Thursday, June 2, 2011

Review: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

Published: Hyperion Books (August 2, 2011)
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover
Series: No (?)
Source: NetGalley

Rating: 4/5

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.
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 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 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.


  1. Received this ARC a couple of weeks ago from NetGalley and have been putting off reading it - nearly all of the debuts I've read this year have been disappointing. Glad to hear you enjoyed it, and I'll definitely have to bump it up my TBR! =)

  2. I want to read this one so badly. I'm happy to hear you enjoyed it. Great review and introduction to this book.

  3. I love that I actually get your Joey Tribbiani reference because of you and Carla and Friendsathon!

    I've been reading this off and on - more off than on, so yay I am glad you loved it. I can't think of a more ringing endorsement to finish it.

  4. Great review! I love witches so this definitely seems right up my alley...

  5. you have me with a not rushed romance.

    in other news, your reviews rock my world to pieces.

  6. Oh man, your review makes me anxious for this book! How funny that you review this book when I recently discovered the joy of Ms. Schwab's vlog personality? (She is AMAZING)

    I love your use of "woundedness" :) I totally agree that wounded book boys are VERY attractive!

    Thanks for the beautifully exciting review :D

  7. Great review! I'm happy you loved this! I have to pick it up soon! :)

  8. Nice review that makes me want to read the book!

  9. I just got approved for this one and now I'm stoked! I've never been much of a "witch story" person but I was looking for something new to read. So glad I requested this one! Can't wait to read it now. Great review!

  10. Thanks for the thoughtful and well-written review. This book sounds awesome! I can’t wait to read it now.


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