Cover Image: Wild Is the Witch

Wild Is the Witch

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Member Reviews

I was a fan of Griffin's debut The Nature of Witches, and I continue to be impressed by the way she interweaves magic and the natural world together so seamlessly. I tend not to pick up fantasy because I find myself easily overwhelmed by the worldbuilding, so the line these books walk between realism and fantastical elements is really right up my alley. I also appreciated the cozy tone she accomplished and the slow-burn enemies-to-romance in this book. I did wish the backstory had been slightly more developed, but overall I really enjoyed this and am excited to recommend to readers who want wilderness and animal focused stories and real-world fantasy. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.
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Wild is the Witch follows a young witch, Iris, living in today's society, where witches live among humans.  They work with them and have a set of rules to keep things running smoothly.  

When Iris accidentally places a curse on her annoying coworker, she has to find an owl that's holding the curse.. with her annoying coworker, Pike.  

This is pretty classic enemies-to-lovers, and it was cute.  However, I wanted more of the witch stuff and less of the romance,  That's just my personal style, though.  The writing was a little repetitive, but it wasn't awful.  The descriptions of the natural world were certainly beautiful!  I would recommend this to people who like romance.
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(4.5 stars)
An incredible story about fear, grief and fixing our mistakes.
My favourite thing is the author’s writing style. Rachel Griffin writes tales full of wonder focused on Nature and her love for this world that we happen to live in is transported to her books. I highlighted multiple paragraphs of descriptions and inner monologues from Iris admiring the landscape due to the sheer beauty of them. I would call Griffin’s stories, climate hope stories, kindling our love for magical natural spaces that feel so few nowadays and Wild is the Witch isn’t the exception.
I adored Iris and Pike, I have a sweet spot for characters that had to build walls to survive. You go through emotional arcs with them, as more secrets and layers are shed. Pike is a great character and love interest and Iris is not judged for the walls she had to build. Their interactions at front value seem related to tropes from rom coms but they don't fit the mold. One of the things that I was weirded out, after some thought, can be read as a brilliant character study. The moment in the tent when they are kissing and Isis takes Pike’s glasses seems weird at first glance because he can't see without them. But because she is, at that moment, trying to hide her magic so that he could still love her (something that she then concludes isn't possible). Also, Isis’s anxiety and asthma are portrayed responsibly. Both of them lead to changes in decisions and consequences.
This being the author’s second book is possible to see a pattern starting to form in the type of stories she tells. Many decisions made by Isis, her mother and Pike are made due to trauma related to abandonment, in different ways. Her mother celebrates this release and opens herself to things, leading to her relationship with Sarah (love them by the way). Isis is the contrary, closing herself emotionally and physically and Pike hides emotionally. I especially liked how no one, overall not in confrontations, was shamed for their way of dealing. In the end, their way of dealing with life is validated but it is shown not to be necessary. They are allowed to breathe.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed this book and I’m thankful I got a chance to read it. The reason it wasn't 5 stars was an issue in the revision stage. Some parts got slightly repetitive and could have been reduced or cut. Other than that the book was excellent. Also thank u for not killing the owl off completely!
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I liked this book, but I didn't have as much connection to it as The Nature of Witches. The plot felt a little predictable. That being said, I think a lot of teens would really connect with this story, and I want to recommend this book for all 7th grade + .
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This was a sweet witchy YA book. I thought it was unique that the magic was so nature-focused, and it tied in nicely with the beautiful descriptions of PNW scenery. Iris and Pike were cute together and their “quest” was engaging. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA romantic fantasy.
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I so wanted to love this book as I absolutely adored Rachel Griffin's first book. This book was just missing something for me compared to her first book. 

In this book we follow Iris, whose best friend cursed her boyfriend and she ended up losing her magic. Now Iris has a new home in the PNW and is using her magic on animals as a way to cope with also losing her best friend. She works with an intern named Pike who she she cannot stand. Iris ends up setting a curse on Pike that she never intends to reach him. However, an owl comes between her and the curse as she is setting it and now the curse is in the owl. She has to save the owl in order to prevent Pike from being cursed. What could possibly go wrong? 

I did enjoy the PNW setting as that has always intrigued me. I just think I would have preferred the school setting that Rachel Griffin wrote so fantastically in the first book. I do love her writing as it is atmospheric and simple. I also did not enjoy Pike at all. I did not think the character development for him was done in a fantastic way. We get a lot of backstory on Iris that makes us understand her but not Pike as much and for that reason, I didn't 100% buy the relationship between them. 

Overall, if you enjoy books about witches, then you will enjoy this book. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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“That’s one of the worst casualties of being hurt by someone who was never supposed to hurt you: you start to question all the beautiful things that led up to the ugliness, start to wonder if some of the moments you thought were perfect were actually painted with a dirty brush” 

With vivid imagery and some of my favourite tropes + a plot that I found exciting and different I am more than happy to give this book 5 stars!

