A review by marvintheparanoidandroid
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

funny lighthearted relaxing medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


Honestly, this did exactly what I needed it to do at the time, which was just be very cute and tropey and easy and relaxing to read. It kind of reads like witchy The House in the Cerulean Sea fanfiction (even the cover looks like it) - in that it is nowhere near as good, but it scratches that itch that fanfiction is for - meets Netflix romcom, but sometimes that is just exactly what you need.

Sadly, it is straight. Nothing wrong with that, but I somehow thought this was gonna be gay and was slightly disappointed, but that's on me for not reading the back of the book and just going ohhh yes, witches, gay.
The love interest (Jamie) also just felt very flat to me. He was basically just a copy-paste grumpy librarian guy so that it could be a grumpy-sunshine romance and then suddenly was nice without proper development or maybe I just wasn't paying attention and missed it, I don't know. Like, his heart was obviously in the right place the whole time but the brooding mean guy aesthetic just doesn't make sense for him at all.
Same goes for Terracotta actually. I know she's supposed to be a Wednesday Addams/Thalia figure, but I just didn't buy it.
I did appreciate the golden retriever, koi and constantly scheming fairy godmother Ian though.

SpoilerAnd the whole murder storyline was weeeeird. I mean, they didn't kill her, but I am still slightly weirded out by the fact that they just buried a human body in the backyard and everybody pretended that this wasn't a big deal.

Basically, this was just a sunshine-grumpy/found family/witches romance with the rest coloured in a little and it was tropey and cliché as hell, but again, sometimes that is just what you need.
I will however not forgive Jamie for unironically using tumblr quotes about how "we are all made of stardust". This physically hurt to read. Wtf, Jamie, honestly.