’re worried about something. You add vitamin D to your mom’s coffee every morning when she isn’t looking. You wear your hair up when we have group tours and down the rest of the time. When Sarah brings in doughnuts, you let everyone else pick theirs before you pick your own, including me. Your favorite color is green. And when I say something that annoys you, you give me an expression I’ve never seen you give anyone else. So I keep annoying you, just so you’ll make the face you only make for me.”
This confession was more than the confession in The Notebook.  And he made her smores, and chased a bear...how many men can top that? 
Iris had a beautiful coming of age in this book and the greatest character development that I have read in YA. She took a stand on mistakes to correct and learned from them. She didn't let miscommunication drive a wedge between her and Pike she took a leap and allowed herself to be vulnerable,  to trust with her secrets, and in the end her actions saved his life and others. She didn't run away, she took a leap of faith. Ultimately hiding from our fears don't allow love in, and she let her love of magic shine for Pike, and help him heal from the death of his brother. 
The animals , the mountainside in the Pacific Northwest was gorgeously written, you felt the cold , the rain, and felt the sanctuary of the woods. Before it is over you want to jump in a plane and go witness the majesty of the Olympic mountains,  and hike this trail yourself.  I love how naturally LGTBQ representation was introduced with Iris mom and Sarah, you felt the love of this family and wanted to make them yours. To date this is my fave YA book of 2022. Bravo Rachel Griffin❤ Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebook Fire for my gifted copy.
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"You looked... free," he finally says. "Wild." He pauses, and his gaze falls to the ground. "Beautiful." Welcome to Foggy Mountain Wildlife Refuge. Where it's wild. Free. And beautiful.

This book radiates the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Griffin's writing style captivated me yet again. I couldn't get enough of her words. I couldn't get enough of Iris and Pike's loathing and angst for one another. Watching these two slowly peel away their layers and reveal their true selves was a journey filled with hate, forgiveness, love and hope. And oh, how they bickered like an old couple 😂 I was cracking up at times as they trekked through the woods in search of one meddling owl to break the curse.

There were so many inspiring lessons to takeaway, my favorite being how to center yourself and release negative thoughts and energy. Just make sure the area is owl-free 😂

Griffin has a natural talent for crafting magical, romantic, nature-infused stories. You will feel the rain on your skin, the leaves crunch beneath your feet and the flushing warmth on your cheeks. It's everything cozy, witchy lovers could want.

✨ YA contemporary fantasy
💔 soft loathe to love
😬 oops, I placed a curse on you
🦉 meddling owl
🤫 secrets
⛺️ only one tent
🤕 oh no, you're hurt
😂 bickering like an old couple
☕️ cozy, witchy read
🌧 moody & atmospheric 
💜 asthma & anxiety rep
😭 a good cry

cw: tragedy, divorce, death of loved one, cancer, mild scenes of injured/death of animal(s)
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Gah!! This book gave me all the feels I really enjoyed the setting and the way the characters grew together and learned that one bad experience doesn’t make that one thing bad.

I really resonated with iris, I don’t know what it was but me and her we just clicked and I think that’s just one of the major reasons why I loved this book. Like her I am always in my head as well, I loved how you can just see her become who she’s always born to be. 

Pike is that guy who is always making jokes but also has so much more to offer. I love learned the complexity to why he didn’t like witches and just more about him, but the fact he’s just a little nerd but he has all these friends and goes on these dates it’s just so perfect and sweet. 

My favorite thing about him and iris is she always finds him annoying but he just does it because she gives him a look that’s just for him and that’s why he does it 😭🥺

I did love the plot of the story and just how everything eventually came full circle but I do wish we would’ve got more of what happened in her past and got a glimpse of her friendship with Amy. But other than that I really enjoyed this one.
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I requested this book as I had read and adored Rachel Griffin's previous witchy novel the Nature of Witches.

I was a little confused to begin with as I had assumed that this was set within the same world and would have the same magic system. Once I had wrapped my head around the different system I was hooked.

I really enjoyed the in depth focus on the two main characters and the fact they spent the majority of the novel in an isolated setting meant you really got to know them as characters as they were developing their own understanding of each other and their relationship changes.

There was a really well written focus on the impact of trauma and anxiety and how difficult it can be to open up and heal after difficult experiences. The focus on nature also really helped as it showed the positive impact nature can have on people.

I really enjoyed this book and will be looking out for more by this author.
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I absolutely loved Wild is the Witch. The magic, the atmosphere, the characters... they were all so incredibly captivating that I did not want to stop reading. Rachel's writing just transports you. I loved everything about this book and will read it again and again.
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Wild is the Witch is an atmospheric, moody novel set in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. It is a YA romance and perfect for fans of Adalyn Grace and Adrienne Young

Iris and her mother, both witches, leave Nebraska after an incident that caused their community to become fearful and wary of witches. They settled in the PNW and started a wildlife sanctuary where their ability as witches would easily be mistaken for veterinary training. After an owl goes missing, carrying a curse that was not supposed to get out, Iris it determined to find it before the witches council realizes what she's done. Her mother insists that she bring their intern Pike with her, but Pike has made his hatred of witches very clear...

