Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Review : The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

 Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 13, 2015
Pages: 336
Source: Own

The Story:

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 pointy 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 and a hero is needed to save them all, Hazel tries to remember her years spent pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?
via Barnes & Noble

THREE & a 1/2 Gold Stars!!

My Review

Let me start off by saying, I am NOT a fairy/fey fan. I am, however, a big lover of paranormal (especially werewolves) but the fey ... They drives me nuts with their tricky rules, bipolar moods, the sucky deals, yada yada yada. This being the second book I read with them and the first written by Holly Black, it was good so on that front I am happy. 

I think it is interesting that the town where the story takes place, the human residents know that their town's forest is plagued with fey. Dangerous fey that they have some sort of "unspoken truce with." I am not used to stories where the entire town is aware of the paranormal creatures they coexist with -- it was different but not in a bad way.

The Darkest Part of the Forest is filled with lies, half-truths, broken memories and so much more. Holly Black weaves a dark fairy tale that intrigues and urges you to stay up into the wee hours of the morning to stay in the story.

Opening Line:

Down the path worn into the woods, past a stream and a hollowed-out log full of pill bugs and termites, was a glass coffin.


The plot premise was intriguing -- I mean a horned boy under a magical sleeping spell inside a glass coffin that couldn't be broken? How could I not find that intriguing? But that wasn't even the entire conflict of the story. 
The Darkest Part of the Forest was layered with conflict. The horned boy in the glass coffin, stupid, irreversible binds, a pinch of unrequited love, parental neglect, murderous magical beasts and more.

Overall, The Darkest Part of the Forest was less than I loved it but better than okay. Although I own other works by Holly Black this is the first I have read and I'm glad to say that I really enjoyed it. The story was an intriguing one filled with suspense, spoonfuls of magic, and a dash of romance. If you haven't read The Darkest Part of the Forest yet then what are you waiting for? 

Character Breakdown:

In the general gist character-wise, I think Holly did a wonderful job fleshing them out. They felt like real people with "real" problems to me. I could picture them in my head, what they look like, their facial expressions. Kudos to Ms. Black.

Hazel Evans - Hazel is a believable, likable character. What I loved most about her character is her fierceness. She has badass fighter downpat. She may not always makes the smartest decisions but she is willing to do what she has to to rectify them.

Jack - Jack is hot . . . once things started picking up. With whom, I won't tell -- you'll have to find out for yourself. He is wholesomish with just the right amount of mischief.

Ben Evans - I love Ben. He is quirky and adorable. Ben is also expressive, soft and kind. And I adore the relationship he has with his sister. It is clear in the story that they are the two musketeers that will do anything for the other.

Here is one of my favorite quotes from 
The Darkest Part of the Forest:

"Back then, it hadn't seemed weird to Hazel to have the same imaginary boyfriend as her brother" [page 59].

Hazel to Ben: "She shook her head, equally baffled. 'I think you impressed him with the sheer force of your stupidity. How did you find me?'" [page 110].

***Check out Holly Black's website for more information about her and the The Darkest Part of the ForestHERE

*My review on Goodreads  |  Amazon

Happy Reading!


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