July 28, 2011

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

Release Date: August 2, 2011
Publisher: Hyperion Books CH
Pages: 288
Series: n/a
Review Source: NetGalley

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.
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.

My Thoughts:
All I had heard about ‘The Near Witch’ when I started reading it were glowing reviews. So perhaps because of this I was just a tad disappointed by the book. I found it really hard to get into. The start of the book was really slow, and the lack of dialogue was also a bit distracting to me. Perhaps if I had been in the mood for a slower, atmospheric story it might have worked better.

The strong point of the book is definitely Schwab’s writing. There were so many beautiful phrases and descriptions, and I also loved the way the setting was described. It was so mysterious, which lent itself well to the fairy tale style of the book. ‘The Near Witch’ really feels like a fairy tale, which I think is appealing to a lot of people.

I guess I’m on the fence with this one. Great writing? Yes, absolutely. Yet I just couldn’t stop myself from feeling bored while reading it. I liked Lexie and I loved the witches, but I just didn’t seem to care that much about the characters, and I didn’t really buy the romance at all. This book seems to be a favourite of a lot of people, but it just couldn’t quite keep my interest.

The Cover: It's alright, but nothing spectacular. I don't get how it relates to the story at all.


Find The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon


  1. I can definitely see where your feelings are coming from. Like you, I did feel like this is a quiet read even though some big things are happening. At the same time, the writing was incredible. Overall, I really liked this one. Thanks for the honest review!

  2. Loved reading your review Ashley, yours is the first I've come across that isn't entirely positive so it was fun to read what just didn't work for you. I'm kind of curious to see if I'll be bored or not now:)

  3. I'll definitely try The Near Witch, because I've got the netgalley for ages. I really hope that I'll like this book, but I really need some dialogue to keep the interest in a story.
    I'm glad that you gave an honest rating and wrote an honest review!

  4. This one is waiting for me on my Kindle and it's pretty low on my priority scale, even though most reviews I've read have been raves. And, while I do love beautiful writing, I need a bit more of a fast pace (at least lately...). Great review, as always!
    Mary @ Book Swarm

  5. Like you I've seen many glowing reviews for The Near Witch and after reading your review I see where you're coming from...sometimes a book just doesn't work for us.

  6. Good, honest review Ashley!

    That's what makes this whole book blogging thing so interesting -- to see how the same book can strike different people different ways.

  7. Oh no! I'm sooo sorry to hear that you didn't like it! I actually liked the not-so-fast plot movement. But at least you liked Schwab's writing, which is spectacular no doubt!

    Thanks for the review!

  8. Sorry this book was not that appealing for you. Atmospheric and moody type of books such as this one are not everyone's cup of tea. I liked The Near Witch a lot, but can understand that it's pacing is not for everyone.
    Interesting to read your take on it, and I appreciate your honest review as always!

  9. Bummer to hear that the pacing is on the slow side, but I do have a weakness for fairytale-esque books, so I'll still probably check this one out. Thanks for the honest rec!



Thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I appreciate each one!


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