Published: Hyperion Books (August 2, 2011)
Series: No (?)
GoodReads 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.My Thoughts: Well, this is new. Normally I don't like witchy stuff. They've never really intrigued me much. I did get freaked out by The Blair Witch Project in the 90s, but that's pretty much all my experience with witches. Except Bonnie in TVD, who rocks my face off.
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.
But after this book? Team witch, bitch.
The Near Witch is so beautifully written. Despite the fact that I had to look up what a "moor" was, I couldn't think of a more (ha!) perfect setting for this magical story. The grass, the rolling hills, the earth, the dirt... it's all a character of its own, really. My favorite part about this book was the creep factor. I wanted to put it in the freezer a la Joey Tribbiani for a few scenes. Must've been those Blair Witch memories coming back to haunt me.
And Lexi? Thank you for being a wood-chopping, family caretaking,and awesome big sister/independent woman/skilled tracker. I SO much enjoyed reading about Lexi, her father (and his stories!), Wren, and even stupid Otto. Even though he's a rough and tumble hypermasculine lumberjack type of dude, he still had a heart. I love grumbly old men with redeeming qualities.
"The Stranger" was such an intriguing character. Lord knows I am a huge fan of the wounded book boys with deep, dark secrets, and Victoria Schwab NAILED that stereotype. He was complex and sensitive and OH, the woundedness. The love story was so well done, not rushed, and toothachingly sweet. I'm definitely a fan.
The world around me fell away as I read Schwab's gorgeous novel. Standing ovation for The Near Witch. Schwab is a beautifully talented writer and this is one book you'll want to get your hands on as soon as possible.