WICKED LIKE A WILDFIRE (Hibiscus Daughter #1)
Author: Lana Popović
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
To-be Published: August 15th 2017
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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?
This book has one of the most beautiful writing I’ve ever seen. I’d go as far as to say it’s on par with Laini Taylor. It’s magic.
Wicked like a wildfire is a novel about twin sisters who have the ability to manipulate beauty. They live quiet lives with their mother, Jasmina, who has the ability to make pastry that transports people and evokes beautiful imagery of places in their minds. She is fierce, insanely protective and a bit paranoid. She forbids her daughters from ever “gleaming” in public and from ever falling in love.
Iris has the ability to see flowers as fractals and can turn her kaleidoscope visions into glass-work. She is as fierce as Jasmina and is quite a rebel, often fighting with her mother.
Malina can interpret moods as music and has the ability to entrance people with her musical abilities. She’s the sweet, cinnamon-roll twin who’d never hurt a fly.
The sisters’ sheltered life is abruptly turned upside down when their mother is attacked. To save her, the girls set off in search of answers, accompanied by two of their close friends. Slowly they start to unravel their mother’s mysterious past and discover a curse that looms over their family line.
I haven’t seen anyone point this out but I feel it’s incredibly important to mention that Wicked like a wildfire has some diversity. The book is set in Montenegro and the twins are half-Japanese. There’s also a F/F romance and it is the purest, most adorable thing ever. Also, the twins’ close friends are Romani.
This is a book that so perfectly explores the relationships between sisters and mothers and daughters. It was especially beautiful to witness the relationship between Iris and Malina; it brought me near tears several times throughout. The characters felt so real and incredibly complex. There was a lot of girl power; the women introduced in this book are all beautiful and deadly in their own ways. The magical aspects of this book are truly original and everything has an almost circus-like + witchy vibe, which I adored. The writing is absolutely gorgeous; lush, magical and out-of-this-world. One of the most unique books I’ve ever read. It did take me some time to get into the story and I wanted some of the side characters to be more fleshed-out, but aside from that, I really recommend this book!
Lana Popović’s debut YA contemporary fantasy, WICKED LIKE A WILDFIRE, is forthcoming from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins in Summer 2017. Lana studied psychology and literature at Yale University, and law at Boston University. She is a graduate of the Emerson College Publishing and Writing program and works as a literary agent with Chalberg & Sussman, specializing in YA. She lives in Boston, subsisting largely on cake, gimlets, and eyeliner.