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Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic
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Wicked Like a Wildfire (edition 2017)

by Lana Popovic (Author)

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198689,129 (3.13)4
Member:InnahLovesYou
Title:Wicked Like a Wildfire
Authors:Lana Popovic (Author)
Info:Katherine Tegen Books (2017), 416 pages
Collections:Your library, Currently reading, To read
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Tags:to-read, not-owned

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Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
DNF at chapter 7, page 67.

Sensory overload, and not in a good way. I like details but this had too much, too slow. Plus, I suspect my low tolerance for this book's flaws is more about me than the book. Mainly that I'd just read The Memory Trees and it did all my favorite things so well, Wicked Like a Wildfire probably didn't stand much of a chance. So better to call it quits than slog through and have to give a low rating.

One cool note to self: One of the twins is Iris, she's the narrator. Malina, the other twin, calls her Riss for short. I've never seen that in my reading before. My sister's name is Larissa and I've called her Riss since we were younglings.
  flying_monkeys | Jun 9, 2018 |
1.5/5 stars (DNF at page 215) (rounded down)

What's that saying?
"Don't judge a book by its cover."? Well it goes both ways. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful cover, but the novel itself? Not so much.

But let's start with the good stuff:
- The cover, obviously.
- This book will make you hungry will all of its desert descriptions. Like "so hungry can't stop drooling hungry!"
- This book made me want to buy myself flowers, many flowers.
​- It also made me want to wear more perfume (which I mean, I'm allergic to, but whatever).
- It's set in Montenegro, which I know nothing about, so I liked that aspect.
- The writing is pretty - if you're into it.

Was I into it? Not really, I read 5 pages of it and the only word that kept running through my mind was - pretentious, pretentious, pretentious.

It felt like the author just really liked using her dictionary - trying to fit as many descriptions and adjectives into one page as possible. Think Strange the Dreamer amount of words, but without the fluidness of flow. Think of Night Circus, but not nearly as magical (well, actually not magical at all).

The main character, Iris is a bitchy bitch for no apparent reason. She's "breathtakingly beautiful, but she herself doesn't think so." NO, thank you!
Her sister Lina is the only character I somewhat liked, although to be honest Lina really lacked in character development area. They all did.
​All of the characters had as much dimension as a sheet of paper.
I was bored.
The plot? I don't know if there was a plot, but apparently I never got to it. And I generously gave up after 215 pages.

​Characters (meaning Iris mostly) make the dumbest and most contradicting decisions. The plot is slow, the descriptions are overbearing - and overall it's just nothing new. Also main character likes to mix alcohol and drugs and being a little whore with magic, and I'm sorry but what?

Good ideas - poor execution. Sorry book, better luck elsewhere. shame though, as I was really excited for it (well I was excited, because I'm a cover whore, so don't be one - it doesn't pay off). ( )
  bookandsword | May 5, 2018 |
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
allthingsuf.com

WICKED LIKE A WILDFIRE is a story about the complexity of relationships, the economy of love and hurt that exists within families. It spins a fairytale without readers realizing, we stare at the magician's right hand while the left builds whole new worlds around us. In the spaces between teenage rebellion and romance, magic blooms and expands.

A magic spun of the senses can be hard to contain on the page, but WICKED LIKE A WILDFIRE reflects the awe of its magic into the space between characters. It's impact shows in how they draw toward each other and flinch away. Iris and Malina each deal with their mother's distance in different ways, their magic an organic part of the expectations and disappointments that chafe on both sides of the divide. Iris drinks and smokes and parties her pain away, brandishing each rebellion in her mother's face, but her wildness never entirely masks a clear longing for a return to their happier days.

It is this vulnerable, hidden heart that makes WICKED LIKE A WILDFIRE memorable, a notable addition among contemporary, young adult fairy tales. For all her wicked ways, Iris loves and longs for love. For all her meek sweetness, Malina is fierce in her loyalty and love. These sisters have to unravel the heartbreak and deceit of their mother's past, all the while trying to survive their present. And WICKED LIKE A WILDFIRE will sweep us all along for the ride.

Sexual Content: References to sex. ( )
  Capnrandm | May 2, 2018 |
“Your beauty is a force, you know, a power all its own. It can be both sword and shield for you, and win you anything you want.”
I love magical realism! Having read two really fantastic ones in the past month has reignited by love for this magically captivating genre. Wicked Like a Wildfire is an enchanting story of beauty, power, family, and love. Iris and Malina’s family has a history of manipulating or “gleaming” beauty into magical works of art. But their mother is adamant that they keep their abilities a secret, and above all, never fall in love. But when their mother is attacked, Iris and Malina must uncover family secrets that can change their lives forever.

Things I Liked
I absolutely loved the descriptive writing in the story. Each room, setting, food, smell, and perfume were all vividly described. It really highlighted the beauty in their world, and their appreciation of it. I thought it worked perfectly with their magic.

