Book Review: The Near Witch

The Near Witch
by Victoria Schwab
288 pages - Hardcover
Published August 2nd 2011 by Hyperion Books CH
Source: NetGalley


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 reminded me of Ally Condie's Matched. Not in terms of characters and plot because they have zero in common. But in terms of writing, both books have SUPERB writing style. (Major, majot emphasis on superb.) But as far as the content goes, Matched and The Near Witch kind of bored me.

The plot was quite slow, and the story has a gloomy atmosphere. Not really my kind of YA. But the dark, mystifying world that Schwab created fit perfectly to the gloomy feel of the book. It was also rather hard to connect with the characters. The plot was a little predictable too. I was hoping that Schwab would use some twist toward the ending, but alas, the book finished with how exactly I thought it was going to be. The only thing that was keeping me from ditching this was Schwab's gorgeous writing style.

If you're into books with fluid, eloquent and superb writing style, I seriously recommend The Near Witch. You will not be disappointed!

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Disclosure: This was received from the publisher (Hyperion Books via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. I loved the writing in this one too and while I agree that the pacing is slow, it suited the story very well. The plot was predictable but I still really liked this one. Great review, Chel!


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