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Wicked Like a Wildfire

(Hibiscus Daughter #1)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  3,790 ratings  ·  767 reviews
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 thei ...more
Hardcover, 405 pages
Published August 15th 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Agnik The author confirmed that this series : Hibiscus Daughter, will be a duology. The second book will be titled 'Fierce Like A Firestorm' and will come o…moreThe author confirmed that this series : Hibiscus Daughter, will be a duology. The second book will be titled 'Fierce Like A Firestorm' and will come out in Summer 2018.
Hope I helped :)(less)
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Average rating 3.54  · 
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 ·  3,790 ratings  ·  767 reviews

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Emily May
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
In some ways, I feel like I'm being generous. I'm upping my rating to two stars, and yet this book was so painfully slow and boring.

I've mostly been reading it during the day whilst on vacation so I'm neither tired nor grumpy, but I could feel my eyes trying to close as they moved through the pages of snoozeworthy text. It just goes to show that having beautiful, poetic writing and an exciting setting in Montenegro cannot make up for a plot that takes forever to go anywhere.

On the other hand, I
High Lady of The Night Court
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-read
“Nothing tamed can curb what grew unfettered.”

Wicked Like A Wildfire was nothing like I expected. The only reason I kept this book off for so long is because I read the blurb a long time ago and,sadly, the only part I remembered was that the girls were forbidden to love, which led me to the, frankly stupid, notion that this book would be a story about girls who are not supposed to fall in love but someone falls in love and the world goes to hell because of it. But I seemed to have forgotten
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a stunning book about the relationships between mothers and daughters, and sisters. The writing was utterly beautiful, and I've never read anything like it. The characters, especially the twins, were flawed and real. This is a great debut - keep your eye out for it next year! ...more
Iryna *Book and Sword*
Jul 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
1.5/5 stars (DNF at page 215) (rounded down)

What's that saying?
"Don't judge a book by its cover."? Well it goes both ways. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful cover, but the novel itself? Not so much.

But let's start with the good stuff:
- The cover, obviously.
- This book will make you hungry will all of its desert descriptions. Like "so hungry can't stop drooling hungry!"
- This book made me want to buy myself flowers, many flowers.
​- It also made me want to wear more perfume (which I mean, I'm al
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
On sale this week! Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

In Wicked Like a Wildfire (2017), magic and secrecy swirl around Iris and Malina, a pair of seventeen year old fraternal twins who live in current-day Montenegro with their single mother, Jasmina. Jasmina confides to them that all of the women in their family have a distinct gleam, a magical way to create and enhance beauty. Jasmina bakes marvelous foods that call particular visual scenes to the minds of those who eat them. Mal
Wren (fablesandwren)
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 02-stars, not-shelved
"If you love the cover, you'll love the book!"

Never judge a book by its cover. Especially when the cover is as beautiful as that with a perfect add-on of a title.

I was just bored.

There was a lot of fluffy and beautiful descriptions but not enough content for me. And the characters didn’t really seem to have actual relations. You know like you can call someone your best friend but are you actually best friends? You can say that you hate someone so much you would push them in front of a bus, but
Simona B
I'm really, honestly tired of and terribly sorry for having to say this, especially when it's a book that offers such potential for diversity I'm talking about, but there's just no other way of putting it: good concept, poor execution.

Wicked Like a Wildfire is set in Cattaro, Montenegro, which is maybe its strongest asset and the thing about it that appealed to me the most. In the course of the book, the characters visit some characteristic places of the area for plot-related reasons (e.g., Ou
Sarah Elizabeth
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

This was a YA paranormal/fantasy story about two sisters with special gifts.

I liked Iris and Malina, and I liked how much they supported each other, even when their mother seemed to favour Malina.

The storyline in this was about the two girls having magical gifts that their mother had warned them to keep hidden, Iris’ ability to make fractal patterns out of flowers, and Malina’s ability to sing emotions to p
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
“Your beauty is a force, you know, a power all its own. It can be both sword and shield for you, and win you anything you want.”

