About the Book

Title: Wild Is the Witch
Published: 2022
Swoonworthy Scale: 9

Cover Story: Who’s That Girl?
BFF Charm: Best Witches/Single White Female
Talky Talk: We Are All Made of Stars
Bonus Factors: Witches, Animal Friends
Relationship Status: Witch Book Hoarder

Cover Story: Who’s That Girl?

Oh look, a real person! But also, who is this girl? Because the main character in the book has curly brown hair and doesn’t seem like the type to bother with straightening it. She also works at a wildlife preserve and it’s outdoorsy so the Wednesday Addams dress is throwing me off. The colours are pretty and it brings a sense of calm which is found throughout the book so that’s nice.

The Deal:

Iris Gray is a witch who’s trying very hard to conceal her magic after a horrible accident involving magic caused her family to leave their home. Now she works at an animal sanctuary run by her mom (also a witch) and a boy named Pike Adler (regular human intern) who is, in the eyes of Iris, a total nuisance and extremely full of himself. 

Pike, unaware that Iris is a witch, has some choice words for people of her kind. Iris, hurt and afraid, accidentally creates a curse on Pike that ends up in an owl. Now Iris has to find the owl before time runs out and the curse is released. Pike is completely oblivious to the danger he is in but joins Iris on her owl hunt at the request of her mother. Iris is desperate to save Pike and conceal that she is a witch…but she can’t do both.

BFF Charm: Best Witches/ Single White Female

BFF charm with a witch's hat and broom
BFF Charm with an image of the main character from the movie Single White Female

Iris has the ability to communicate with animals so, obviously, yes, I would love to be her best friend but also I would love to be her. Iris feels so at home in the wild and that is something I long to feel, especially after these pandemic years.

Swoonworthy Scale: 9

Pike and Iris have the best chemistry I have read in a YA book thus far. When they set off in the woods to track the curse-stealing owl, I knew it was ON. Thank you Rachel Griffin for making me swoon and be so excited about camping in the woods!. I was so ready for Pike and Iris to kiss and it was almost torture how long I had to wait, but oh man, was it worth it. I also got the one tent trope I wanted. The tension! The sarcastic remarks! BLISS.

Talky Talk: We Are All Made of Stars

Poetic writing and romanticized setting. You know when it’s raining and you get all cozy under some blankets and pull out a book to read? Same vibes. Think of the town Forks in the Twilight novels but with WITCHES: very atmospheric and emotionally charged. Griffin does a great job of making you feel like you are a part of the magic. The dialogue flowed nicely and the conversations felt natural. I would have loved more backstory and details about the council of witches that is mentioned throughout the book.

Bonus Factor: Witches

The four teenage witches from The Craft

I love witches, and for a while in junior high, I was convinced I was one. This book is right up my alley. The way Griffin describes magic and the way it is used is powerful and real. I loved her take on the different fractions of magic. 

Bonus Factors: Animal Friends

grey wolf

Having Iris’ ability to know what’s wrong with animals and ease their pain is a gift I would take any day. If I had those powers, I would have become a pet psychic to the stars! There were a lot of wild animals in the book and those are the best kinds of books. (Nature, yay!) I just wish Iris’ wolf friend was a bit more involved in the plot, as a cool sidekick or something. There was also a sloth enclosure but no interaction with the sloths, which was a missed opportunity in my professional opinion.

Relationship Status: Witch Book Hoarder

Very in love with this book. The setting, the characters and the magic casting. What can I say? Witches have my heart.

Literary Matchmaking

These Witches Don’t Burn

Check out These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling for more secret witches trying to save everyone.

Our Crooked Hearts

For more teen witches trying to figure it out and control their power, try Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert.

White Smoke

If you feel like you need to move across the country to escape problems but also want some paranormal activity to spice up your life, read White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received this book from Sourcebooks Fire and have not received payment for this review. I have also developed a paranoia of owls. Wild Is the Witch is available now.


About the Contributor:

Amanda Bell (she/her) is a planner of events, reader (and listener) of books, a consumer of pizza and a crafter of all things! Propelled by caffeine and carbs – she found her love of reading again when she started a book club with her friends in 2019. Since then, books have consumed her life and her TBR pile is outta control. Amanda resides in Edmonton with her husband and daughter.

This post was written by a guest writer or former contributor for Forever Young Adult.