Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review ~ The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Series: standalone
Genre: YA paranormal
Pages: 336
Publication Date: January 13th, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Goodreads Description: 
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? 
Source: This book was loaned to me by Wednesday Wright via Mimi Zane. Thank you, Wednesday and Mimi!

The Darkest Part of the Forest was bizarre and strange and just plain magical. It was faerie book done right. It's been a really long time since I read an awesome, interesting faerie book and this one brought enough fresh elements to make it stand out. The writing was really good and the descriptions were unique--weird, too. There was a lot of metaphors, but they were pulled off well. The romance was great, but didn't dominate the story. I really lied how Hazel was the knight type and her brother was the softer one. That was a nice reversal of usual roles. Both of the guys Ben and Hazel fell for were great characters. The couples were ship-worthy!

Unlike a lot of faerie books, this one didn't focus on magic vs. technology. That wasn't part of the conflict. It was focused on, well, defeating the darkest park of the forest. I wasn't as invested in this conflict in the second half of the book as I was in the first half, so it was the weakest part for me.

Overall, The Darkest Part of the Forest was a truly magical read. This author really knows how to create creepy faeries and a bizarre world. With its strong characters, an interesting story, and fresh elements, this book is well worth reading!

Some pluses worth listing: LGBT characters, role reversal, royalty, unique writing, shipable romance, friends-first romance, magic, brother/sister focus

I recommend this book for fans of The Raven Cycle. The writing reminded me of Stiefvater's in that series. They're both magical.

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