Cover Image: Wild Is the Witch

Wild Is the Witch

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

thank you netgalley for my e-copy of this book!! 

Genres: YA, Witchy (is that a genre? Lol)
Read if you like: 🧙‍♀️🍃🦉🪵🌱🦥👫🏻

Wild is the Witch was one of my most anticipated novels for this year since I loved Rachel’s debut last year, The Nature of Witches so so much. Although I didn’t love wild as much as Nature, it’s still a beautiful story and definitely a continued tribute to Rachel’s love of nature and her home in the Pacific Northwest.

Iris and her mom run a wildlife oasis for helping animals heal and recover. Some can get re-released into the wild and some live in the conservatory forever and are loved by Iris and her mom. When Iris, a young witch, accidentally sends a curse into a Northern Spotted Owl that was never meant to see the light of day and the owl escapes with the curse, she’s forced on an adventure through the woods to capture the owl with the last person on earth she’d rather camp with: Pike, the annoyingly know-it-all intern at the wildlife preserve. Can Iris and Pike put their feelings aside to rescue the owl? 

Things I loved: the bickering between Pike and Iris, the love letter to trees, animals and the northwest, Iris’s mom and her partner Sarah.

This book was just warm all over. My one gripe with it is that I felt like there wasn’t as much plot in this novel as there was in The Nature of Witches. I also think the magic system could have used a little more development and explanation of what Iris could actually do with the animals. But beyond that, the descriptions and characters of this book were amazing. It’s definitely a book to be savored outside with the birds chirping maybe, a warm cup of coffee, with the Taylor Swift folklore album as the soundtrack. 

I’d love to see an epilogue or a short story or something that takes place a year or a couple years after the novel ends to see how Pike and Iris are doing and I would’ve loved for Iris to get some kind of resolution with how things were left with her dad, but this probably won’t ever happen. 

All in all, beautiful writing and I can’t wait to have the hard copy in my hands! I really want to go to an owl sanctuary now!
Was this review helpful?
My goodness this book took me on a ride!

At the first, I completely fell in love with the heart of this story; young witch who went through a terrible trauma with her best friend, then her life basically crumbles and now she's starting over with her mother in the Pacific Northwest.

That sums it up. But, my gosh, there's so much more here. In the beginning, Iris (previously mentioned witch) is running an animal sanctuary/refuge in the Foggy Mountain Wildlife Range. Pike, who interns with them is just annoying. And Iris pretty much hates him from day one. They have very little in common, and neither take the other seriously. 

Pike also doesn't know Iris is a witch--but has no problem talking about how much he doesn't like witches. And although he has his reasons--that Iris has no knowledge of--she takes this as a threat, given everything she's been through. 

So she deals with her anxiety over Pike's presence the way her grandmother taught her--she curses him. Except, it's not really a curse because she always releases it into the earth--the way her grandma taught her. It's more cathartic that anything. But then... Something goes wrong and the curse becomes dangerous for Pike. 

The whole ambiance of this story is dark and mysterious. This is a perfect fall read for those wanting something a little spooky, a little thrilling, and a little bit romantic. Because nothing says romance like a curse, right? 

But, seriously, it worked. The whole story worked. And I absolutely love the way the author wrote this supernatural world and its inhabitants.
Was this review helpful?
Wow. It’s rare that I read a book with magic in it that treats it with a fresh perspective and new ideas, and this book did that. Very clean, appropriate for young adults. As a former wildlife rescuer myself, I really appreciated the setting in a Pacific Northwest wildlife rescue facility. Will recommend this one for sure.
Was this review helpful?
Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin was such a delightful book. I was surprised but how much I liked this book!  
Iris is such a great character and I just loved everything about her. She shows so much character and grace and just a lovely example of a genuine good person!
The narration is so good and definitely addendum to my enjoyment of this story. 
This book has a unique story and a beautiful fantastic magical element. I think it will be enjoyable to many!
Was this review helpful?
Book one was fantastic. I couldn't wait to read this one. Love love! Thank you Netgalley for this copy.
Was this review helpful?
Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin is a Young Adult fantasy Romance set in a version of the modern Pacific Northwest, in a world where magic is a known and constant truth of reality. A young witch,  named Iris, must journey with her least favorite coworker Pike, after a curse attaches itself to an owl.
 I loved this book beyond any semblance of reason.
-The opening was incredibly intense and sets a powerful tone for the book as a whole. 
- Beautiful writing that draws the reader in from page one and won't let you go until the story is done.
-powerful themes of friendship, identity, and the effect of stereotypes on those around us
- Enemies to lovers  with a dash of forced Proximity induced by the circumstances of their journey
-Magic done in secret
- Mental Health Representation
-Character with asthma 

