Google+ Reading Teen: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (August 2, 2011)
Buy the Book:  Amazon

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.
"Entirely original yet achingly familiar."  I seriously can't explain this book any better than that.  It is so true.  It's like every Grimm's Fairy Tale you've ever heard, yet something completely its own.   I was immediately swept up in Victoria's lyrical writing.  I love fairy tales.  And she has a way of bringing her fairy tale to life.

The town of Near is described so magically.  You can feel the thickness of the fog, and hear the wind whispering it's story.  As the children were snatched from their beds, you find yourself holding your breath, wondering if Lexi or someone she loves will be taken next.  While I was reading The Near Witch, I was sitting out on my back deck, and the wind was howling.  I seriously wondered then, about powers of Victoria Schwab.   It made chills run up and down my spine!

The cast of characters was so perfect for this type of book.  Lexi was fantastic.  Everything about her is like a blend of contemporary and traditional.  Even her name.  She is strong, fierce, independent, but also curious, mischievous, and ready to break the rules to follow her heart.  Cole is mysterious and other-worldly.  You never know whether you should completely trust him, but you know that you want to.  I also love the sisters Magda and Dreska.  They are, at the same time, creepy and comforting.  Their wisdom is delivered with snark, and you never know what to expect from them.

Beautifully crafted, fantastically written, and deliciously creepy, The Near Witch is sure to be an instant classic.

  • Sexual Content: Minor
  • Profanity:  None
  • Violence:  Moderate
For more details, check out The Near Witch on Parental Book Reviews.


  1. Brilliant review Andye I so want this book now. Fabulous

  2. I'm looking forward to The Near Witch since I love fairy tales too. Great review. :)

  3. What a nice review. I keep hearing how creepy this book is. But good creepy.


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