What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

I've read a lot of good things about this book so I decided to add it to my list to review for Witch Week during Halloween. Witches are portrayed in so many different lights on tv, in literature and movies. Glinda the Good Witch, the Three Witches of Shakespeare's Macbeth, Ursula the Sea Witch of The Little Mermaid, or Hermione Granger. Literature is peppered with legends and lore of witches, and we can now at to that list The Near Witch. Here's the summary 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.

What I Liked: 1) This book has a timeless quality to it. It's set in a time before computers, phones, electricity, even. But don't try and decipher what time it is set in. It's is a product of pure and unadulterated imagination. The same with the small town of Near. You couldn't find it on a map, so don't try. It's lovely to be whisked away into this simple little place with a rich and vibrant tale. 2) Imagery. This book is rife with visual imagery that really enhanced the beautiful language. 3) The Fairy Tale. Remember those bedtime stories that you were told as a kid? This reminded me of stories like that. It was simple, and complex at the same time, if that makes any sense! The story itself was a simple tale of good versus evil, but the overlying themes stretched it into a more complex story about being accepting of new things, ideas, and people. And of course, magic. 4) The mystery. There was a great mystery involved that kept me hooked more than anything else. I wanted so badly to know what was going to happen that it really kept the pages turning. 5) Lexi. I really loved her protectiveness towards her sister Wren. Call it a big sisterly thing, but I really understood her desire and need to protect her.

What I Didn't Like: 1) Well, did Cole have a name? I mean, Lexi gave him that name and he said at one point that it wasn't his name, but then he never told her his real name. That's not a real complaint, but still. I continue to wonder. 2) The love story felt a little out of place. I think I'm alone in thinking this, but it was the only part of the story that felt at all disjointed.

Overall thoughts: This was a fun fairy tale, and took me back to the days of bedtime stories and multiple cups of water. I think people of all ages can enjoy this sweet story with it's vivid characters and timelessness. Get ready to be caught up in the small town of Near, alongside Lexi and a mysterious stranger as they attempt to save the town's children.

My rating: 4 candy corns

And don't forget to enter the Big Bad Halloween Giveaway! Cool stuff to win, and it's going on until midnight on Halloween!


  1. I agree about the love story actually! It seemed forced and irrelevant. I liked the book too though!

    I can't believe I've been so out of it I didn't know you were having a witch week! I love witches!

  2. Just hopping through!

    I'm a new follower!
    Happy Friday!

    - Sarah
    Sarah's Shelf

  3. I've heard amazing reviews on this one I'm really excited about it because witches are one of my fav. paranormal beings. Witches and necromancers.

    Xpresso Reads

  4. This book is on my to-read list, in fact got it from someone doing the RAK meme. Glad you hear your review. Can't remember if I've told you, but I love the way you do your reviews listing what you did like and what you didn't.

  5. Danielle - Well, I'm glad to know that I wasn't the only one! I really like love stories, but this one just wasn't doing it for me.

    Sarah - thanks for stopping by!

    Giselle - I don't know if I've read any Necromancer stories! I think you should make some suggestions for me!

    Lisa - Thanks so much for your compliment! I'm glad you like it! I hope you like The Near Witch when get to read it!

    Thanks for stopping by, ladies!


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