Review: A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Wicked Magic is a young adult fantasy novel that claims to be akin to what happens when “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets The Craft.” Dan and Liss came into their powers after stumbling upon The Black Book. It wasn’t long before they were drunk on its power. They grew reckless, resulting in the disappearance of Liss’ boyfriend and, ultimately, their fallout. During their separation, Dan befriends another girl, Alexa, who just so happens to have her own magical awakening. Their journeys weave together, tethering the most unlikely of friends to seemingly impossible tasks—finding the boy they lost, subduing an ancient evil, and confronting a cult.

I will caution anyone who has difficulties with the following subject matter to read with caution: parental neglect/emotional/physical abuse, self-harm, sexual impulsivity/predation/sex addiction, grooming.

A Wicked Magic was everything I could have hoped for and more. There was a unique portrayal of magic and its practice and similarly unique characters. I enjoyed the difference in the main characters and especially appreciated that Laurens didn’t shy away from making them unlikeable. They were relatable in the way that someone who survived their teen years can relate to the melodrama of youth. I also appreciated (and respected) the approach that Laurens took to tackling unhealthy coping mechanisms and toxic family dynamics. There are some nods to predatory relationships with teen girls and far older men. While the subject matter is uncomfortable (and likely should have been flagged as a potential trigger), I do appreciate that the narrative and undertone acknowledge it for the unhealthy/dangerous thing that it is.

The story was not quite what I was expecting. I anticipated something a hair more action-packed, but the bulk of the story surrounded the trio coming together. Or, more accurately, Dan and Liss, while Alexa fell away. We got to watch as they waded through the murky waters of ego and hurt feelings. It was confusing in the way that all teen relationships were, but as someone who might have been a bit messy during her teen years, I found it not so surprisingly dissimilar from my own fall apart with friends. Though with decidedly less magic. Unfortunately. 

All in all, this was a stunning example of what I wish every YA fantasy was. It was gripping, chilling at times, beautifully written, and ugly. This is my first time reading anything from Laurens, and I can safely say that I will be looking into reading more from her in the future.

Have you read A Wicked Magic? I’d love to know what you think!

You can find Sasha Laurens: Goodreads, Instagram, Tiktok, Twitter, and her website.

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