Book: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Genre: Fantasy / Young Adult
Buy A Copy: Amazon / Book Depository
Available Formats: Hardcover / Ebook
Publication Date: August 2nd, 2011How Did I Get This Book: ARC from publisher, For ReviewDescription: The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.
First Sentence: "It starts with a crack, a sputter, and a spark."
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.
With The Near Witch, Victoria Schwab hits one out of the park her first time up to bat. This outstanding young adult debut is full of mystery, magic and charm.
The main character, Lexi is incredibly easy to like. I instantly felt a sort of camaraderie with her; she pushes at the boundaries placed on her and will not take no for an answer. She is feisty in a quiet way, she does not always speak up, but she doesn’t obey blindly either. I just really appreciated the fact that she makes her own decisions about how she lives her life, who she trusts and how she behaves.
I also have to talk about Lexi’s love interest, Cole. Oh, Cole, I love you so. He’s mysterious and captivating and just so, magnetic. You want to know all you can about him; you are right there with Lexi as she tries to unravel the mystery of him. I don’t want to get into too much detail surrounding this character, because it would spoil things, but believe me; you are going to love him. He and Lexi together are pure magic.
Now, I don’t want to short change the storyline, because believe me, it was fabulous, but the real magic lies within the writing itself. Honestly, nothing I say will come close to explaining how much I enjoyed it. It was captivating, lyrical, eloquent, sweeping and just vivid. I think I would like practically anything Schwab writes, it could be a story about a garbage can and I would be utterly entertained. She has such a unique way of depicting things that enables the reader to envision the complete story; from head to toe. Schwab gives the reader many different layers of description, not just the surface. She doesn’t simply rely on what you would expect – she comes up with ways of putting things that creates an image that is absolutely unique to her story. Her character and settings simply could not be found in different stories – everything down to the candles Lexi holds throughout the story become exclusive to The Near Witch. I am not sure if I am explaining this properly or not, basically what I am trying to get at is Schwab has an uncanny ability to put her distinctive stamp on everything.
I am going to be completely straight with you, The Near With was awesome. With its vivid and rolling descriptions, heart pumping storyline and delightful, enchanting characters, readers of all ages are sure to enjoy it. I am going to be on the lookout for other works by Shwab, because I have an inkling that she is one to watch.
"She was very old and very young, depending on which way she turned her head, for no one knows the age of witches."
"I feel like there should be a mark in the air where he was wiped away."
"If the moor wind ever sings, you mustn't listen,not with all of your ears. Use only the edges. Listen the way you'd look out the corners of your eyes. The wind is lonely, love, and always looking for company."
"I just want to talk," I add, my voice softer, lower, the kind of voice for sharing secrets."
"And I do not like the way my chest tightens when my eyes snag on him, as it does for wild things."
"With his pale face, dark eyes, and sad mouth, he seems made of black and white, just like the world at night."
"I don't want just any story; I want his."
"Stories are always born from something."
"Gravity pulls me back to him, pulls my feet over a path they know, have always known, with a new urgency."
"He cast one last glance up at the night. His eyes slip down again, and by the time they reach mine, there's a kind of abandon in them."
"Dead things are bound to their beds until dark."
"Funny how when we start to tell a secret, we can't stop. Something falls open in us, and the sheer momentum of letting go pushes us on."
"Maybe one day the words will pour out like so many others, easy and smooth and on their own. Right now they take pieces of me with them."
"If by 'fine' you mean 'bleeding', then yes, you are."
"Despite his injuries, he seems to feel what I feel: We are both anxious that the other will blow away. And he shares the same desperate need to remind his skin of my own, to prove that he is still here and I am still here."