Right off the bat, the imagery in this book is incredible. It reminds me of a cool autumn afternoon. This could be in part because it takes place around Washington state and it’s perpetually cloudy, but I like to think its at least partly the writing.

Something I really liked about this book was that while the plot itself is urgent, Rachel does a spectacular job of slowing us down and smelling the pine trees. She created a very vivid sense of isolation and home in the woods and I enjoyed watching Pike and Iris’s relationship grow and shift as they tried to track down Macguffin (the northern spotted owl). While we are reading Iris’s innermost worries and wants, we are also experiencing all of these confusing and clarifying moments that I think a lot of us can relate to. These moments all come back to dealing with a crush on someone you are conflicted about (a darn near universal experience if I’ve ever seen one). 

I want to classify this book as a sort of enemies to lovers book but honestly at best I would say it falls closer to “strong dislike to lovers” only because -we the readers- KNOW that Pike doesn’t hate her and he only picks on her because he’s a boy not sure how to express himself sometimes. Iris on the other hand… I wouldn’t say hates him, but she worries what might happen if he finds out she’s a witch (and given the background in the story, I get it) BUT this doesn’t make the shift into friends/ lovers any less satisfying. 

There is also the fun “forced proximity” trope which personally I am a huge fan of. Nothing moves along an “enemies to lovers” story quite like forcing the main characters to spend time together! This comes in the form of her mom (and new step mom) agreeing that Iris shouldn’t go out into the wild alone, and insisting Pike go along to assist should she need the help. It is a not so subtle nudge and a wink that had me excited for the coming story. 

Needless to say, things go awry and after some damage, they find themselves sharing a tent. It's very cute, very sweet and I am so soft for these two it isn’t even funny. 

Things reached their peak and I sobbed uncontrollably for a little while. It was the kind of sobbing where you know it’ll all be ok but it doesn’t change how sad you are in the moment. The very thing she was most frightened of happening sort of happens and after everything, that is the most heart wrenching part. I thought that this part of the book was really well thought out and seemed to stay true to character for both Iris and Pike. The rapid changing of emotions felt very authentic to what I’m sure the characters were kind of experiencing in that moment.

Unrelated, but I adored the sheer number of twilight references the book makes and honestly I was so excited about that because it takes place in a very similar environment (the pacific northwest) and she saw the opportunity and she took it. 

I would like to thank Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for allowing me the opportunity to read an eARC in exchange for an honest review. 

I will never stop recommending Rachel Griffin's works and I can’t wait for this book to be out officially because I will be picking up a copy!!
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3.5 ⭐️ 
I liked it but was missing something that I loved from the first book. That happens so often I feel like I’m series. Still beautiful writing, just felt like (for me) I needed more

I will say that I LOVED her first one so so much, so start with that first.
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Iris Gray is a witch, but she doesn't feel comfortable telling anyone after she is involved in a horrific accident. She finds refuge with her mother on their animal rescue in the Olympic Pennisula, far away from her other home in Nebraska. There is another intern at the refuge named Pike Alder who does nothing but torment Iris (and hate witches). When Iris accidentally sets a terrible curse out into the world, her and Pike have to team up to destroy the curse and save multiple lives in the process.

I think this book was more action-packed than Griffin's previous novel which made it a more enjoyable read. The author does a great job of capturing the atmosphere of nature and the woods. Her attention to environmental concerns and connecting them to nature are what drew me to her books in the first place (oh, and the witches). 

This book also does a good job of portraying the anxiety that Iris feels as someone that is constantly having to hide her true self. Her nervous behaviors resonate with anyone that struggles with these feelings, and her interactions with the other characters allow readers to see her coping mechanisms and their effect. I also love the depth of Pike's feelings towards witches and the world in general. I think many readers will be able to see their own feelings and grudges mirrored in his life and his actions, along with his ability to constantly look for the best in situations and find humor in dark places.
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I went into this with no expectations, and I found myself pleasantly surprised.

Iris is a young witch working at her mom’s wildlife refuge. Things are going well, except for the witch hating jerk of an intern, Pike.

After one particularly irritating encounter with said jerk, Iris decides to blow off steam by casting and voiding a curse for him.

Things take a turn when a very rude owl swoops down and grabs the curse before Iris can void it, so now there is a bird out in the wilderness that will wipe everyone in the area out if it dies before the curse can be removed. Oh, and if the Witch’s Counsel gets wind of it, Iris’ powers will be stripped.

Naturally Iris plans to trek into the woods to find the winged thief and do damage control. Unfortunately for her, she is forced to bring none other than Pike along for the trip.

This was FANTSTIC. The atmosphere the author created was beautiful and immersive. The characters inspired a “protect these adorable wholesome kids at all costs” vibe. 
I don’t think I have ever been so emotionally attached to a bird before. 

I don’t really have any negatives, I wanted a bit more at the end, but altogether this was perfect.

I now have a strong urge to go hike in the Pacific Northwest. 

