Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Book Review: "The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches" by Sangu Mandanna

Friends, please meet my new favorite book of the year!!

When a friend suggested this book for our monthly buddy read, I hadn’t heard of it, but it sounded cute. I wasn’t expecting a book to fill my heart so much.

Mika Moon is a young witch in Great Britain. There is an unspoken rule that witches should hide who they really are, and mostly stay away from each other so their magic doesn’t mingle and cause problems. The one outlet she turns to is posting videos online, where she pretends to be a witch. She figures people will take it as a joke, as camp.

But one day she gets a message requesting her presence at Nowhere House, a mysterious yet charming home. She is asked by the house’s caretakers to help three young witches control their magic so as not to attract attention. Mika knows that having three witches in the same house—even young witches—is potentially dangerous and breaks rules, but she is drawn to the opportunity.

It’s not long before Mika is fully ensconced in Nowhere House, teaching the girls things they never knew. For Mika, who grew up lonely and raised by strangers, being a part of a family of sorts where she can be herself is amazing. She becomes enamored of the girls and the house’s caretakers—a former actor and his gardener husband, a housekeeper, and Jamie, the handsome librarian who is protective of the girls and sees Mika as a threat to their safety.

This book is so full of joy and love, of chosen family, diversity, and the feeling of being totally yourself for the first time. It honestly reminded me of The House in the Cerulean Sea in that this book, too, feels like a gigantic hug, and left me smiling and teary-eyed. Any of these characters could have their own story told.

I wish I could read this again for the first time.

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