The Wise and the Wicked

The Wise and the Wicked

Ruby Chernyavsky has been told the stories since she was a child: The women in her family, once possessed of great magical abilities to remake lives and stave off death itself, were forced to flee their Russian home for America in order to escape the fearful men who sought to destroy them. Such has it always been, Ruby’s been told, for powerful women. Today, these stories...

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Title:The Wise and the Wicked
Author:Rebecca Podos
Rating:

The Wise and the Wicked Reviews

  • Ashley Blake

    I had the honor of getting an early read on this book and oh, oh, the world is going to love this beautiful story.

  • Lala BooksandLala

    Magical

  • Madalyn (Novel Ink)

    This review originally appeared on

    .

    I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    From page one,

    swept me into a world of ancient Russian fairy tales, long-hidden family secrets, and a main character trying to make sense of the world and her place in it. The writing was immersive, the characters were interesting, but the main, glaring issue with this book that I was left fee

    This review originally appeared on

    .

    I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    From page one,

    swept me into a world of ancient Russian fairy tales, long-hidden family secrets, and a main character trying to make sense of the world and her place in it. The writing was immersive, the characters were interesting, but the main, glaring issue with this book that I was left feeling unsatisfied when I flipped the last page. All of the threads of a five-star book were there for me, but the ending felt so clumsy and harried that it truly affected my overall enjoyment and rating.

    As far as characters go, I thought the Chernyavsky family and their complex dynamics were fascinating, if not explored to their full potential. Ruby, our main character, was a little forgettable, but overall easy to root for. Who doesn’t love an angsty teen with plenty of reason to be angsty? I loved Ruby’s sisters, Dahlia and Ginger, and I honestly wish the sister relationship played a larger part in the story. I much preferred their dynamic to Ruby’s dynamic with Cece, her cousin, who is the main secondary character in the story. It seems like Ruby only has negative things to say about Cece in her internal monologue (not all of them deserved), so I didn’t quite understand why Ruby seemed so… obsessed with her cousin? However, I did appreciate the queer rep Cece brought to the story, as it’s often harder to come out to people who you trust with your life than to casual acquaintances. Ruby’s mother and aunts and great aunts are all, for the most part, not great, to put it mildly. I liked the way the author was able to explore morality through these characters, but none of them got a true redemption arc– which, I guess, is somewhat realistic, but didn’t make for the most satisfying reading experience. I did love the Chernyavsky magic and the strong sense of family folklore. Stories about where you came from are part of every family, and I thought that was incorporated beautifully into this book.

    Outside of the Chernyavsky family, there are seemingly endless side characters thrown into the story, but the standout was the love interest, Dov. His family, the Mahalels, end up playing a pretty large part in the plot, but what I liked best was Dov’s relationship with Ruby. This is a book that doesn’t focus too heavily on romance, but the romance that is present is definitely swoony. Also, I am a cis woman, so please take my thoughts with a heavy dose of salt, but I absolutely loved the trans rep in

    . (More trans love interests in YA, please!) It was such a pleasant surprise to see a trans character in a story that deals so heavily with the idea of inheriting gender-specific abilities and curses, but it makes so so much sense. I thought it was very well done.

    With so many good things going for it, I fully expected this to be a new favorite. However, as the ending drew closer and closer, the plot resolutions started feeling more and more rushed. I’ll keep it spoiler-free in this review, but the *~big showdown~* was left pretty open, but I thought certainly we’d get more resolution by the end of the book. Not so. In fact, when I finished this book, I legitimately did a double take to make sure I hadn’t missed a chapter. The ending was THAT abrupt. Here’s the thing: contrary to the popular opinion in the online book community, I LOVE an open ending. However, what I can’t get on board with is an abrupt ending. This abrupt ending truly soured my entire reading experience with this book and left me both confused and unsatisfied. Just something I think everyone should know going into this story!

    Overall, though

    did me dirty with the ending, I did truly love the story at the heart of this book. If you can deal with the abrupt ending, I’d still recommend picking it up! (Also, if you have read this– let’s please discuss the ending, because truly, wtf.)

  • Ashley

    I loved this book so much from the beginning all the way up to maybe 80% of the way through. The story and concept were so interesting and nothing like what I've read before.

    I'm obsessed with slightly witchy stories set in a contemporary setting, and this is exactly that. The pacing was amazing, the romance had me itching for more, and the complicated family situation felt very real to me.

    The only problem I had with the whole book was the end (no spoilers!) It really was slow (but in a good wa

    I loved this book so much from the beginning all the way up to maybe 80% of the way through. The story and concept were so interesting and nothing like what I've read before.

    I'm obsessed with slightly witchy stories set in a contemporary setting, and this is exactly that. The pacing was amazing, the romance had me itching for more, and the complicated family situation felt very real to me.

    The only problem I had with the whole book was the end (no spoilers!) It really was slow (but in a good way) for most of the beginning/middle, but at the end it flew into overdrive so fast. It felt like things were moving too fast and we didn't get to see as much as we should have? I really wish we had maybe another 50/100 pages to flesh out everything that happened?

    I get that it was the climax and the pace in general needed to pick up, but I feel like we missed out on some important information/context. Who knows, maybe we'll pick right up after the end of the first book in the sequel and all my questions will be answered?

  • Jane (It'sJaneLindsey)

    Excuse me, this is a stand-alone and it ends like THAT?

  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    This is going to be a review in Three Acts. Because I had three very distinct experiences while reading this book, so... seems legit I guess.

    This is going to be a review in Three Acts. Because I had three very distinct experiences while reading this book, so... seems legit I guess.

  • Jennifer

    I would classify this book as YA contemporary combined with magical realism.

    The narrator of this book is 16 year old Ruby (3rd person POV). She comes from a family where the women have powers. At a certain point in their lives they will have a vision of when they will die.

    This was an original story with a pretty cover. There is some romance in the book. But to me it wasn't the main focus.

    Ruby had two sisters. But I honestly I did not feel like we saw enough of them for me to really know them. He

    I would classify this book as YA contemporary combined with magical realism.

    The narrator of this book is 16 year old Ruby (3rd person POV). She comes from a family where the women have powers. At a certain point in their lives they will have a vision of when they will die.

    This was an original story with a pretty cover. There is some romance in the book. But to me it wasn't the main focus.

    Ruby had two sisters. But I honestly I did not feel like we saw enough of them for me to really know them. Her cousin was in the book much more and I really liked her (Cece).

    But overall I really struggled to finish this book. There are lgbt themes.

    But it was fairly PG IMO.

    I thought that the premise was interesting. I enjoy reading about psychics or people will abilities. The idea of people seeing their time of death was a good one. But I didn't love this book. There were a lot of stories told in italics and I didn't really enjoy these. Because of the 3rd person POV I felt disconnected from Ruby. And then the book just ends, with no real conclusion.

    Thanks to edelweiss and HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray for allowing me to read this book.

  • The Bookavid

    ahhhhhhhhhh magical realism ahhhhhhhhh russian-inspired ahhhhhhhhhhh psychic sisters ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh i want this so badly!

  • Melanie

    This cover? The most beautiful thing I've ever seen. The blessings.

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  • Cassie

    Excuse me while I reach 13 days into the future and grab myself a finished copy of this because

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