Check it out, when it hits shelves, 8/2/22!

A big thanks to the Publisher & NetGalley for gifting me a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Iris is a witch, which she is keeping secret from people outside her family. She loathes Pike Alde who interns at her mother's animal refuge. She curses him, but intended to destroy the curse instead it is caught by an owl which endangers not just Pike. Iris goes out to try to undo the curse with ofcourse the help of Pike. This book was funny and enjoyable. I really liked Iris and Pike.
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I loved this book, it really explored the complicated stages of anxiety and grief. Both Pike and Iris were incredible characters that Rachel Griffin brought to life beautifully. Her descriptions of the mountain were vivid and rich and made me want to travel so bad! I adored this beautiful story!
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What a beautiful story, a perfect balance of fantasy and romance 

The magic system was completely explained which is very rare among book involving witches

The characters are incredibly written, and you can easily form a connection to them.

Overall vibe of the book is very peaceful and nature like, i enjoyed this very much. 

My full review will be upoloaded at july 28 on ky tiktok page
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Wild Is The Witch 

✨ARC Review✨

Iris is a witch, and Pike has a disgust for witches, which would be why she has cursed him, in a nutshell. When Iris performs the curse and it holds itself within an owl that escapes the refuge where they work, she finds herself having to camp with the one person she loathes being around to bring the owl home…

If you are starting to gather those books that give you Fall and/or witchy vibes, then look no further! Wild Is The Witch is the perfect atmospheric read! Between Iris and Pike’s back and forth banter, arguments over KIND bars, and a “one tent” situation as they camp out, you will find yourself flying through the pages. This was a cute YA read perfect for the Fall season! 

What’s On The Pages: 
-enemies to lovers 
-an animal sanctuary 
-a curse
-witchy read
-an adorable owl 
-processing grief 

✨Rating✨
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Steam Factor 🔥/5 (kissing)

A special thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for this eARC! Wild Is The Witch is out August 2nd!
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This story grabbed me from the beginning and followed the natural  paths of ups and downs as the characters are revealed . Many times my heart raced as the fear of the outcome grew in intensity. I didn't imagine such tense and tender emotions were to be a part of this story. Witches indeed. Very satisfying read.
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An okay read that had a lot of potential but fell short. The characters are great. The take on magic was unique. Unfortunately it wasn't built enough. The romance was sweet. Overall it's an okay read.
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Just okay. Pretty standard enemies-to-lovers YA fiction. Like with her first novel, I thought that it was atmospheric with a beautiful cover and straightforward writing, but didn't have anything different about it that would make it stand out among the rest. If I'm going to love a standalone it needs to have that punch to it right away, whereas I got halfway through and not much had happened. Reminiscent of Shea Ernshaw's The Wicked Deep but much preferred that title.
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of Rachel Griffen’s second novel: Wild Is The Witch. After enjoying Griffen’s debut The Nature of Witches I was looking forward to reading more of her particular brand of magic.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find a lot to love in Wild Is The Witch. I’m not a big fan of plots that depend on the characters lacking all common sense and logic. If they had used more than one brain cell at any given time, this book would’ve been 20 pages long. 

I loved the idea of witches in this book and I wish it had been expanded on more. As always, Griffen’s writing about nature is lovely and evocative. I just wasn’t sold on the plot. The romance was also sweet but I found it hard to enjoy in the midst of so many lies and poor decisions. I also feel like the wolf familiar was totally wasted.

With more world-building and a different plot I think I would’ve loved this book but alas I’m not a fan. Hopefully someone else will fall in love where I didn’t.

(FYI the main character has asthma and anxiety but I don’t know if it’s based on personal experience.)

Trigger/content warnings: animal death, burning to death, fire, graphic injuries including burns and compound fracture, panic attacks.
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Fans of Rachel Griffin's The Nature of Witches won't be disappointed with her newest offering. The novel is atmospheric and accessible. I would actually recommend reading this in the fall as it lends itself to that season. The main characters are relatable and it was good to see the progression of their love story. Great for fans of enemies to lovers and atmospheric romances with a bit of magic!
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I don't know what will I categorize this book. It's not fantasy enough to be called fantasy, and not contemporary enough to be called contemporary. I guess witchcraft and normal work like animal refuge didn't work out well together. The story itself centered on Iris and Pike and their relationship from hate to love. Not enough magic, I think the story could've been fine even without it. Remove the witchcraft and magic and it would work as contemporary romance. Although the premise was quite interesting--that was the reason I requested this book--with the concept of Stellar, Lunar, and Solar, the executions are lacking of those. So yeah. I didn't get what the author tried to deliver with this story.

The narrative was inconsistent too. On the early chapters, there's a LOT of detailed description about the vibes and surroundings but then all those detailed description vanished when the story started to revolve around Iris and Pike.

I tried to finish it to find something that maybe will change my opinion about the whole story but apparently I couldn't find any so at the end I decided to give it 2 stars. Sorry.
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