Sunday, January 29, 2012

Book Review--The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

Summary/Cover Image 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."


The Near Witch was not what I expected it to be. When I first read the synopsis, I was INTRIGUED. I've always LOVED books that take place in a village, like Red Riding Hood. And a fairytale? Even better. But after reading the full story, The Near Witch fell a little short for me.

The reader is introduced to Lexi, who lives in a small village of Near. But she lives on the outskirts of the village, out on the moor. The story jumps right in to a stranger coming into town, but vanishes like a ghost. This stranger startles everyone, but he is yet to be found and confronted. The day after the stranger came, children start disappearing. The people of Near accuse this stranger, but Lexi believes he is innocent, and she finds her way to the real reason to why the children are disappearing. Perhaps the story of The Near Witch is true, and has come back to haunt them.

Let's start with the plot of the story. At first, I thought the whole concept was exciting and scary. But as the story moves along, I found myself bored and a little creeped out by how weird everything was. The events became repetitive, and I just wasn't interested anymore. There was also too many problems for me going on in the book: and they were equally balanced, so I didn't know which one to focus on, or which one was the dominant problem in the story. It left me confused. I felt like the problem just dragged on, and on and ON. It wasn't until the conclusion of the story that the plot picks up and had me flipping pages. The fairy tale of The Near Witch was entertaining to read about.

The characters were alright. They weren't special or anything. I liked how caring Lexi was towards her little sister, Wren. Otto just plain bothered me. My favorite part of the characters would have to be Lexi and Cole's relationship. I liked the connection between them, and how Lexi slowly got to really know him, and where he came from.

Victoria Schwab's writing was AMAZING though. It's very flowy and easy to read through. I enjoyed the descriptions, and the nature depictions. Beautiful.

Even though I didn't enjoy The Near Witch quite as much as I wanted to, I'm still willing to read whatever Victoria has in store for us. Her writing is very different and unique, and I'd like to see where it goes next.

Grade: C

The Near Witch (Amazon, B&N) is now out!

Source: Library

1 comment:

  1. I wish I could say I loved this book - I certainly wanted to love it, but there was something essential lacking for me. It's a bit hard to put my finger down on because the story was beautifully crafted in so many ways - but the plot moved a bit slowly, and the characters seemed lackluster.