Cover Image: Wild Is the Witch

Wild Is the Witch

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Member Reviews

This was a well-written low fantasy debut, with an interesting magic system that I would have liked to see a little bit better developed. Would recommend for teens looking for a contemporary fantasy and the enemies-to-lovers trope.
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Absolute perfection. Rachel Griffins novels are ones that immediately make it onto my favorites shelf! This story was beautiful, magical, and deserves all the stars possible! I loved every second of it!
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My Thoughts

Iris Gray, an 18-year-old witch, finds herself in over her head in this story.

Living with her mother and working at their wildlife refuge gives her great satisfaction.

At least it usually does but the intern, Pike Alder, is a thorn in her side.

As a method to relieve tension she has long been in habit of writing curses then making sure they are destroyed before her magic is released into the world.

However, of course, her particular curse this time for Pike was one that got out of her control in such a way that she had no choice but to try her best to find the owl and stop said curse from deploying.

The concept of which would have been much simpler if said owl would only cooperate!

For me the simplicity of this plot set up was one I enjoyed, the paranormal elements worked as did every step that Iris and Pike took towards changing their minds about each other on a journey to find a magical owl with abilities that could wreak far reaching havoc.

Some of my favorite things, witches, magic, emotions and romance all in one package.

I could not put it down for long the entire day I read it!

[EArc from Netgalley]

On every book read as soon as it is done and written up for review it is posted on Goodreads and Netgalley, once released then posted on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles as well.
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I enjoyed this stand-alone fantasy novel, though not as much as Rachel Griffin’s debut novel, The Nature of Witches. This one felt a lot smaller in scope and less complex, which is not a flaw in the writing so much as a matter of personal taste.

Something I have come to love about Griffin’s writing is that (to echo what I said about her first novel) it is a love letter to nature. The descriptions of the forest are a form of magic all on their own. Speaking of magic, I really enjoyed the organic nature of magic in the novel—how it was used to communicate and connect with animals. I also appreciated the exploration of grief and trauma; it didn’t feel oversimplified. 

The enemies-to-lovers trope was fun but at times predictable. Some elements of the central conflict felt a bit repetitive and perhaps forced (especially at the beginning when the original curse comes into play). But overall, I did like this one and would recommend it to lovers of fantasy and nature.
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After a friend’s accident, Iris and her mother move to a wildlife sanctuary to start over. She’s able to use her magic to heal animals. Out of frustration with the intern, she sets a curse which quickly spirals from harmless to a threat with serious consequences. As things escalate, she’s forced to ask for help and make tough decisions. But will it be enough?

I will preface this with I on principle do not read books with animals in them. It really upsets me. I made an exception for this book, and I’m glad I did.

Iris is a beautiful young woman inside and out full of empathy and she really comes into her own during this journey. The book was full of emotion and I could see everything around her vividly. I had a hard time putting the book down which brings me to one of my only complaints; I felt like the story was too short. It went by so fast and lingered.

If a new Rachel Griffin book every fall is the new thing, I’m here for it!

Thank you to @netgalley and @sourcebooksfire for the opportunity to read this book. The review expresses my own personal opinions.
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i hate YA.. 
wait.. what I loved this 
I picked it up not knowing it was YA and it was amazing. It wasnt filled with that annoying YA angst. This was a special book. This was a good witch story and all she wants to do is help animals. I liked how she tried to process her feelings in a witchy way. I think this was  very well written enemies to lovers book without a focus on smut and all that. It worked beautifully. loved this book. and now i have a go to YA author.
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Iris Gray has one pet peeve about working at her mother’s wildlife sanctuary. His name is Pike, the annoying intern. Luckily for her, Iris is a witch with a unique gift for animal magic. When she engages in a magical ritual meant to help her put her anger at Pike to rest, things go terribly wrong. An innocent owl is put into danger and it’s up to Iris and Pike to rescue him before a deadly curse is released. 

