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The Witch Haven

[A quick note: I got this copy in my Bookish Box subscription. Itโ€™s such a pretty copy. It took me a year to get to it, and just in time for the second book to come out, which is now released. Iโ€™ve got a photo of the alternative cover in the inside dust jacket down below]

โ€œ๐ˆ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฏ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐. ๐๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ญ๐ฅ๐ž ๐›๐ข๐ญ๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐š๐ ๐ข๐œ ๐›๐š๐œ๐ค ๐š๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ก ๐ญ๐จ ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐ ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž๐ฌ ๐ข๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐ฎ๐ฌ. ๐ˆ๐ญ'๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฏ๐ข๐ฏ๐š๐ฅ. ๐ˆ๐ญ'๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž. ๐ˆ๐ญ'๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฒ.โ€ โ€”Sasha Peyton Smith

Itโ€™s 1911 in New York City. A battle between witches and wizards is brewing. When a disastrous encounter unlocks her magic, Frances Hallowell is thrust into the middle of it. Itโ€™s time to hang up her sewing sheers and step into the magic she was destined to wield.

This atmospheric read will transport you. The heavy dark academia vibes, friendship, magic, and romance will keep you reading late into the night. The character growth is multi faceted. It touches on many deep emotional themes like betrayal, death, and love. While it is very much YA, its the kind of YA that can be enjoyed by all ages.

I loved the storyline. When Frances is swept away to a secret magical academy in New York City, she begins to question the motives behind the magic sheโ€™s learning. Haxahaven wants its witches to be demure, to blend in and hide what they are. Frances finds this problematic because real truth is something darker. No one should have to hide their true self. No one should be punished for being themselves.

โ€œ๐ˆ๐Ÿ ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐š ๐ฆ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ก, ๐ˆ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค ๐ˆ'๐ ๐›๐ž ๐๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐ž๐ซ, ๐ฌ๐š๐ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐œ๐จ๐ฅ๐ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฎ๐ง๐ซ๐ž๐ฆ๐š๐ซ๐ค๐š๐›๐ฅ๐ž, ๐ฅ๐š๐œ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐ข๐ญ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐ช๐ฎ๐ข๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ž๐ซ๐œ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐‰๐š๐ง๐ฎ๐š๐ซ๐ฒ.โ€ โ€”Sasha Peyton Smith

The ending sequence was my favorite part of the book. While there were some predictable aspects, the way things played out was completely unexpected. I ended up bumping this up half a star for that alone. I love it when an ending propels the story to another level, allowing a book to finish strong.

Another thing I loved about the story was the villain. I really appreciate when we get deep insight into the making of a villain. The villain in this story has a bit of a โ€œreverse arc,โ€ so we see them become what they are. Not only that, but this villain is so believable. They have both good and badโ€”well, mostly bad. But there are some facets of this villain that make them relatable and human. This one was deftly crafted, and though I had my budding suspicions early on, it didnโ€™t take away from the surprise of how things ended.

For a YA, this has a more mature feel to it, simply because of the darker themes it confronts, the questions it elicits, and the emotions it creates. It was the perfect autumn, witchy read and I will definitely be reading the second book.

๐Œ๐˜ ๐‘๐€๐“๐ˆ๐๐†: ๐Ÿ’.๐Ÿ“โญ๏ธ


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