Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Book Review: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

Title:  The Near Witch
Author:  Victoria Schwab
Publisher:  Hyperion Books
Publish Date:  8/2/2011
Reading Level:  Young Adult

ARC copy received from Different Area Codes ARC tours.

Synopsis (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.
My Thoughts:  I'm going to be honest here...this book was not at all what I was expecting!  It took me a long time to get into and I'm really not sure what the reasoning for that is.  It starts out very mysterious and then, for some reason, I just lost interest for a little while.  However, I am glad that I kept going because the end was so worth it!

This book reminds me of a cross between the movie The Village and The Blair Witch Project (the story behind the witch is similar to BW).  You never really know what time period the story takes place in.  You also never really know how old the main character, Lexi, is.  Maybe I just missed it but I'm pretty sure it was never mentioned in the book which bothered me a little.  Lexi was getting towards "marrying age" but without knowing what time period we are talking about, you still don't really know how old she is.  You do get the sense that this is historical by the fact that everyone makes their own supplies, the women all wear dresses, etc.

The love story was sweet and romantic but a lacked something.  I am not sure what it lacked but I just didn't get that feeling I got with Bella and Edward in Twilight or with Same and Grace in Shiver, etc. 

I loved the sisters!  They reminded me of the sister witches in Practical Magic.  They were the best characters in the book (in my opinion) and I wish that there was a little more background to them.  I also wish there was a little more background to Lexi's dad and why he was in tune with the moor and the sisters.

The story of the Near Witch took a long time to figure out.  It was well thought out though and I really liked the final story of what happened to her.  The description of the witch was phenomenal!  I could totally invision her coming to life the way she did and will possibly have nightmares tonight about her!

Like I said, the beginning was a little slow for me but the ending was amazing!  The last 75 pages of the book I could not put down at all.  I was tense and reading so fast to get to the ending and see what happened.

This is a great book for early YA readers.  It is very clean (very, very few swear words and no sex) and a good transition.  All in all, I thought the book was worth reading!

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.


  1. I thought it was lacking something myself and found it hard to finish.