Release Date: August 2, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Borrowed
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’ve been excited for The Near Witch for a very long time. When I discovered it on Goodreads last year it was just a title and probably a very short blurb, but I knew I had to read it. The title alone was enough to get my attention, but once I finally got my hands on it and opened the pages I fell into the story head first. All that excitement was well worth it.
The writing is to die for. Everything is so vivid. From the moor to the town, I could see it all so clearly. The eeriness sent chills up my spine and had me sitting on the edge of my seat for most of the novel. The magical aspects in the book reminded me a lot of what I have read of Alice Hoffman, which is a style that I love.
All the characters, Lexi, Cole, and even the ones I loved to hate were fantastically done. Otto and Tyler made me want to smack them and I wanted to shake Lexi once or twice, but I love when I have such strong reactions to characters! Lexi was very fascinating. She was brave and maybe too stubborn for her own good, but the story would have been nearly as interesting without that. Cole was probably my favorite, though. Once you read it you will definitely understand why.
This is a book you must read. You can’t be disappointed by the history, the setting, the eerie undertones, and you definitely won’t be disappointed by the lyrical writing. I think Victoria Schwab is only getting started and we can only expect amazing things from her in the future, but for right now make sure you read The Near Witch!