I loved the magic and powers displayed in the story. They were so incredibly unique. I loved that the powers were related to beauty and beauty manipulations through the senses. It was so cool and created fantastic visuals for me. And I really love the family history we get in the last third of the book - it helped create a fuller world.

I really like the different representations we got in the story. Iris and Malina are both half-Japanese. Luka and Nikoletta, their best friends, are Romany. Malina and Niko are in a wlw relationship. It was great to see some diversity in this magical story.

I actually really loved all of the romantic relationships in the story. They are cute and adorable and so easy to root for. Even though they have been warned to never fall in love, the romances have emotion and history behind them that make them believable.

I wasn’t actually sold on the sibling relationship between Iris and Malina until about the 65% mark, but once we hit there, the entire story elevated for me. You can clearly see the sisterly love between them. They are so devoted to one another and have some fantastic moments, including my favorite scene in the entire book.

Quotes:
“Nothing is ever simple. There was no such thing as the one and only truth, and that too was a freedom in itself.”
“Or maybe that was what it always felt like, knowing you might lose everything when you’d only just discovered all there was to live for. The sheer brilliance of the light against the darkness was almost too much to stand.”

Things I Didn’t Like
I didn’t like Jasmina at all. She was actually a pretty awful mom, who was physically and verbally abusive. Her relationship with Iris was especially combative and tense. I understand the motivations behind her actions, but I still didn’t like them. And I feel like we didn't get enough time with her for me to really connect with her.

I personally found some of the chapter transitions, especially in the beginning, to be rather abrupt. They felt like they happened mid-scene. But once you hit the 30% mark, it really isn’t an issue anymore. The transitions were just not as seamless as I would have liked.

This book had a slow start for me, but really picked-up around the 65% mark and truly captivated me from then on. I loved the development in Iris and Malina’s relationship, their growth individually and together. The romances, while not a major part, felt emotionally real and I really liked them. I loved the beauty and effervescent zeal the book had. The ending was also FANTASTIC - I got a real Hades and Persephone vibe that sets up the conclusion to this duology to be everything I could ever want.

I received a copy of the book from Katherine Tegen Books in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  LifeofaLiteraryNerd | Apr 27, 2018 |
Student Review by: Anita O (Grade 12)
Book Grade Level: 9+
Library Merit: Between mediocre and good
Characterization: Good

Iris and her (fraternal) twin sister Malina each have a magical ability that they call a “gleam.” Malina uses music to sway other people’s emotions while Iris transforms flowers into captivating fractals (structures with seemingly never-ending patterns). Raised in the Balkan country of Montenegro, Jasmina, the sisters’ cold and insensitive mother has the girls practicing their gleams in secret in order to not be branded as witches by the locals. Although the girls--mostly Iris--had a hostile relationship with their mother, devastation overcomes them when they discover their mother literally hovering between life and death. With this, it’s up to Iris and Malina to discover who or what did this to their mother. Little do they know that along this journey, they will be discovering a lot more about themselves and their family than their mother let on.

I’m going to go the cliche route and say that “it’s not you, it’s me.” The dialogue between the characters was very realistic and relatable, which contributed to a pleasant and satisfying flow, which I very much enjoyed. I also deeply enjoy books that are more or less even to fast paced, which this book unfortunately is anything but. Wicked Like a Wildfire is so extremely detailed and slow-paced that it felt rather unnecessary at times. The author would add long details of people and places that just dragged on and admittedly made me it difficult for me to whole-heartedly invest my time in the book. I’m sure that there are many individuals out there that would enjoy the pace of this book, but I unfortunately am not one of those people. I never thought I would be saying this about a book, but I believe that if this book eased up on its lengthy descriptions and picked up the pace, it could have easily been added to my top 20 favorite YA books of the year.

Recommendation(s): This book is probably more suited for people that enjoy intricately written (fantasy) books. Don’t get me wrong, even I cannot deny that this book was beautifully written, but the style just isn’t for me. But of course, to each their own. ( )
  SWONroyal | Jan 3, 2018 |
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Dedication
To my own Mama and Tata, for their boundless love and steadfast support. I couldn't have done this without you.
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Cattaro, Montenegro
My sister and I were born all tangled up together, both tiny enough that our unruly decent just narrowly missed killing our mother.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006243683X, Hardcover)

“Lush. Delicious. Bewildering. And darkly magical. Popovic has created a world that you tumble into from the very first words and wish you could stay in forever.” —Evelyn Skye, author of The Crown's Game

Wicked Like a Wildfire was like devouring a succulent fairy fruit—it will rob your time, settle into your dreams, and leave you starving for more.” —Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen

Fans of Holly Black and Leigh Bardugo will be bewitched by Lana Popovic's debut YA fantasy novel about a bargain that binds the fates—and hearts—of twin sisters to a force larger than life.

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?

Wicked Like a Wildfire is the first in a two-book series. Readers will be rapt with anticipation for the sequel.

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 18 Mar 2017 23:28:46 -0400)

Publisher Annotation: All the women in Iris and Malina?s family have the unique magical ability or (3zsgleam(3y sto 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?… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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