I love magical realism! Having read two really fantastic ones in the past month has reignited by love for this magically captivating genre. Wicked Like a Wildfire is an enchanting story of beauty, power, family, and love. Iris and Malina’s family has a history of manipulating or “gleaming” beauty into magical works of art. But their mother is adamant that th
Nov 19, 2016 marked it as to-read
Oh my goodness. That synopsis actually made my heart pound.

All the women in Iris and Malina's family are born with a gleam—a unique way of manipulating beauty through magic.

I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover but I'm judging so hard right now. "A bewitching duology about the power of love, death, magic, and the many faces of beauty"? Um, give it to me now, please.

To save each other, they must untangle a thousand years of lies and reveal their own hurtful secrets.

Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a dazzling visual feast (and a graphic or CGI artist's dream project). I could give this book 5 stars solely on that. Or for the simply stunning writing that graces practically every page (from the breathtaking descriptions of Montenegro that make me want to go there RIGHT NOW to the vivid/visceral portrayal of her protagonist's passionate inner life - as well as the artful rendering of the book's unique "gleam" magic). *SPOILER ALERT* But I am also giving this book 5 stars for the ...more

I really don’t know where to start with this.
First things first. You have to like the writing style, otherwise this book will only turn out super boring and confusing.
And I’m definitely in the (very) confused category. I really didn’t like the style used. Everything is described so slowly and with smells and scents.
At the beginning it sounded very interesting but after a while it started to bore me to sleep.

I wanted a very cool magical mystery book but it’s super slow and the mystery is too.
Dec 01, 2016 marked it as nevermind
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have been dying to dive into this series for the LONGEST time. Two years is a long time right?

Wicked Like A Wildfire totally consumed me. I honestly couldn't put my phone down. Mostly because then that would pull my headphones out of my ears.. and it would just hurt. Luckily for me, not so much for my ears, I fell in love with absolutely everything about this book.

In it, you will meet Iris and some other characters. Iris, is and was my girl for forever. I loved her from the very beginning bec
Jilly Gagnon
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am in LOVE with this book.

I could not get enough of the stunning prose Popovic weaves around her characters, and scenery, like a subtle perfume, coloring every moment on the page with richness and beauty. As if that's not enough, the plot is incredibly engrossing and the characters all burst off the page, fully-formed, flawed, and fascinating.

At this point, I'm just salivating for book two. A must-read from 2017.
I honestly expected to love this book, fantasy is my favourite genre and I love magic so it seemed right up my street and then you throw in that gorgeous cover and of course I'm going to pick up a copy.

Unfortunately it just didn't work for me though. There's no denying that Lana Popović's writing is beautiful but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. There are pages upon pages of description, great when she's describing the Montenegro setting and the beautiful mountains, but it starts
Norah Una Sumner
I just realized this is set in Montenegro.


Wassup neighbours?
enqi ☁️✨
Wicked Like a Wildfire is now only $1.99 on Kindle!!
'Nothing was ever simple. There was no such thing as the one and only truth, and that too was a freedom in itself.'*

WTF was that ending?!

So. As much as I enjoyed reading Wicked Like a Wildfire, I have to say that I found the beginning tough to read because of the intense mother-daughter relationship to the point where they both slut-shamed each other. Um not entirely okay reading that. Moreover, it read very much like a debut and I wasn't too fond of the overt descriptive writing i.e.

'Above us
Lana Popović
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This book sounds like it was written by a very hungry person who walks around sniffing too many things. Idk, idk.
Natasha Ngan
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an early copy - which in a way turned out to be somewhat unlucky, as I have longer to wait for the sequel! WLAW is a beautifully executed novel (Lana's writing is just so, so gorgeous!) with the perfect blend of mystery, romance, adventure and magic. Prepare to be utterly seduced. ...more
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sisters
When she was younger, Iris could see flowers and the rest of the world as flowers, could blow beautiful glass. All the women in her family have had this sort of gleam, the ability to manipulate beauty. Now that power is all but gone.