Wild is the Witch is an atmospheric and lyrical read. I feel like I just took an adventure to the Pacific Northwest, complete with drizzling rain and the warmth of a campfire. Rachel Griffin does such an outstanding job with details that really help ground you in the setting. I loved the slow-burn romance between Iris and Pike!! They are so cute and I LOVED “there’s only one tent.” Iris and Pike initially annoy each other a lot, but slowly come to get to know each other. I loved the focus on protection of animals and the real-life importance of wildlife rehabilitation and the sanctity of forests. The contemporary magic system was fascinating and I really enjoyed spending time in this world. Rachel Griffin is an auto-buy author for me and I can’t wait to see what she writes next! I would recommend this for fans of Adrienne Young, readers who enjoy contemporary fantasy, and readers who love a good adventure. I already can’t wait to reread and get my hard copy! 

Thank you so much to Rachel Griffin, Sourcebooks Fire, and Netgalley for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

For publisher: My review will be posted on Instagram, Goodreads, Amazon, Storygraph, Wordpress blog, and Barnes & Noble etc
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing this eARC.

Wild is the Witch follows 18 year old Iris Gray, whose world was shattered when an incident forced her and her mother to leave their home. Now, working at a wildlife refuge in Washington, Iris keeps her identity as a witch a close secret. But when a curse she writes out of anger and frustration for one of her coworkers gets picked up by an owl, and risks being spread farther than just one person, Iris must find the bird and dispel the curse before havoc breaks loose and the shaky life she's built once again crumbles around her.

The plot of this book centers both on the witchy happenings -- the events of Iris's past, the consequence of her failure to locate the owl -- and her enemies-to-lovers romance with coworker Pike. Against the rich atmosphere Rachel Griffin builds, both of these plots unfold in slightly predictable but genuinely intriguing ways. I will admit that there was more romance than I thought there would be, in the end sort of taking precedence over the witchy stuff, but it didn't really bother me that it turned out differently than my expectations.

Griffin's writing is spectacular and probably the biggest highlight of this book. She manages to craft moments that are emotionally taut, an atmosphere that is sometimes spooky and sometimes cozy, all imbued with a reverence for nature and a sort of inevitable resulting peace. It was beyond easy to become immersed in the world and characters that Griffin has crafted. Even when the book leans toward simplicity, it does so gracefully, making for an overall quick and fascinating read.
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Wild is the Witch
by Rachel Griffin
YA Fantasy 

Iris Gray, a witch whose powers are akin to animals, being able to calm them, but when she is stressed or worried about something, her Grandmother had taught her to burn a spell she creates to release it as a non-witch would burn a piece of paper with a worry, in order to rid themselves of it.

But when she was trying to dispel her angry feelings towards Pike, a college intern who had picked on her and admitted that he hated witches saying they should all burn, a mishap with an owl, a bird that is an amplifier, takes her spell, which was really a curse, and flies away.

The book wasn't bad if you like slow burn everything, but the blurb is deceiving. While Iris' spell could get her into big trouble with the Witches' Council, they are not watching her for a bad spell in her past. A friend of hers did the bad spell and got into big trouble, Iris did not. She was not punished by the council.

So that said, Ms. Iris is a paranoid young lady who whines a lot about what had made her that way. Yeah, I get it, some bad stuff happened to her, and she has reason to worry, but not that much. Every other page was her blabbing about the bad done to her.

So don't believe the blurb, it is making the story sound more exciting than it really is. This slow-burn romance/action is stuck on a snail's tail, with a lot of whining and paranoia. And while the M.C. is eighteen she comes across more like a fourteen-year-old.

2 Stars
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Iris Gray loves animals and cannot stand college intern, Pike Alder. She and her mother are witches living in the Foggy Mountain Wildlife Range. They rehabilitate wildlife and Pike helps out. Oh and hates witches. Which is what Iris is. While her mother has found love, Iris is content with her animals and trying to survive as a witch in the modern world. But when an injured owl takes off on its own, Iris and Pike are going to have to put aside their differences. This book is not a sequel to Rachel Griffin's The Nature of Witches.

*Special thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for an e-arc of this novel.*
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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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