Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

Book:  The Near Witch
Author:  Victoria Schwab
Publisher:  Hyperion
Year:  2011
My grade:  A
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. 
 My Review

The Near Witch is unlike any book that I have ever read.

I am having a hard time describing this book and even deciding what I thought about it.  This is a book that is to be savored.  It cannot be read quickly.  Although it is written in prose, the words are lush and poetic, evoking images that your brain needs time to create.  This author was unbelievable.  The fantasy element of the book was so enhanced by the almost dreamlike quality of the writing.

The story was compelling and original.  There was something about the writing that pulled me into the world and insisted that I keep reading the story.  I found myself feeling like I was part of the world of the book, which left me feeling rather dreamlike. 

I loved that there was no time or place given for the setting.  It felt timeless, like a fairy tale.  And like a fairy tale, it felt like there were truths hidden in the story.

Lexi was a wonderful leading female character.  She was brave and strong and good.  I also liked Cole and the pull between them was wonderfully written.  Lexi’s mother was another strong female character, although it took much longer to see that.  In the end, I found that I even liked Otto. 

I don’t know if this review has really done this book justice.  My head is still reeling from this book and I feel rather cloudy.  Honestly, I don’t think I can describe this story.  I think that you must experience it for yourself.  Luckily, this book was released last week, so you can!  Do yourself a favor and go get this book.  But make sure you find plenty for your kids to do while you try to read it.  Just like a strong dream at night, you will have a hard time pulling yourself from the dreamy fog of The Near Witch.

My grade is an A.  This book is unique and ethereal.

Thank you to Hyperion books and netgalley for allowing me to review this book.

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