I absolutely loved this book. It was atmospheric and moody, and it captured the spooky feeling of spending nights in the woods. The romance was balanced very well with the plot, and the tropes of loathe to love and forced proximity suited the story. I really loved Iris' connections with animals, and her empathy for them was palpable.

The ending came faster than I wanted it to, and I would love to return to this world that Rachel Griffin created. The magic system was nuanced and did not overtake the story, which I really liked. Iris' journey was at the center of the story and her being a witch was a part of the story rather than the whole story. I thoroughly enjoyed the slow burning romance as well.
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A deeply atmospheric YA story centered around Iris and her journey to acceptance and belonging. 

Iris and her mother are witches but after a devastating accident in their hometown, they move to the Pacific Northwest and she retreats within herself and keeps that part of her a secret. She is more comfortable with the animals at their refuge than forming connections with other people. Pike, an intern at the refuge, pushes all of her buttons with his obnoxious, arrogant behaviour but when she is forced to spend a couple of days in close proximity with him everything changes.

I loved the subtlety of the witchcraft in this story and the way it was portrayed as an extension of the natural world around it. Iris and Pike have some great banter but also a lot of vulnerability that makes it easy to see their connection.

Wild is the Witch is a beautifully written story and I am excited to check out more from this author.
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Wild is the Witch was absolutely perfect. I love Rachel Griffin’s writing and this book did not disappoint me at all. The writing was absolutely beautiful which made the story more captivating. I loved how nature was beautifully described. I was completely hooked in the story and the characters from first to last chapter. The story had my favorite trope enemy to lovers. Iris Gray is a witch who accidentally released a curse that was never meant to happened. She has to try to find a way to stop it before it is spread to other innocent people. The cursed was meant for Pike who is currently working as an intern. Pike helps out with the wildlife refuge center run by Iris mother. There is definite tension between Iris and Pike who develop a romance. I cannot wait to have a physical copy in my collection. The cover is absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to receive a copy. I will definitely recommend this amazing story to my students.
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Iris and her mom are both witches. Iris’ best friend back home, Amy, was a witch, too. But she got into trouble, and the witch council took her magic away. Iris was present, but the council determined that she was not involved. Not everyone trusted her after that incident, though, and eventually she and her mom moved away to start over. Her dad did not come with them, which causes Iris to not want to get close to new people. She is especially guarded about being a witch. If even her own dad ended up not being able to handle it, why would other people?

Their new home is in the Pacific Northwest, where they run a wildlife refuge. It’s perfect for them, as their magic is one that focuses on animals. An old friend of her mom’s is also in the area, and runs a restaurant. They’ve established a good “home” there.

Pike Adler, a college student studying ornithology, is interning at the refuge. Not only is he cocky, but he mentions more than once that he hates witches. This makes Iris feel threatened. She doesn’t want her or her mom’s lives disrupted again, not when they seem to have found the perfect place. So she writes a curse for Pike. Now, she wasn’t really intending on cursing him – the plan was to write it out and not use it. Like some people write angry letters they don’t ever send. She means to bind the curse to a bundle of herbs, and burn it. No one gets hurt, right?

Except that an owl swoops down while she’s doing this ritual, and now the owl carries the curse. And then he flies away.

Obviously, Iris is panicking and wants to go after the owl. She knows how much trouble she could cause with the curse out there in the wild, and she’s already had to witness her best friend lose her sense of magic. Her mom, not knowing about the curse part, agrees to let Iris track the owl and try to bring him back… if she takes Pike along. He is a bird expert in training, after all.

This is a YA book, so of course some romance blossoms during their adventures. And in fact, the ending is a little too happy to be believable, in my opinion. (It’s fine, it’s what the audience probably wants, but it’s not super realistic. But then again, it’s a book about magic, so…) But I enjoyed the adventures they have trying to get to the owl, nonetheless. The book takes place in the spring, but I felt like summer was still a great time to be reading about nature, hiking, and camping (and s’mores).
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What a unique story line!  There are traces of every kind of teen issue in the story, but none of them over ride the main story of a young woman trying to be someone/ something else while hiding her true nature.  In order to stop the drastic consequences of her childish actions, she must team up with her worst antagonist and journey through a "growing up" phase quickly.  
With WILD IS THE WITCH, Rachel Griffin has proven THE NATURE OF WITCHES was no one hit fluke.  Her writing shows considerable skill at weaving the reader into the story so well that "one more chapter" becomes up all night to finish.  While the genre may say YA & Teen, the story has universal appeal.  I see anothet Top Ten in her future.
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I enjoyed this intriguing read. This enemies to lovers, YA romance had an appealing air of freshness to it that I found delightful. I felt Iris and Pike were both highly likable and I thought their banter was witty and entertaining and I thought their chemistry was obvious and potent. The story itself offers a smartly crafted blend of drama, tension, emotion, secrets and twists that I found irresistible and highly seductive.
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