Cover Image: Wild Is the Witch

Wild Is the Witch

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Member Reviews

Ugh I loved this! Rachel Griffin is a talented and beautiful writer. 

Read if you like -
-enemies to lovers 
- only one tent 
-magic and witches
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This is the kind of book you want to read during autumn season. Rachel Griffin has a gift for making you feel like if you’re in the book, and this one was really good! I did enjoy it very much. If you like nature, witches, love stories with actual meaning, this book is something you will love!
Thank you NetGalley and publisher for providing this copy for me to read.
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I don't really read cute books, but this was cute and a smidge witchy and YA and not super deep, which was good for me at the time I read it and served as a palate cleanser for me which is always appreciated. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review
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Thank you Sourcebooks Fire for the gifted eARC!

Read for:
-PNW setting
-Only one tent
-Great nature descriptions
-Standalone fantasy

I've been looking forward to this book for a really long time and any PNW book is an automatic yes for me. It's possible that because of this I went in with overly high expectations. I thought this was a really sweet story with some nice character growth and beautiful nature descriptions, but I just wanted *more*. This book felt quite a bit younger than I remember from the author's debut, so I think that may have been part of my disconnect. I bet I would have loved this when I was a YA or if I was just in the right mindset for it.

3.5 stars, rounded up because I think I would have enjoyed this significantly more if I was in the targeted age range (YA) or if my timing would have been different.
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First of all, Rachel Griffin has nailed down her book covers to perfection, they’re absolutely stunning! 

This YA (Young Adult) novel was such a breath of fresh air. It was witty, magical, and so heartfelt. 

Iris gets out her frustrations by cursing objects then burning them to dispel the curse so it doesn’t harm anyone. One day, accidentally cursing an owl that swooped down and flew away, she gets paired with Pike Alder to go hiking to find the owl and try to dispel the curse. Pike is the last person Iris wishes to go on this journey with. 👀

I loved the focus on young love and all the characters were simply huggable and had such great development. The banter between Iris and Pike had me laughing out loud. Also the immense amount of love for animals in this book put me in awe 🦉

The only thing missing in this book was a cat. Isn’t it a rule, that every witch related book or movie has to have a cat? 😂🐈‍⬛
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Creative, magical and yet so realistic! Wild Is the Witch is clearly one of my favourite books of this year. If the word ‘witches’ or ‘magic’ isn’t enough to sell out this book to you, let me tell you more - the witches in this novel don’t wear robes and pointed hats, nor do they cast ‘expelliarmus’ or send patronuses because newsflash: they don’t have wands and other witch-ly stuff. This story of magic is a first of its kind where humans and witches live in a harmonious symbiotic relationship. Witches are no more shamed, in fact, depending upon their magical skills, they are given important roles to play which benefits the human population, for instance, our protagonist, Iris, is a Lunar which means her magic works most on animals. There are two other types, namely, Stellars whose magic work strongest on humans and Solars whose magic gravitates towards plants. Neat!

The best part about the book was the justification of the existence of magic. Unlike most fantasy books (I know, I know, this book falls better under the magical realism genre), magic here isn’t all powerful. It needs to work in combination with science to actually make things work. So a stellar might reduce the physical pain of humans by using magic, but cannot heal them unless there’re working together with a doctor. This fragility of magic makes the story believable - did I just say that?

The story starts with a trial where a witch (Iris’ best friend) is charged for a magic gone wrong and sentenced to prison (human prison, not Azkaban). This changes Iris’ whole life - she is shamed as a witch and decides to start a new life hiding her magic. Fast forward to two years later - Iris runs a wildlife refuge with her Mom where she meets Pike, an intern who hates witches. The real drama starts here. There is more magic, curses, magical forests and owls, enemies to lovers trope, and an adventurous trip. I’m not a fan of YA romances but I actually enjoyed this and I’m going to keep Rachel Griffin on my radar from now on.

Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review. 
Publication Date: August 2nd, 2022. 

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Enemies to lovers with Rachel Griffin's lyrical writing <3 I'm a sucker for nature magic and connection to animals, and this fantasy book gave us that. The author is able to write about magic, witch craft, and fantastical things in such a realistic and naturalistic way, it is lovely to read. Magic doesn't feel out of reach :) YA enemies-to-lovers that are forced to work together, have all the witty banter and tension that is fun to read.
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You might remember Rachel Griffin from The Nature of Witches, another fantasy that explores how witches living among us use their powers to manipulate climate for the greater good. Wild Is the Witch also explores witches living among us, but it stands alone.

Wild is the Witch stands out among the two books. In it, Griffin’s writing is more relaxed. Nothing feels rushed or out of place. There’s a sense of confidence that runs throughout, allowing you as the reader to get lost in the words.

Most of Wild is the Witch takes place in the wilderness with only Iris and Pike to keep readers company. And yet, that’s where the book feels the most expansive. The wilderness itself becomes one of the characters and its interactions are just as important as those between Iris and Pike.

Speaking of Iris and Pike, the two play well off each other. Their growing connection is compelling, and the angst Iris goes through is visceral. Neither of the characters are perfect and both have moments that make them less than likeable, but in the end, you find yourself rooting for them nonetheless.

Wild is the Witch is a fast-paced contemporary fantasy that you won’t want to put down. I read it in one sitting.
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Wild is the Witch was an entertaining book, fast-paced and a really interesting magical storyline. I do wish there was a bit more explosive displays of witchcraft. It was probably a bit too YA for my taste, but the use of tropes definitely gives an appeal to younger audiences. It was a bit too contemporary and not fantasy enough for what the title promises, but it was still a fun read nonetheless.
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Wild is the Witch 
by Rachel Griffin
5 stars

Iris Gray is well aware that many people aren't fond of witches. After she and her mother decide to leave her hometown to start fresh, she is worried about anyone finding out she is a witch. Iris and her mother opened a wildlife refuge and she spends her days with the animals everything is excellent that is except for Pike the intern. Iris gets her frustrations out by writing curses and binding them to a bunch of herbs, but one night while she's binding it to some herbs an owl decides to swoop in and steals the curse. It is now a race to try to get the owl to come back before anything bad can happen. Iris has no choice but to ask Pike to help her try to capture the owl, the tricky part is trying to hide her magic from Pike while searching. 

This is my first Rachel Griffin book and I love her writing style I flew through this book.
 I adore Iris, I am fascinated with the magic she is able to draw up and put out. Her connection with animals and being able to stop them and calm them down is perfect. Pike is just as misunderstood as Iris is, their bickering and arguing just made me laugh and say aww a lot. I knew they would grow fond of each other.  I also enjoyed the owl it is very tricky and sneaky I would enjoy having Iris's gifts and being able to communicate with all those beautiful creatures.
Thank you, Net Galley and Source fire books for the eARC for an honest review.
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A cute whitchy read it was fun and was definitely enjoyable. Its a quick read and a bit fast pace at times but overall a good time. I really love Rachel Griffin this is the second one of her books ive read and will definitely read more by this author. Thank you netgally and Sourcebooks Fire for a opportunity to read this book for an honest review.
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Over the last couple years I have been disappointed by some of my favorite's sophomore novels. Maybe I just get too hyped up I don't know. So I was so nervous for picking this one up, knowing how highly I rated The Nature of Witches and how much I loved it. This book is even better than the first one and I am here for it. This book is so lushly written, with perfectly nuanced characters without making them into weird caricatures of tropes. I don't know how Rachel Griffin did this over the course of a year, but this book is absolutely magical and everyone needs to read it right now.
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I loved this next in series novel! I think I read from one of the major reviewers that the book falls flat in some way, but I didn't feel that way about it at all. It was a great second novel. I also like that it didn't continue the same story as its predecessor.
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After relocating to Washington state, Iris Gray never lets anyone know that she is a witch. Instead, at home and out of sight, she writes curses to release her frustrations, but never casts them. Apart from pain-in-the-ass Pike, an intern at her family’s wildlife refuge, things are going well for Iris. One evening, yet again angered by Pike, Iris decides for write a curse for him. Only before she can dispel it, an owl swoops down and carries it away. Now Iris must find that owl at all costs, before havoc is wrecked on not only Pike, but the whole region. 