Wild is the Witch is a wonderful second standalone book by Rachel Griffin once again visiting the topic of witchcraft and drawing the reader into the beautiful environment through her writing.  It is the perfect read for fans of stand alone fantasy with environmental themes.
Was this review helpful?
Magic exists - but it doesn't create, it can only enhance. Witches are born with the ability to harness magic, with a focus on people, animals, or plants, but not everyone is born with the ability to use magic. Iris is a Lunar, a witch with a focus on animals, like her mother, and together, they run a wildlife sanctuary in the Pacific Northwest. She loves magic and everything about it - but she works with an intern, Pike, who hates magic, and so she and her mother never tell him about their own magic, which is fine, right up until an injured owl escapes, and Iris has to find him and bring him back - and Pike, who is studying ornithology, is selected to go with her.

This book centers on how those who are different - even if the difference is invisible - can be stereotyped, and how one person who does something wrong can color the perceptions about everyone within the group, and how members of the group may hide what they are to avoid that reaction. By focusing on magic, rather than a characteristic that exists within our world, Iris can explore why she is so afraid to reveal herself, and find out why Pike is so against magic. But will they be able to work through it together, or will they push each other away? You'll have to reed the book to find out.
Was this review helpful?
First, I’d like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for my copy of this book. I am leaving this honest review of my own will.

Well written, beautiful cover, easy to get into. Would recommend.
Was this review helpful?
Wild is the Witch is set in the magical Pacific Northwest, where a young witch, Iris, must go on an adventure with her work nemesis, Pike, to find an owl that holds an ill-fated curse.

Here's what to expect:
- a YA workplace romance set at Iris' mum's animal refuge. 
- vivid atmospheric writing that transports you to the PNW wilderness alongside the characters.
- loathe to love
- an ill-fated curse and a meddling owl
- secret magic by a secret witch
- forced proximity and only one tent 👀
- asthma and anxiety rep

It's hard not to compare Wild is the Witch and The Nature of Witches and I thought the latter's plot was a lot more involved and exciting. However, Wild is the Witch brings lots of cosy and moody vibes, if that's what you're looking for. Griffin's writing is beautiful and effortlessly blends together magic and PNW's natural landscape. 

Iris was also a likeable and strong protagonist who fought so hard to do the right thing. I enjoyed seeing her relationship with Pike develop as the pair grew closer on their little adventure. I also really liked the ending and it felt fitting.

Oh, and I'd highly recommend the audiobook too - the narrator was fantastic.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you so much to Sourcebooks and Netgalley for providing an e-arc and ALC of this! All thoughts and opinions are still my own.

Wow what a fantastic witchy YA romance. I absolutely fell in love with Rachel Griffin's writing in her debut novel, and I loved it just as much in this story. The way she describes nature and magic is stunning and makes her worlds feel real.

I loved the atmosphere in here. The PNW is already such a magical feeling environment, so it felt so natural for it to be witchy. And I loved how the magic was built and described. It's vague enough that I didn't feel like I was bogged down by rules, but grounded enough (pun intended) to feel real. 

It's been awhile since I've loved a YA romance as much as this, but I couldn't help but love these characters. They both flawed and somewhat messy, while still feeling relatable. They both have beliefs that stem from traumas in their path that stand in the way of accepting each other. 

And isolating them in the woods - with only one tent (!) - was the perfect backdrop to them working through their differences. 

