Thursday, January 8, 2015

YA Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black, January 13, 2015. 336 pages. Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Source: The NOVL.
Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?
First Sentence:
Down a path worn into the woods, past a stream and a hallowed-out log full of pill bugs and termites, was a glass coffin.

It has taken a few days for me to compose my thoughts on my first foray into Holly Black's writing...about faeries. Yes, I have read White Cat and (most) of the Spiderwick Chronicles, so, yes, I was excited to venture into her domain of faerie books with her latest. 

I now understand why Holly Black is very popular, especially when it comes to tales of the fae. Let's just say that I enjoyed The Darkest Part of the Forest that I'm now going to have to read the rest of her work within this genre.
   So, the question now is, what was it about this one that kept me reading even when my eyes and brain were craving sleep. Well, that would have to be the detailed and fascinating plot, as well, as my curiosity as to the truth regarding Hazel and the deal she made with the fae; let's also not forget about the onset of problems building within the community that has long since had an understanding with the fae. Yeah, all that made it impossible for me to set it aside because I needed to know how things were going to play out.

Now this was an interesting faerie book! What really pulled me into it was the darkness of the book and that the fae were not all squeaky clean and sunshine. If I'm going to read about faeries I want the story to be dark and compelling with characters with complex stories, and that is what Holly Black brought to the plate with DPOTF
    Jack and Hazel they were my two favorite characters because their stories were the most interesting to me. I, personally, was really excited to learn more about both characters' pasts and how the choices they made, or ones made for them, helped to shape were they were in their lives when they were introduced into the story. 
   What I liked most about Hazel was her thirst for adventure and how she didn't completely realize how dangerous her childhood pastime was. It was just really interesting to see how she discovered just how dangerously she and her brother lived for a time; also, I really just wanted to send her a hug because of her crazy childhood and how she grew up-although, I thought the author handled/wrote about that bit really well. 
   As for Jack, well, there's just many, many reasons for one to like him. Gah, I just don't know how to write about him without spoiling the happenings that seem to be circling around him throughout the book. Just know this, he's an interesting character that quietly steals the show (at least in my book).

When it comes to Holly Black and young adult books I consider myself a newbie; though I'm a huge fan of her middle grade books. Even so, I think that come next year, which is coming up soon, I'm going to work on reading the rest of her young adult work. The Darkest Part of the Forest has me intrigued and curious to see her previous works and if I would like them. I'll just say this, her writing and world building in this one has me itching to try the rest of her books. 

Final Verdict: The Darkest Part of the Forest- A haunting tale of a town caught in the plot of the fae; hauntingly dark with fabulous characters. If you haven't tried Holly Black's writing, I would recommend this as a starting point!
The Darkest Part of the Forest earns

This book was received from NOVL in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. AHHH I'm reading this now and it really is so good! Glad you enjoyed it! I loved White Cat and Holly Black is practically my hero <3 Great review!

    -Kimi at Geeky Chiquitas


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