After reading both Griffin’s debut novel The Nature of Witches and now Wild, I think Griffin’s writing style is just not my cup of tea. I love her concepts, the way she combines magic/witches with nature, but not the execution. I typically love YA even now as an adult, but feel her novels would find a better audience with a younger age group. 

For Wild specifically, I found myself bored with the writing and plot line that felt too simple. As mentioned above, I do think this would be perfect for a younger reader! While probably a very niche critique, as a born and raised Pacific Northwesterner, I found the repeated mention of Washington state, the PNW, the Pacific Ocean, etc and descriptions of it being wet, damp, and raining to be overkill. I think the goal was to build an atmospheric setting and have place be an important part of the story, but instead it left me exasperated.

All in all, Wild is the Witch contained so many elements that are right up my alley, but it ultimately fell flat for me. Thank you Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for a digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I totally got pulled in by the cover for this - it’s just soooo moody and has good movement. To my pleasant surprise I really enjoyed it! I’ve become much pickier about which Young Adult books I request ARCs for and this was an impulse download. I think it helps that the book definitely skews more toward an older young adult audience just based on the age and life experiences of the characters.
Iris Gray is a witch, though her once open love for magic is now something she holds as a close secret. Her dearest friend was stripped of her magic and jailed for unsuccessfully trying to turn her boyfriend into a witch and Iris was put on trial as well, since she was there that tragic night. In order to escape this traumatic event and the cruel fallout from their community in Nebraska, Iris and her mother move to the pacific northwest where they now run an animal sanctuary. This is where Pike Alder comes in - he’s the handsome intern that just grates on Iris’s nerves and then one day he reveals what seems to be a vitriolic hatred of witches. Iris turns to a tradition of casting spells onto objects to sort of cleanse herself of bad feelings, but when she goes to curse a bundle of herbs an owl swoops in and gets cursed instead. Now she has to go with her nemesis deep into the woods to catch the owl so it doesn’t die, thereby releasing the curse that would turn Pike into a witch. 
Now that I’ve summarized practically the entire plot, let’s chat about it. I totally thought Pike was an asshole at first, as I think the reader is meant to feel toward him but it soon becomes apparent that though he’s a bit of an arse, he’s actually a very passionate, interesting person. He and Iris slowly begin to respect one another during their owl chasing trek, though it remains somewhat fraught on Iris’s end because she knows she’s been lying to him the entire time. The latter third of the book was pretty intense thanks to Iris’s internal conflict and external danger. I found myself really flying through the last little bit just so I could see how things turned out.
Overall, I thought this was a really well done book and it handled magic in an interestingly mundane way. Because witches are a normal part of the world they don’t have to hide from anyone, they exist alongside everyone else so that takes away a point of conflict that one usually finds in fantasy books. Now Pike just straight up doesn’t like witches thanks to a truly horrible experience several years prior, so it did still have that same overcoming preconceived notions vibe. I liked that this was focused on older characters - Pike is in college and I think Iris has already graduated high school. I also liked how the whole thing was resolved very cleanly and satisfyingly! I love the increase in standalone fantasy books lately!
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Perfect for young readers who enjoy a wintery, wilderness setting, paranormal elements, and teen romance.
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Thank you so much, Raincoast Books, for allowing me to read and review this e-arc. This review will be posted closer to the publication date on Goodreads, My Instagram, and Various Shops (Amazon Canada/Barnes & Noble/ Indigo Canada).   