The audiobook was fantastic and completely captivated me for the entire story. I read the majority of this in a single sitting because once the story got moving, I was completely sucked in. 

Rachel Griffin is definitely an author I plan to continue picking up books from! I can't wait to see what she writes next
Was this review helpful?
This book was amaaaaazing! 😍

This book has witches and magic, but everything is pretty easy to follow even for those who don’t read the fantasy genre often. The growing friendship/relationship with Iris and Pike is so well written. Like I pictured this beautifully moody/Twilight-esque scenery with a fantastic musical score. 

Now, I will be honest, the beginning was a little tough for me at first. I had a hard time grasping why Iris was doing what she was doing with the whole curse thing. I understood her thought process more as the book went on and we got to know her and this world better, but at first it seemed SO drastic, and we barely knew Pike and their working relationship yet. 

Also, Pike? Loved him. The name is weird, but I loved his character. He was there for Iris through this entire journey, even though he knew she was keeping things from him. There was also some really relatable lines about anxiety, some descriptions the author wrote so well. 

One other thing I will point out is the dialogue was a little stiff in certain areas, sometimes a little too formal.

Overall though, this was a really fantastic book. I read the entire thing in one day and I will probably purchase a physical copy for rereads. It’s just that good. Highly recommend this one!! ❤️📚

Was this review helpful?
I can’t help it! I love RG. Her first novel hooked me and I couldn’t wait to read this one!

Iris and Pike’s quest, a wildlife rescue debacle threatening her magic, and enough descriptive language to pull you into the pages. 

This is a must-read!
Was this review helpful?
I hate that it took me so long to read this book! I finally read it in one perfect rainy day and I loved it so much. The writing was just as beautiful as her first book and I really loved the characters and story. Pike definitely had my heart. I highly recommend Wild is the Witch!
Was this review helpful?
Sometimes a good, solid fantasy romance is just the ticket. That’s what “Wild is the Witch” delivers. It’s not completely original, it’s not revelatory, but it’s a dang good book that hits all my sweet spots when it comes to fantasy romance: witches, animals, nature, falling in love, personal tragedies, and facing the consequences of your actions. I found myself shedding a good amount of tears, too. 

I knew this book was going to break my heart a little from the beginning, seeing as it starts in a wild animal refuge. I’m a sucker for animal refuges, no matter what form they come in. That feeling only grew as Pike and Iris journeyed to find Macguffin, the owl that flew away carrying something vital inside of him. These two people, both carrying so much pain inside of themselves from disparate tragedies in their lives, danced around each other as if they were on a rickety bridge over a racing current of water, skittish and unsure of one another until they reached the other bank and temporarily found solid ground. 

The magic system in this book is rather original and easy to explain, which is refreshing. Many fantasy novels just go too far into creating complex magic systems. This book does have an advantage in that it’s a book about witches, and therefore the magic system can simply be tied to the world around the characters, but some authors still fall into the trap of making their witchy magic systems too complicated when it can be adjusted to something far simpler and easier to explain and write. Even so, Griffin manages to make the magic interesting without making it too complex, which pays off in keeping the writing sharp and not bogged down with magical complexities. 

I would praise original world building, but Griffin doesn’t get much praise for the originality of it, because she’s getting credit for only amplifying the savage beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The Olympic Peninsula is some of the most beautiful land in Washington: waterfalls, rivers, glaciers, and largely made up of the Olympic National Forest, it’s an untamed wilderness. I can’t give Griffin credit for world building when the world was already there for her. I can only say that she did a magical job of amplifying its magnificence. 

I enjoyed the book a great deal. I may not have been absolutely blown away, but I felt like it was some great fantasy romance comfort food. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for granting me access to this title.
Was this review helpful?
I started Wild is the Witch before bed. I probably would have read it in one sitting
if I didn't absolutely need to go to sleep. It is very much a love letter to the Pacific Northwest. And since I myself am a PNW dweller, it spoke to my very soul. I love the characters and the slow unfolding of their personalities and connections. The magic system is beautiful and respectful and I loved it.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you so much, NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire, for the chance to read this book in exchange of an honest review.

