Cover Image: Wild Is the Witch

Wild Is the Witch

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Member Reviews

I liked this better than Rachel Griffin's debut novel. 

Iris and her Mom move to the Pacific Northwest from Nebraska after her best friend Amy kills her boyfriend trying to turn him into a witch like them. Iris is harassed and threatened and they move to escape. They work at a wildlife refuge and rehabilitate wild animals. They use their magic to convey emotion and intent with the animals to let them know they're there to help. 

In typical YA fashion, there's a boy who also works at the refuge and the 2 are constantly butting heads and fighting. They have a disagreement and Pike says something about hating witches and she takes it personally. She goes home and does a stress relief method her grandma taught her. She creates or casts a spell and then burns the components so that the spell is never truly cast. This time she casts a curse to turn Pike into a Mage, so he can learn to not hate witches? But before she can bind the curse to herbs as always, an owl swoops down and the curse binds to it instead. Before she can undo it, he flies away.

She panics and tells her mom she's going to hunt him down, Her mom won't let her go by herself, and insists Pike go with her. She reluctantly agrees and the 2 set off after the owl. Iris tells no one the real reason she's so desperate to catch the owl and constantly has to hide that she's a witch from Pike. They search after the owl, name it, and learn about each other. Once they stop fighting and trying to one up each other constantly they discover they actually get along well. The search becomes more desperate as the owl is in mortal danger and threatens to unleash the curse. I liked the resolution and ending to the story.
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While I did not love it as much as The Nature of Witches, this was a great story about being seen and loved for who you are and not what you are. Absolutely love the premise of magic herein.
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I loved this novel! I am a big fan of witches and this story did not disappoint. Iris makes a mistakes and binds a devastating curse to an owl. Her and Pike set out to try and find the owl but he doesn’t know Iris’s truth. Can these two find the owl without unleashing the curse? I enjoyed the character development with the 2 main characters. All in all this was a delightful read!
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Simple plot, beautiful character development, solid story. Not really a plot driven story. Looking back not a ton of big things happened in the actual book. Some big back story stuff happened, but the main plot is pretty simple and straight forward. The characters were beautifully  and richly developed though. Even the owl became a beloved character or it’s own, which in my opinion is the sign of a great character writer. Not a lot of twists or surprises since it wasn’t so much plot driven. But solid storytelling nonetheless.
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Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this title. 
The novel was fantastic. As a nature lover, I absolutely fell in love with the setting. The author writes in such a lyrical tone that made me fly through this one. The storyline was subjective, but kept me entertained. The world was interesting with witches and magic, it kept me reading.
I will definitely be picking up more of this author’s titles and look forward to reading more.
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This is a relatively quick-paced story about a animal-loving witch and her journey to correct a mistake. In the meantime, she realizes that she misjudged her "adversary", who quickly turns into a love interest. Loosely "enemies to lovers" but still very enjoyable and definitely worth the read. I enjoyed the banter between the two love interests!
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I ended up really enjoying this one. I remember seeing her last book on insta and I really wanted to read it. So when I saw this was on NetGalley I wanted to try out her books and I wasn’t disappointed. 

It said this was YA and that’s not my typical go to read this was wonderful. 

This one quote stood out so much to me. I felt so emotionally invested in these characters and the story.
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Told through the eyes of Iris, a young woman with  a complex past and understandable misgivings about her know it all coworker, we quickly slip into the elements of how things work in her world. Witches can do magic, yes, and there are three types Solar, Lunar, and Stellar, each of them gifted with different areas of nature they can steward with their gifts, Stellar being the strongest and concerned with human magic. Iris and her mother are Lunars and run an animal refuge in the Pacific northwest, having left both Iris' father and their old life behind. Two years ago Iris' friend Amy made a fateful mistake by attempting to give her boyfriend magical powers and unwittingly destroyed him because she couldn't help him control the magic she'd unleashed. Amy, as instigator, was stripped of her gifts, and Iris, as witness to the aftermath, was put on trial and publicly persecuted for her involvement. Her father couldn't take the heat and opted to make a separate life without them while Iris and her mother moved on to a life where their magic could take on a healing effect keeping their magic a secret in public life.

 All of this has had an effect on Iris,much of it good, but there is still a great deal of shame and guilt in the way she sees herself and her gift, particularly when her co-worker, Pike, tells her that he doesn't trust witches. She usually deals with these complex emotions by creating spells she can give to herbs and then burn to dispel, but one night an owl in her care flies in just as she's transferring a curse to her usual bundle and carries it away into the wilderness. Not only is the owl carrying a powerful curse related to her fears about Pike, the animal itself is a powerful amplifier for magic. Matters only become more complex when it becomes clear the only one that can help her retrieve the owl is Pike himself, the last person she wants anywhere near the curse and it's effects. 

First things first. Yes, this is a book about witches, magic, and the way both of these things affect the world around them and you should expect some discussion about them. However, this isn't a book that's meant to sell you a complex magical system or  set up a world in which you can expect stronger elements of fantasy, I would actually classify it as something of a magical realism romance. If you're frustrated reading fiction with these traits versus a more wide-sweeping narrative on a larger scale story you're probably not going to be able to enjoy it for what it is and should give it a pass. If you like a simpler plot that focuses on an enemies to lovers narrative with the implied angst and uncertainty with a pretty original and more natural take on witches and their place in society and a facet of nature herself, on the other hand, you're probably going to appreciate this relatively short and entertaining YA novel.
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I enjoyed this YA novel, and a I’m looking forward to reading more from this author. 

Wild is the Witch is a single POV story that follows a 19 year old witch who works with her mother at a nature center. A boy who hates witches works with her, but when both of them must go on a trip to rescue a lost owl things heat up. 

Tropes: forced proximity, single bed
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Wild is the Witch is just the read I needed to remind myself why young adult books can be so great. This story was really well-written, atmospheric, and truly interesting. I would classify this book in the genre of magical realism; it takes place in our world, but society knows about witches and that they are able to perform actual magic. 

Iris is a young witch that relocates to Washington state with her mother after a magical incident involving her best friend and Iris being given a lenient sentence by the Witches’ Council. She decides to hide the fact that she is a witch in Washington and works at the wildlife refuge her mother runs. There is just one problem and his name is Pike Adler, an intern that drives Iris crazy and also hates witches. Iris writes a curse that she never intends to release on Pike that would turn him into a witch, but just as she goes to destroy the curse, an owl swoops down and steals it. If the owl dies the curse will be enacted and worse, it will affect not only Pike, but everyone in the region. Most people do not survive being turned into a witch and Iris knows she has to find the owl and destroy the curse before it is too late. 

I thought that the magic system in this book was really intriguing. I truly enjoyed how Iris describes how she feels when she is using magic and how it created a bond with animals. I do wish that maybe all the different types of magic were explained a bit more in depth, but it wasn’t overall super important to the overall story. 

And can we talk about the banter between Iris and Pike for one second?? Even though Iris believes Pike doesn’t like her and will hate her even more if he finds out she is a witch, the banter between them had me grinning. Pike knew the perfect things to get under her skin, but usually wasn’t even that serious about it. Then Iris comes back with a snarky comment and it was just really cute.

This story is really wonderful. It has so much to offer; forgiveness, vulnerability, understanding, and love. I highly recommend reading this if you enjoy reading books about witches that will bring you joy. 

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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!
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Book one was fantastic. I couldn't wait to read this one. Love love! Thank you Netgalley for this copy.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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