pub date: August 2, 2011
source: publisher for review
appeals: witches, mystery, paranormal-ish, romance
It took me two weeks to get through the first 80 pages. Nothing really happened and I was bored. So I made myself sit down and get it read so I could move on to a new book. And happily, it got better. Around page 100 the plot picked up and it just kept picking up. I thought the ending was really exciting and I read the last 50 pages in one sitting, speeding through.
The uncle, and most of Lexi's town were so frustrating! I always respect authors who write annoying and closed minded characters. Because I hate them and they frustrate me and I want to reach into the book and knock their head against a tree. But...such a strong emotional response is because the character, however annoying, is written in a believable way. I don't know that I'd be able to do that myself. So yes, annoying, close-minded uncle, but remarkably written character.
The writing was BEAUTIFUL. Even at the beginning when I was bored with the slowness of the story, I thought the descriptions were amazing. I loved the way Schwab used language. It was stunning.
The romance was fun, but at the same time really quick. Lexi and the boy are suddenly kissing a lot and I wasn't sure where those lovey feelings came from. Though sudden, still fun.
Probably my favorite aspect of the novel was the history of the near witch and how she played into the present time with Lexi. I loved the world building as pertaining to the witches, and that was when the novel really got interesting to me.
I'm not sure what to rate this book. There was a lot I enjoyed about the novel and the ending was strong and exciting. But the beginning so wasn't. I'll go with 3.5 apples.
The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.
And there are no strangers in the town of Near.
These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.
But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.
Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.