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As many of you can see, I've been a pretty terrible blogger lately! What can I say...Life.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Review #10: "The Near Witch" by Victoria Schwab

Title: The Near Witch
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Hyperion
Edition: Paperback Advanced Reader's Copy: August 2, 2011
Summary: 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.


I found this book in one of my favorite places on the planet: the basement of the downtown bookstore! That's where all the good stuff is hidden!

High Notes: I have to start with the fact that the very best part of this book was the backcover summary (which I have typed out for you in the summary section about.) Now, don't take that the wrong way! It doesn't mean that the rest of the book wasn't just as poetic, but the summary is probably the BEST summary I have read in my entire life!!! I think summaries are terribly difficult and this one just seemed effortless and beautiful.

The entire book reads just as seemlessly beautiful, really like some old folk music, or a poem. That was my favorite part. Victoria schwab really does know how to craft a sentence and paint a scene.

I also loved the style of the book. It read like a story some elder would tell his/her children, as a warning, or as a great story to lull you to sleep. It had this very old storyteller tone, both somber and pretty at the same time. 
Low Notes: I've read some other book reviews about this book before writing my own and the one thing I noticed complaints about the most was the character developement. The story really is about just that...the story. The main characters are very typical of the YA characters of our generation. The main girl, Lexi is strong willed, independent, lacking in a very sturdy mother or father figure, has a younger sibling to take care of (note also: Katniss Everdeen, Elena Gilbert, etc) and the main boy, Cole, is quiet, secretive, a bit broody, but really a loving teddy bear under it all (note also: Edward Cullen, Stephen Salvatore, etc.) Nevertheless, that does not mean we love them any less. And besides that fact, there are other very unique characters in the story that break the mold, especially, the two witches that live right outside town.

The story did slow a bit in the middle, but once the two main characters set out into the woods for the final time to complete the task they need to do (I'm trying not to give anything away), things pick right back up.
Character Development: 3.5/5
Dialogue: 4/5
Prose: 5/5
Believability: 4/5
Style and Grammar: 5/5
Entertainment Value: 5/5
Overall Rating: 88% A quick and beautifully written novel!


  1. I love the sound of this Aubrie. Great review. Loved the CAPS post too. You cleared a few things up for me :)

    1. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed the last few posts! I had a blast writing them!

  2. I wish I could say I loved this book - I certainly wanted to love it, but there was something essential lacking for me. It's a bit hard to put my finger down on because the story was beautifully crafted in so many ways - but the plot moved a bit slowly, and the characters seemed lackluster.


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