The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

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“It’s a leap of faith to love people and let yourself be loved. It’s closing your eyes, stepping off a ledge into nothing, and trusting that you’ll fly rather than fall. I can’t step off the ledge for you. It’s something only you can do.”

Goodreads / Amazon / Storygraph

Summary

Mika Moon is one of the last few witches in Britain. She knows how important it is to hide her magic, keep her head down, and stay away from other witches. So their power doesn’t mingle and draw attention. As an orphan who lost her parents at a young age and raised by strangers, Mika is used to being alone. 

She follows the rules with one exception, she posts to an online account pretending to be a witch. Knowing that no one will take it seriously. 

Except someone does. An unexpected message arrives, pleading for Mika to travel to a remote and mysterious Nowhere House. To teach three young witches how to control their magic. Despite it breaking the rules, Mika goes and immediately becomes tangled up in the lives of her three charges, but also an absent archeologist, retired actor, two long-suffering caretakers, and… Jamie. 

The handsome and prickly librarian of Nowhere House who would do anything to protect the children and as far as he’s concerned, Mika is a threat. Even if she is an appealing one. 

As Mike begins to find her footing within Nowhere House, the thought of belonging someone creeps in. But magic isn’t the only danger in the world and when a threat comes to Nowhere House, Mika must decide if she is willing to risk everything for a found family she didn’t know she was looking for. 

Thoughts on the Plot

This was a book I listened to as an audiobook and genuinely enjoyed the narrator, Samara MacLaren.

The plot was a little predictable if I am being honest. There were not a lot of twists and turns and the ending was alright. 

This book definitely has all the cozy, cottagecore, witchy, found family vibes to it and I did very much enjoy those aspects. 

The book is very character centric. While there is some stuff happening, it all seems a bit secondary to what is going on with the characters. 

The ending was a bit confusing to me, when the owner of the house, Lillian Nowhere showed up. There was some backstory with her character but it kinda went over my head.

The stakes also were but also weren’t high. Like we know the clock is ticking and Mika feels the pressure to help the girls but at the same time, it wasn’t really that serious. 

I also was not expecting this book to have spice! I am on the fence about the spice because I can’t help but wonder if the author added it in to appeal to the masses or because it felt like it fit. 

As much as I love spice in books, I wasn’t a fan of it in this book and surprisingly would have preferred it been close door or fade to black to keep with the cozy, charming, and innocent undertones this book had. 

Thoughts on the Characters

I wasn’t really a big fan of this cast of characters. 

Mika lives a very quiet and lonely life. I felt for her on this front, but also kind of wanted her to just forge her own path. 

When Mika then moves to Nowhere House to nanny three little witches (Rosette, Terracotta, and Altamira), she feels this is an opportunity to help three little girls in need of some care and guidance. 

The little girls were very cute and one very murderous, but I kinda wished they had more personality, they felt stunted where I wanted them to be more curious, adventurous, and careless. 

We also meet the other inhabitants of Nowhere House. Ken who loves the garden, Ian, who is Ken’s husband, and is quite energetic and sarcastic. There is Lucie, the housekeeper. 

And Jamie, the grumpy introvert who cares for the library, and is not happy about Mika’s arrival. 

Together, they all made a very lovely and interesting found family. The story truly begins when Mika arrives at Nowhere House in my opinion. 

Nowhere House reminds me of other stories with unconventional characters together under one roof, like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. I’ve also seen this book compared to The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune but I have yet to read that book. 

Overall Thoughts

Overall, this was an interesting read. Although I did not necessarily like all of the characters, I did find myself semi-invested in what would happen to Mika and the girls.

This book is definitely the perfect fall read. I read it in August but kinda wished I had waited till it was chilly.

All in all a solid 4 stars out of 5 stars. This book was not my favorite, but definitely was an enjoyable read. 


Goodreads / Amazon / Storygraph


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