Rant, Review

Review: Witch Please by Ann Aguirre (2021)

Fix-It Witches, Book #1

Heat Factor: She climbs him like a tree, so that’s fun…but I would have liked a little more communication beforehand

Character Chemistry: They were so not on the same page but also so into each other

Plot: So many drama shenanigans 

Overall: Oof

Most important question: How does a woman (an only child) born after 1989 know about the 90s phenomenon of POG collections? Did little kids also collect POGs?

Housekeeping: I received this as an audiobook egalley. I have been struggling to read more than 250-ish page books, and audiobooks have been a brain-saver for me, so I was excited that this pretty well-hyped book was made available. Typically audiobook narration is too slow for me at 1x speed, so I listen at a speed that the voices still sound normal and not rushed. In this case I believe it was about 1.3x. The narrator was lovely! I have never heard Ava Lucas’s narration before, but her tempo and voices suited the narrative and were not distracting. Good narrators are a delight.

On to the book!

*As I wrote this review, it became more and more ranty. SorryNotSorry.

This is the type of heroine that really challenges me, and I will say that Aguirre presented Danica’s personality extremely consistently and in a manner that rings true. But she’s also a character who is trying to please everyone else at the expense of her own happiness and peace of mind, and, eventually, everyone else’s as well. I spent most of the book wanting to scream at Danica to make her own choices, set her own boundaries, and stop letting other people blame her for things that are 1. Not her fault and 2. Pretty natural. (Like, blaming people for inconveniently catching feelings is a totally shit thing to do, right?)

Danica’s feelings and choices might be understandable, but her treatment of Titus is (arguably) inconsiderate a lot of the time. I have no personal experience with this, but it seems to me that dating people need to be more upfront about communicating their expectations for dating and exclusivity. If this is not actually a problem that dating people have (seems unlikely because, hello, people), then maybe romance authors should stop using miscommunication about these expectations as a conflict point in their books. 

ANYWAY, Danica has a ton of garbage floating around in her head, so it’s no wonder she lands where she does with Titus, but she never (never. NEVER.) discusses with Titus that she’s only interested in a fling. (Probably because she’s not only interested in a fling, she just feels like she has to be thanks to all the aforementioned GARBAGE.) So what does she do? She climbs him like a tree, has unprotected sex with him (But it’s fine because she knows that she doesn’t have to worry about pregnancy or disease because she’s a witch. Nevermind that he has no idea of any of that.) and then semi-ghosts him, stringing him along juuuuuust enough that he doesn’t quite realize he’s being ghosted, until he finds her on a date with another man. At which point he does, in fact, regret losing his virginity with her after all. 

Danica, Danica, Danica. Danica has been dealing with all this witchy nonsense that made me immediately go, “Really, Danica?” but she’s been manipulated since childhood and I guess never asking a SINGLE QUESTION has ever occurred to her. 

🧹Like. Yiiiiikes this whole witch community is really controlling in dystopian ways. Because if a witch tells anybody who isn’t a witch about witchiness, that witch’s memory will be wiped and the mundane person will be, like, vaporized or whatever. So that’s a thing.

🧹(But there are witch hunters? But that’s for the next book, which I’m really curious about even though I honest-to-god wanted to strangle Danica’s cousin, Clem, who falls for the witch hunter. Obviously.)

🧹And then on top of that, Danica’s grandmother is, like, an anti-mundane bigot and has been manipulating Danica and her cousin since they were children, which was totally gross. (As, I grant you, it was meant to be.) (She’s the reason that Danica was on that date with not-Titus.)

🧹Her cousin, who is like her sister (as we are told multiple times) and is supposed to be this great relationship in her life, gaslights her and makes her feel guilty for having pretty much any feelings at all, and piles on with opinions about how marrying a mundane would be betraying the sisterhood of their coven. (I was done with Clem when she volunteered to handle the witch hunter by herself during a coven meeting and then threw it back in Danica’s face as a burden she was being forced to deal with when she and Danica were fighting. Before that she was a brat. After that…)

🧹Speaking of Danica’s supposedly all-important coven sisterhood, it will abandon her if she marries a mundane? At least, this is what Danica believes and what Clem also thinks will happen if Danica chooses the wrong partner. What kind of sisterhood abandons a member like that? (If I’m being completely honest, I don’t think this would happen, as pretty much every member of the coven except for Clem was pretty awesome.) (But still.)

🧹And Danica feels so bad for her pathetic, magickless mother who pathetically married her mundane father for love and is extremely pathetic. Does she ever talk to her mother about anything involving their witchiness or her life choices? She. Does. Not. (Until it becomes useful to the plot, that is.) 

What are you doing, Danica? Is this the life you want to be living?

Which, of course, is the whole point. Danica’s problem to overcome so that she can finally be happy and have the life she truly wants. But even though I knew this every step of the way, I still never got over feeling squicky about how Danica’s relationship with Titus was going. 

Titus met Danica and thought, “She’s the one!” And it was totally adorable. He’s a bit of a sad sack himself, having been dumped by all of his previous partners before they ever got serious enough for anything (hence virgin status), so his being enamored of Danica so immediately is also a bit sad sackish. I suppose this is why we’re meant to excuse the way that Danica essentially uses Titus to meet her own needs without giving much thought to what he’s thinking or what his needs are? I don’t know. Things were going along okay in that dramatic, angsty, internal struggle based on a bunch of internalized B.S. sort of way, and then Danica and Titus had sex for the first time and instead of feeling like it was really hot (OMG they just can’t even wait to find a bed! Office chair sex, FTW!) I got squicked out and never fully recovered. 

This book is probably best for readers who enjoy or prefer a heroine-centered story that’s mostly playful and who don’t overthink things. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

Buy Now: Amazon | Bookshop

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2 thoughts on “Review: Witch Please by Ann Aguirre (2021)”

    1. Thank you! It is a bummer when something that was supposed to be fun just… isn’t, so I hear you. I thought Alexis Hall articulated a number of thoughts about this book that my review maybe only touched on (his review was longer), so you might like to check that out. But also there were a ton of reviewers I love to follow who thought the book was just fun, so I figure it’ll boil down to how much the reader is willing to simply let go and be swept into the story. Best of luck in your decision making! 🙂


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