August 2, 2011
Hyperion Books CH
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.
The Near Witch is an eerie and fascinating tale set in a village where witches are just as real as other people. I got chills from Schwab's vivid descriptions of the Near Witch, and just how the wind can speak to people. I couldn't get over how beautifully written The Near Witch was. I could easily hear and feel the wind howling, and I got goose bumps from some of the creepier scenes. While I had a few problems with the story, the magnificent writing made up for some of my complaints.
Lexi wasn't my favorite protagonist but I did like her. I especially enjoyed her interactions with her little sister, Wren. Wren is such a little cutie pie! I also liked how she went against her uncle. He was a bit of a jerk, and though he had his softer moments, he didn't want Lexi doing certain things because it wasn't "proper" for a lady. How frustrating that would be for me if I was told that. Lexi was so determined to solve the mystery of who the stranger in town was, and where the missing children were going. It was great to solve the riddles right along side Lexi.
I really didn't know what to make of the stranger, or as Lexi names him, Cole. He is very mysterious and shy at first, but does open up later. I couldn't see Lexi's attraction to him though. It felt like their romance came out of nowhere and that it was a bit forced. There really wasn't any chemistry between them. Luckily, the romance isn't a huge part of the story so I was able to get past that.
The fairy tale aspect to the story was intriguing. I loved hearing the tale of the Near Witch, and how her death really wasn't what it was made out to be. The plot was so creepy! The children of the village are going missing, but their disappearances don't make any sense. When it all finally came together, I was shocked!
You definitely don't want to miss out on The Near Witch. Even though the romance felt forced, it was still easy for me to get past that and just focus on the mystery.