Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Hyperion Books CH
From Goodreads: 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’m afraid this is going to be another one of those reviews where I just won’t do the book justice. Sigh. Yeah, it’s that damn good. I feel like anything I put down here will just mar the beautiful prose Schwab wrote so brilliantly and lyrically.
Lexi is an AMAZING character. The kind of character that I want to be in books. The kind of girl I can get lost with, tag along with, and agree with everything she says, does, and thinks. She’s smart, has common sense, and she looks at the world through not only realistic eyes, but poetic. She wants Near to be a peaceful, happy place, but she’s not naive enough to trust in those who’ve let her down. No matter what. She stands up for what she believes. She’s willing to break all the rules, and do what she must to protect those she loves.
Cole. Oh man, I love this guy. He’s so not the typical lead guy I fall for, but everything about him is gentle and beautiful. But there’s also a burning passion inside him, one that Lexi brings out, and one the peaks when he’s faced with adversity. He’s fierce when the moment calls for it, and he’s brave and strong without even trying when he’s tested. Humble. I guess that’s the world I’m looking for. He’s humbly amazing.
The plot held strong all the way through. I loved the pace of the story. I read slowly. I took my time, and even reread passages and moments between Lexi and Cole. The story started off with a dark, eerie feel, and I’m so happy that it stayed true till the end. Although there was no big twist, I loved that Schwab threw me a couple of times, and made my mouth hang open, shaking my head and saying, “NO!” So, yeah. A perfect read for me. I will definitely be reading it again soon.