After a night of magic turned deadly, Iris Gray is determined to never let anyone knows she's a witch. 
Even though the Witches' Council found her innocent and that her magic was seen as a marvel. Now in Washington she's determined to hide herself and her magic. Working at the wildlife refuge she runs with her mother, she hates the aspiring ornithologist who interns with them and who hates witches. After a hurtful comment from him, Iris decided to punish him with a curse, but suddenly a owl, a powerful amplifier, swoops down and steals it, flying away from the refuge and changing everything. If it dies, the curses will be unleashed on Pike and everyone on the region, so Iris has to solve this mess. Forced to work with Pike, they start a journey through the Pacific Northwest wilderness. Pike doesn't know the truth and Iris is determined to do anything to keep her secrets safe.

Wild is the witch is a immersive, thrilling and evocative fantasy, brilliantly written and with complex and extraordinary characters. Iris is a powerful witch, who decided to hide her magic after a deadly mess she was involved in. Now in order to prevent another mistake she's forced to ally herself with a witch hater in an evocative and thrilling journey in the wilderness.
I loved reading this book! It was so original and well written and the bond between characters is simply realistic, relatable and perfect. I loved having gotten the chance to know them better and Iris is one of my favourite characters, determined, stubborn, brave and a bit lost. The journey was immersive, wonderfully written and so important. Totally recommended.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed wild is the witch. It had a good mix of fantasy, magic and relationships. Some good representations of anxiety.
Was this review helpful?
This is a wide-ranging story full of magic, nature, and enemies-to-lovers themes. The Pacific Northwest setting, full of rain, wind, gray skies, and isolation, is a perfect backdrop for the story. 

At first, Iris felt a bit cliched to me with her self-hating manifesting in hating other people. Despite being found innocent at her trial, she still wields magic in ways that she shouldn't. Pike is a good foil for her, but I was disappointed that the catalyst of their relationship was her cursing him. Their subsequent journey had some really nice, small moments that pulled the story away from the trope precipice.

MacGuffin, the owl, is my favorite character. He is not what I expected, and that delighted me.

Rachel Griffin is definitely a YA author to follow. This is her sophomore book and while I thought The Nature of Witches was a bit stronger, I would definitely say Wild is the Witch is worth a read for those who enjoy stories of magic or enemies-to-lovers.
Was this review helpful?
I want to start by sharing a disclaimer, and that is, I don’t think I’m the best audience for this book. 

On paper I should be. Most of my favorite books involve magic, nature and often an enemies to love arc that leads to a great romance. So it’s a little baffling how much I struggled to stay engaged with WILD IS THE WILD, because its premise had all of that, and then some. So much so, that after several weeks of putting off continuing to read it, I gave up. 

If I think hard about why I struggled so much to connect with this material, I’d guess it has to do with Rachel Griffin’s prose. She’s very descriptive, and that’s lovely, but things move so slowly as a result. I need more action and reasons for investment from the get-go. And I didn’t get that with WILD IS THE WITCH. 

Thanks to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS for an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review!
Was this review helpful?
Rachel Griffin’s writhing is home. The word flow and completely captivating world building is so special. As soon as I heard she had a second book coming out I knew I needed it in my life. Iris is exasperating, not in a frustrating way but in a weird self reflection pov. Her anxiety gave me anxiety and I saw so much of my daily overthinking struggle in her. It was really refreshing to have a mc and an author that so authentically captured the daily ordeal that someone with extreme anxiety goes though.  Pike was so refreshing and his inner turmoil and how he navigated his own trauma was heartwarming and really inspiring. As a PNW native I found the world building absolutely beautiful and sentimental. The magic system was perfect. I love the way that it was made to work in tandem with the natural world making it almost tangible and possible. Everything about this story was special. Pike and Iris will forever live in my head and heart.  And this story will forever live on my shelf waiting for me to come back to its pages.
Was this review helpful?