Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly BlackThe Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Published by Little Brown BfYR on January 13th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Buy on Amazon

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

It’s been a while since I have read a fae book so I thought it was time. Besides that, I bought this when I went to the release day launch at a local book store and the little parts that the author read had me really wanting to read it. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t one that will go on my favorites list. The main character was really great and I loved that we discover her secrets and the truth about herself along with her. I really loved the writing too, it was very beautiful and descriptive. The fae world always intrigues me, and I loved getting to visit Faerieland. It’s enjoyable to read about fae when they are portrayed the way old folklore does it. As the creepy evil beings they can be. Though not all are created equal. There are good and bad in anything.

Hazel was quite a character. She is brave and strong, but also very broken and fragile. We know some of the reasons why, but it takes a while to discover all of it. She has grown up obsessed with the boy in the glass coffin, and her and her brother had many stories, as well as fantasies about him. They bonded over their love for this odd boy and wanting to save their town from the faeries who like to play pranks, and torment outsiders. Things change as they grow older, and even more once the boy in the coffin wakes up. Hazel is into things way too deep, but she is still determined to be the one who saves everyone. She acts selfish at times, and very stubborn, but has a great heart.

There is romance too and I thought it was done just right. It was never overpowering to the storyline. In fact, there was so little of it that I actually was left wanting more even knowing that it wouldn’t have been right for the story. The bits that we do get were perfect and fit with everything else going on. The romance we do get is definitely important and had a big part of the overall story and how things end up.

This was a kind of slow book. We do get adventure and secrets, and all that good stuff, but just not at a fast pace. I loved how beautiful the writing was, and how much background we got about things, but at times I just wanted to get moving and find out what was happening next. The characters were well developed and the plot was good. One of my favorite things about this book was getting to know Hazel as she is getting to know herself. I think the only real issue I had with the book was the pacing. I can be really enjoying a book, but still get bored with it. This one felt like that at times and I found myself getting irritated that I hadn’t finished yet and just wanted it to be done. It was a great book, it just took a while to get through. I am a big fan of this author and look forward to more of her work despite a bit of trouble I had with this book.


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I'm no good at this, but I'm a mom of one little girl who really thinks she is a princess. I love reading all sorts of books (horror being a favorite genre of mine), love meeting new people, drinking lots of coffee, and eating chocolate. If you want to know anything else about me, just ask.
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14 Responses to “Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black”

    • Amy

      It was good, I was just having a hard time getting through it. I don’t think it was the type of story I was in the mood for so that really made a big difference in my enjoyment. The cover is really pretty though, and I am glad that I purchased it. When my daughter gets older she will probably enjoy it.

  1. Eileen

    I definitely love a strong female character~ I’m hoping to enjoy this one since I loved her last book! Her writing style really stands out to me 😀

  2. Cynthia

    I just read this one and I really loved it. I had never read any books about faeries before but I loved this one. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it more.

  3. Pili

    I haven’t read any Holly Black books before and Fae stories are not usually my thing, but I feel drawn to this book for some reason.
    Glad to hear you enjoyed it enough, with subtle romance and a strong female character!

  4. Taylor

    I’ve liked other Holly black fae inspired books. They are usually really dark but I was unsure about this one. However, I might give it a try, you know one of those books you check out from the library.

    The characters sound really interesting and she is an amazing writer. I’m glad you enjoyed parts of it though, great review!!!!

  5. Lyn Kaye

    I really drug my feet with this one. I really enjoyed the concepts and the ideas for this book…but it was just so detached, and it felt like a short story with way too much padding.

  6. neil

    I’m half tempted to read this now fdue to your well balanced review.
    Are you able to say what could have been done better to make it more well paced?
    can you tell me if you have any articles giving advice on how to give good book reviews?
    I want to blog short stories with gets writers as well as my own but I think I would also like to give good reviews as week.
    Thank you,

  7. Shelumiel

    This is my first Holly Black title and I absolutely loved it! I thought it was so beautifully written (like you mentioned) and intriguing (again, like you said) and bittersweet. I wanted to have more of Ben, actually.