This book has made it onto my top 10 books of 2022 list. My favorite aspect of Wild is the Witch is Griffin's writing style. The author's writing style drew me in from the first chapter. This book had so many memorable quotes. If you're looking for a contemporary fantasy book with beautiful writing, look no further than Wild is the Witch. Griffin brings the Pacific Northwest to life. I could visualize the plot unfolding like a movie in my head. The author did an amazing job at balancing the romance, the plot, and the world of magic that Iris and Pike live in this book.

The romance has the enemies to lovers trope. I felt the romance was paced well for this standalone. The romance didn't happen too quickly, nor did it develop too slowly. The M/C is a witch - witches are a part of everyday society. The romantic lead hates witches. The characters, and their backstories, were well fleshed out in the novel. Griffin did a great job at including anxiety representation in Wild is the Witch. 

The author did a great job at world-building. This book had a perfect balance between contemporary and fantasy. I could easily imagine the Pacific Northwest while also being aware of the magical components (witches/magic) that underline this fictional setting. The inclusion of animals and being able to use magic to connect with animals was a neat idea. 

My only critique is the plot. While the story flowed and resolved beautifully,  I wanted a larger ending. I kept wanting something bigger to happen, and it did not take place in this novel. Overall, the plot itself, kept me hooked from start to finish. I fell in love with these characters, the animals, the natural setting, and the magic that took these characters across the Pacific Northwest. 

Overall, I highly recommend this standalone contemporary fantasy novel.
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I know I am not going to be the last person to say that they enjoyed this book. This book had an amazing combination of Romance-Fantasy-Magic, it was just awesome to read and its a YA. There is an enemies to loves trope going on here, which is one of my fave tropes. This author makes me want to read more witchy reads. Worth the read. Thanks Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book.
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Picking up Wild Is the Witch immediately had me sucked in. I finished this in three sittings and the first two only because I was interrupted and had to stop to do other things. This was a book that from the first page you were immersed in Iris's world. I give resounding applause to Rachel for being able to create such an environment almost seamlessly. 

There are two aspects (and I'll admit they are both the two main aspects of the book but..) that I think were incredibly well done. First is the magic. I appreciated how it was utilized in the story. It wasn't an overwhelming plot device but was always there and slowly unfurling throughout the book. We were given new information about the magic system slowly and at appropriate times. And this was a book about nature and wildlife and the environment and, to me, the magic here was a tool to highlight those themes (rather than this being a "book about magic") which I think was especially brilliant about how Rachel told this story. Second, I loved Iris and her story and her development throughout this book. I adored seeing Iris' development entwined with the nature and magic she loved and then the glimpses of Pike's development in tandem with hers. 

This was my first Rachel Griffin book but will not be my last. I was blown away by this one and enjoyed every second.
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Rachel Griffin always weaves an unusual take on witchcraft and how practitioners can be woven into the everyday world that I appreciate. Her newest work presents a new power division for witches but doesn't go too much into the particulars, rather magic is a driving factor for the story (spells and curses and such) without a lot of detail about the magical world in which the witches and mages function. 

Positives: *The imagery made me feel like I was in the PNW. *The supporting characters have a nice little story arc of their own. *The conclusion that wraps everything up nicely. *Iris didn't bother me as much as I feared she would when I started the book because of how annoying Clara was in Griffin's "The Nature of Witches." *The story is engaging and kept me interested. *This book left me wanting more from the world it is set. *It is a quick read. 

Negatives: *I prefer a bit more world-building than I got in this book. *The characters did not have a lot of depth. *The enemies to friends happened way too fast--yes, I get that the mother saw the relationship between the daughter and coworker but still one night alone and a switch flipped...too unbelievable. 

Overall, I did enjoy this book and will be recommending it to many friends. Others that enjoy urban fantasy, interesting takes on old tropes, and a fun read will probably enjoy this book. 

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for the dARC of this work in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
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