Working in her mother's bakery in a little sea side town, Iris detests her mother, the woman who forbid her from using her gift and from loving. The only things she really has going for her are her twin sister, Malina, and her best friend, Luka, who brings her flower
May 02, 2017 added it
Shelves: 2017, arc
This is a case of where beautiful writing and an exotic setting cannot save a plot that refuses to move. I love the world-building and the build-up, but when little is revealed in the first half of the book, it gives the reader very little desire to continue on.

Where's the pull, the excitement?

I'm disappointed.
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's hard to express exactly why I liked this novel, even though I know for sure that I did. It's wonderfully whimsical, crammed to the brim with odd, dark, beautiful magic, a potent mix of lore and culture. While it does start off fairly slow, I think it builds up into something that I just couldn't look away from, and I'm looking forward to reading the next one. ...more
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Reviewing books by way of stars often feels so lazy, but I'm not sure how else to do it here.

See, for the entire first half, this was sitting at a solid 4 for me, with a few moments here and there that made me either wince or swoon. And then a whole bunch of crazy happens, where the main explanation seems to always be "but beauty", and there's no way it's anywhere near a 4 star book after that, surely. Except the last few pages and the ending maybe shifted it back up a little in my good graces..
Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
I have complicated feelings about Wicked Like a Wildfire.
– I didn’t love how slow the beginning was. I feel like it took forever.
– I do think it picked up nicely about midway through.
– While the writing was beautiful sometimes it was just too much, too flowery for my liking.
– I think the mystery and discovery of what was going on was fascinating and fun.
– I didn’t love the cliffhanger – even though I knew it was coming. I just hate them.
– I did really enjoy the characters and their progression.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: beautiful-covers
This book was absolutely stunning! Every single description was beautifully done. From the scents, to tastes, and to the imaginary. A treat to any candle maker out there.
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a marvellous and engrossing fairy tale-like read for young and old alike! Set in Montenegro in a small town by the sea and against the mountains, two sisters and their mother have magical powers that they must keep secret. Iris can see flowers as fractals and recreates them into glassworks. Malina interprets moods as music and sings them. Their mother Yasmina can transport people to memories through her baked creations. One day Yasmina is attacked. The police are useless, so in thei ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was such a pleasant surprise! I actually put off reading it for almost a year, because it didn't really appeal to me for some reason. I don't even know why, because this turned out to be right up my alley. The writing was lush and beautiful, and the whole vibe of the book was mysterious and drew me in right away. The only thing that put me off a little was that the story got a little messy towards the end, but some of the surprising plottwists mostly made up for that. I'm definitely going t ...more
Sep 23, 2020 rated it liked it
2.75/5 Stars

Wicked Like a Wildfire has a lot to offer in terms of original plot and magical aspects. It is infused with fascinating elements that make the story interesting to read and definitely make it stand out from other books about magic. The setting is also different, the novel is set in Montenegro and it was such a pleasant experience to learn more about that place and the people who live there.

Unfortunately I believe this book lacked some better descriptions of the magic system. The wi
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Lana Popović's debut YA contemporary fantasy, WICKED LIKE A WILDFIRE, was published by Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins in August 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, subsi

Other books in the series

Hibiscus Daughter (2 books)
  • Fierce Like a Firestorm (Hibiscus Daughter, #2)

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61 likes · 15 comments
“For me, it was the hibiscus flower, the petal red and fleshy as our mother trailed it over the tip of my nose, before she let me gum it to release its tart flavor. For Malina, it was a gleaming, perfect cherry, which Mama crushed into a paste that she let my sister suck from her ring finger. It was bad luck to name a daughter after the thing that first sparked the gleam, Mama said. So I was Iris, for a flower that wasn’t hibiscus, and my sister was Malina, for a raspberry. They were placeholder names that didn’t pin down our true nature, so nothing would ever be able to summon us. No demon or vila would ever reel us in by our real names. Even caught up in the story, Mama could never quite explain what the gleam looked like once she found it.” 1 likes
“[She] had sounded like the rain. Sometimes storms, sometimes light patters, sometimes the sweet, lashing gales after a long drought. Sometimes even the kind that came with rainbows. The kind you wanted to feel on your face while you held the rest of your body underwater in the summer sea.

Rain could be so warm. No one ever really talked about that.”
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