Saturday, August 19, 2023

August Read: The Witch of Wild Things by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland


I'm not going to lie: I've been in a whirl of new books lately. As in, trying to read a whole lot of ARCS, library books, and um...the bags of books I bought over the past few weeks. I had a book frenzy moment and now, in the aftermath, I'm trying to catch up. 

I gulped this novel down in just a few days (in between working and reading another book). If nothing else puts me in the mood for Fall, this book certainly did, and that's part of what made me enjoy it so much. 

Set in Virginia, this novel is about three sisters and their Aunt. The Flores sisters: Sage, Teal, and Sky all have gifts: Sage is the "plant whisperer"; Teal can summon up a thunderstorm or the sunniest of days, depending on her mood; and Sky has the gift of communicating with animals. It's been eight years since Sage was home, but now she's returning after losing her job. Returning home to her Aunt Nadia's house also means living with Teal and facing the grief from losing Sky eight years before. Only Sky is still around, haunting Sage every time she cries. Sky doesn't know why she's sticking around. 

Sage returns to her previous job at the Cranberry Rose Company, growing herbs and nurturing plants as only she can do. And unfortunately for her, Tennessee Reyes also works there--the very object of her love years ago in their teen years. Dang it all if he isn't even more handsome as a grown man! Tennessee sure likes the look of Sage, and has no idea all those years ago his AOL messenger pal was Sage. 

Sage has her work cut out for her: dealing with her feelings for Tennessee, trying to connect with her sister Teal, and figuring out why exactly Sky keeps hanging around, acting very un-ghostly. It's a homecoming that is an opportunity for healing, growth, and a happily ever after, if only Sage can hang on and see it all through. 

I loved Sage's gift with plants and Mother Earth. The best gift to have, in my opinion! I'll say Sky's story is a bit odd, and did throw me for a loop. Just keep reading and let the magic of the novel make you a believer. Teal is a pill and dang she is frosty as hell. Themes in the novel are embracing your gifts, not letting men push you around, and, of course, family. There's a couple of steamy sex scenes but otherwise it's pretty mild. 

Thanks to Edelweiss and Penguin Publishing Group for the ARC. This paperback will be out in the U.S. on September 12th. Also will be available as an e-book. Cover art is fantastic! 

Rating: 5/6 for an entertaining novel about a family of witches who struggle with everyday problems just like the rest of us. A magical novel about finding love again, healing old wounds, and accepting your own badass self. 

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