by Sangu Mandanna
I first came across this book on TikTok, and it’s one of the reasons I haven’t entirely written off book recs I find on there. This is exactly as cute, cozy, diverse, and inclusive as everyone said it was.
Mika Moon is one of the few witches left in England, and she’s been taught all her life that to protect her kind, she must stay away from them. Strange things happen when witches get together. The magic that gathers around them is too strong to control, and any inevitable slip might lead to exposure and, well, villagers with pitchforks and the bad kind of bonfires.
So Mika has spent most of her life alone, never setting down roots or letting herself form connections. When an eccentric retired actor reaches out to her, begging her to come help teach three adolescent witches to control their magic, the temptation is too strong to resist. Against her better judgment, she makes the trek out to Nowhere House.
Mika is such a strong, sympathetic main character. It’s easy to empathize with her loneliness and isolation, especially after the past few years we’ve all had. She’s also intelligent and unflappable, staying calm in situations that would make most adults see red. I cannot tell you how refreshing I found her levelheadedness and quick thinking.
Nowhere House and the people who live there are exactly what someone like her needs. They’re welcoming and nonjudgmental (with the exception of the eventual love interest, Jamie), and there’s so much love between them that it almost instantly overflows onto Mika. Watching her settle into her life there and her role as magical instructor felt like being hugged by a book. It was just so nice.
And while, yes, eventually, things have to come to a head, the stakes felt relatively low, so I was never super stressed while reading. I trusted that these characters would figure everything out in their own quirky, hilarious way.
If you’re into found families, cozy reads, and low-stakes plots, this one is definitely for you. I smiled the whole time I was reading it and can easily see myself diving back in any time I need a sweet escape from this sometimes nightmarish world.