All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love.
But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever?
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published August 15th 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books
Three and a half stars: A beautifully written book with an interesting story line, but the pace is slow and it ends with a cliffhanger.
Iris and Malina are twin sisters with unique magical abilities, that they must always keep hidden. Iris turns her visions of flowers into colorful fractals that she molds into beautiful glasswork. Malina’s gift is music. She can play emotions and moods as music. Iris has almost lost her abilities since she has been forced by her mother to keep her magic a secret. Thus, Iris is always at odds with her mother and miserable. Things change one morning when a mysterious white haired woman comes to their bakery asking to see their mother. Shortly after the visit, the unthinkable happens. Their mother is attacked left in a horrid condition between life and death. As the girls desperately search for answers, they learn that things were not as they thought. There is a curse haunting their family. One with sad repercussions that could tear the twins apart. Will the girls conquer the curse?
What I Liked:
- Wicked Like Wildfire is one of those books you must read if you are someone who loves books with magical metaphors, gorgeous writing and the tickling of all your senses with words. This is one of those books that took my breath away with the stunning, richly detailed descriptions that managed to engage all of my senses. The author has a marvelous gift with words, and I loved how she described sights,sounds, smells and tastes. It was marvelous.
- I liked the story involving twin sisters who are secretly witches with magical gifts. As the story unfolds, there are some interesting twists and developments. I was never quite sure where the story was going, and I liked the surprises, especially when it came to the curse.
- The majority of the story is focused on relationships, There is a heavy emphasis on the bonds of sisterhood, which I loved. There are strong bonds of friendship as well. I also appreciated how the author captured the complexity of the mother daughter relationship. I liked that this book wasn’t all about romance.
- Speaking of romance, there is a subtle romance in the story that is mostly in the background until the climax. I liked that the romance was a backstory and that when it did develop it didn’t overtake the story. Plus the romance is one that blossoms between two life long friends. There is also a surprise secondary romance, that I would like to further explore.
- The climax is exciting with lots of surprises and twists that had me on the edge of my seat.
And The Not So Much:
- This book is slow going. I was enchanted at the beginning by the lovely writing, but my enthusiasm quickly waned because not much happened. For the majority of the story, the pace plods along. Then it finally picks up in the final third with lots of excitement, but I have to admit, I almost put this one down because I was so bored.
- Iris, the main character, is a tough sell. In fact, I really didn’t like her. She is belligerent early on, which put me off. She grows somewhat and I liked her more by the end, but she still remained my least favorite in the book, which is disappointing since she is the protagonist.
- Jasmine, the girls’ mother, was far too undeveloped. She had so many secrets, and I was left wanting to know so much more about her.
- The book ends with a big, fat cliffhanger which was another huge disappointment after the slow pace.
Wicked Like a Wildflower is a book I have mixed feelings about. I was bored with the slow pace, and disappointed that the main character was unlikable. However, the final third of the book is thrilling and worth the wait until it ends with a cliffhanger. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves gorgeous writing that invokes all the senses. This book is beautifully written, and that made it worth reading despite my disappointments.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.