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.
This book was actually not what I expected. I assumed that this book was a book that took place in the contemporary world (don't ask me why), but it actually took place in a land of it's own called Near. I'm having a hard time placing this in a specific world because the way they talked and the language and names suggested more of a contemporary feel, but the town of Near and its culture (i.e. food, clothes, houses) was more historical fiction-y/fantasy-like? So that was one thing that really threw me off. Again, this could be because I was expecting something different, but the book is a mix of a lot of different things, in my opinion. It's also very fairytale-line; although it isn't a traditional fairytale, like Cinderella or Rapunzel, nor is it a retelling, it still has this otherworldly quality that is very reminiscent of fairytales.
The Near Witch also really reminded me of the movie, Sailor Moon Super S (OMG! I loved Sailor Moon so much as a kid...And still do!) I know it sounds like a funny comparison, but just the idea of this witch person entrancing these children to come to her were very similar and I think if you read and watch both, you'll see where I'm coming from. The story and style itself are completely different, but that was the first reaction I got when reading this.
Aaaaand, of course, there is a mysterious stranger that pops into town right as these disappearances are happening -- Cole! Cole is quiet, almost shy, and very mysterious. He has a certain allure that keeps you wondering about whether he is good or bad. Either way, I thought he was a very interesting character and I really really liked how he didn't fall into a cliched sort of romantic interest and I think it's safe to say that he was probably my favorite character in the book.
So not really my favorite read, but not terrible either. I don't know that I would read it again -- Well, who knows? Maybe! -- but I can say for certain I don't have the intention of reading it again.
Nevertheless, I think Victoria Schwab is an awesome author and I'm looking forward to reading some of her other books!
Erin @The Romance Bookie :)