Review: Backyard Witchcraft

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher as part of an Instagram book tour I did for TLC Book Tours.

This was an informative book centering on three types of witches: the green witch, the kitchen witch, and the hedge witch. It discussed each type of witch and some of their particulars, like what tools they each use. The book also had an abundance of information on general witchcraft. For example, there is a chapter on purifying your home. I learned quite a bit, like how the moon affects plant growth (there is science to back that up). That being said this book is very focused on green witchcraft, so if you are looking for something more broader, this book won’t be for you. 

The best part of the book were the illustrations. This book is loaded with pictures to showcase exactly what the book is talking about such as plants. The illustrations were also just a nice aesthetic touch. The pictures made the book feel very cozy and homey which made it an inviting and pleasant read. 

The book lacks a concluding chapter, something I always like to see in a nonfiction book. I would have liked to seen a short chapter with some final thoughts about the practice of witchcraft. 

Overall, this is a beautiful witchy reference book! If you are interested in learning more about green witchcraft, then consider checking this book out! 


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Review: Snapdragon

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free as part of an Instagram book tour (Storygram Tours) I did to promote the book.

This was such a cute graphic novel!

The story was so heartwarming. I loved how Jacks and Snapdragon’s backgrounds and pasts were connected. There were some parts where I was wondering on the relevance of some things (like the story of One-Eyed Tom), but it all came together at the end. 

However, in regards to the plot, I wanted more about the magic. Since this is a book about a witch, naturally there is magic, but it was a little vague on how it all worked. I would have loved to seen it explored in more detail. 

The diversity and representation in this book is amazing! There was so much black and LGBTQ representation. For example, Snapdragon’s friend, Lulu is transgender. I loved seeing how Lulu slowly came out to be the person she was meant to be! 

The art style worked well with the story. The color use in particular was incredibly well done. I liked how vibrant the art was. 

Lastly, I thought they should have stuck with the original name of the novel, Roadkill Witch. Snapdragon is too basic of a name for this slightly odd (in a good way) graphic novel.

Overall, this was a charming graphic novel with a dash of magic. If you’re looking for a quick read this spooky season, give this one a try! 


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Review: All Our Hidden Gifts (All Our Hidden Gifts #1)

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher (Walker Books US) in exchange for an honest review. 

I was very excited to read this book because it focuses on tarot and I recently just learned how to read tarot. 

Speaking of tarot, I liked how there were pictures of the tarot cards scattered throughout the book. I think that is so helpful for readers who may not be familiar with tarot cards and what each card looks like. 

When it comes to the characters, there is so much representation. Roe is non-binary. Maeve has a lesbian sister. But my favorite character was Fiona, Maeve’s Filipino friend. As a Filipino myself, I love seeing Filipino representation so when Fiona was first introduced, I was ecstatic. I loved that Fiona’s family was a little witchy. Her tita (aunt) is a fortune teller who helps them and tells them about the White Lady (Kaperosa in the Philippines). I found it so refreshing to see a nonwhite representation of witchcraft. So often witchcraft in books is so centered on a white perspective, but witchcraft is in every culture, as Fiona’s tita illustrates. She mentions that versions of the White Lady exist everywhere, in different cultures and places. 

As for the plot, it started off really strong with the mystery of Lily’s disappearance. But about halfway through, it stalled and lost some of its momentum. I felt like it dragged on a bit in the middle. I believe there will be a sequel to this book, and I think the book did set up a sequel very nicely. 

Overall, I recommend this book for anyone looking for a witchy YA read! 


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Review: HausMagick

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received this book for free as part of an Instagram tour (TLC Book Tours specifically) I did to promote the book. 

I was so excited to read this book because I am super interested in witchcraft and I love interior design and all things homey. I was not disappointed.

First off, this is a beautiful coffee table book. Everything about it is high quality from the pages to the photos. It makes the perfect addition to any coffee table or bookshelf display. 

Just a little side note: since this is a coffee table book, this book is not meant to give you a large or comprehensive overview of witchcraft. If you’re looking for that, I suggest reading something else. 

Secondly, I love love LOVE that the author brings up cultural appropriation in witchcraft. It’s a small little mention but much appreciated. She also includes a recommended reading  list at the end for those who are interested in learning more about the original context of some of the practices. 

I also loved the self help elements. Even though this is a book about homes, the self-help elements felt very natural. It ultimately boils down to how YOU connect with your space.

Overall, this is the perfect coffee table book for those looking to add a little magick to their home and life. 

Review: The Lost Coast

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Rating: ★★★½

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Candlewick Press) in exchange for an honest review. 

I had such high hopes for this book, but it ultimately did not live up to my expectations. 

Let’s start with what I did like. 

I liked the diversity. There was a lot of sexual (lesbian, ace, etc.) and racial diversity. One of the girls was Filipino which I was super happy about since I’m Filipino. I love seeing Filipino representation.  

I also liked the aesthetic of the book. The descriptions perfectly captured that foggy, mystical, Northern California vibe. 

Now on to what I didn’t love. 

There were a lot of point of view changes throughout the book which really made it difficult to understand especially in the beginning. Each POV would last for only a few pages so it ended up being a bit jarring and all over the place. 

As for the storyline, it wasn’t exciting. It felt kind of blah to me until the end which is when things finally got interesting. 

I also wished the book focused more on June and Hawthorn. They were my two favorite characters and I wanted to explore more of their backstory. 

Overall, this book had some good moments (Queer POC witches for the win!), but didn’t reach its full potential. 

Review: the witch doesn’t burn in this one (women are some kind of magic #2)

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Click the picture to buy the Target exclusive edition

Rating: ★★★★

This is a review of the Target special edition. It has a red cover instead of the white one, a letter from the author, and bonus poems.

I was so excited to read this because I’ve been super into witches lately. However, I liked this, but I didn’t like it as much as her first collection.

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This collection got a bit repetitive at some points. There were a lot of poems on burning and fire. I wish there would have been more poems about the coven aspect of witches. There was a lot she could have done with covens, especially in the last section. It thought it was a missed opportunity.

Another thing that I didn’t love was how she brought up queens in this book. In the last section she talks about witch-queens, and I wished she would have just focused solely on witches. References to queens should have stayed in her first collection.

As for the bonus poems that are included in this edition, I really loved the first one about girl on girl hate. I wished that would have made the final cut.

Despite all of that, I still enjoyed this collection. There were some really good poems. But overall, it didn’t quite meet my expectations.


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Review: Basic Witches

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Rating: ★★★★½

I received this book for free from the publisher (Quirk Books) in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve been wanting to read this book for the longest time. I’ve been very interested in witches and witchcraft since I read the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and watched The Craft and The Love Witch (I really recommend this movie if you haven’t already seen it).

Please be advised that this book doesn’t feature “real” witchcraft that Wiccans would use, so if you are looking for that, then I would suggest looking elsewhere. Like most of the books Quirk Books publishes, this is more fun than it is serious. Instead this book takes the spirit of witchcraft and combines them with the ideas of feminism and turns it into a self help book.

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From the self help point of view, I found all the chapters to be really empowering and useful. I could definitely see people actually doing some of these rituals. The rituals/spells were all about your mind and how you view situations.

One of my favorite things about this book were the historical sidebars about witches. I always love learning little historical tidbits.

The only thing I didn’t like was that there wasn’t a concluding chapter. I have a thing about nonfiction books and conclusions. I hate it when they just end, without any sort of wrap up. I would have loved to have seen some final words from the authors.

Overall, if you are looking for a fun and different self help book, or want to dabble in witchcraft without going full on Wiccan, then definitely check this book out.

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