Author: Lana Popovic
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Hibiscus Daughter, book one
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
I found Wicked Like a Wildfire like I find most of my library books; a recommendation for one of the new books of 2017. I was enthralled by the cover, as well as the description. But the book itself, the beautiful prose, intriguing worldbuilding and plot, engaging characters, and the killer ending—Wicked Like a Wildfire has become one of my favorite books of 2017! Full of magic, dark family secrets, myths and legends, and a heck of a lot of girl power, it stole my heart and enchanted my imagination, and I can’t wait for the next book!
Sisters Iris and Malina live cloistered lives, keeping to themselves and the company of their strange, icy mother, Jasmina. They have strange abilities called ‘gleams’, passed down through their bloodline. Each daughter is born with an ability to create their own kind of beauty. For Iris, that means creating beautiful, kaleidoscope-like fractals in everything, but especially flowers. As for Malina, she can create music out of feelings she senses. And their cold, formidable mother, Jasmina, can conjure the tastes and smells of familiar places. They keep to themselves, until one night, their mother is found barely clinging to life, stuck in a strange place between it and death. Iris and Malina begin to search for answers, only to find that their gleams are the result of an ancient and deadly curse, and they must race against the clock to save themselves, their mother, and their family, or it could mean the end of the world as they know it…
This book was so lovely! Though it was initially the cover that drew my attention, it was the story inside that bewitched my imagination and took my breath away. The worldbuilding was unique, dark, and exciting, and combined with the pacing, I couldn’t put it down. Even when I did, it invaded my dreams. The gorgeous setting of Montenegro had me dying of wanderlust, and I couldn’t help but follow the sisters on their journey to discover their origins and save their prickly, cantankerous mother. The pacing was breakneck, and I loved the way the classic ‘magical girl’ trope was turned onto its head. But even more than that, I loved the characters, Iris and Malina’s quirky, secretive family. I cheered for Iris and Malina, but Iris was my favorite; I loved the way she wasn’t afraid to go after what she wanted, the consequences be damned. I was absolutely enthralled throughout the book, but my favorite part was the second half. And that ending! Oh my gosh, how am I supposed to wait until next summer for the sequel?! I’m dying here! Dying, I tell you! I mean, talk about a cliffhanger! I can’t wait to see what Lana Popovic has up her sleeve! The bottom line: With complex, well-drawn out characters, exciting, original worldbuilding, beautiful prose, and a killer ending, Wicked Like a Wildfire has cemented its place in my must-read line up of 2017! Next on deck: Turtles All The Way Down by John Green!