Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 328
Received: Received a copy from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: January 13, 2015
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Goodreads Synopsis:

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?

My Review:

This book was a lot shorter than I thought it would be, and I finished it in no time, it was a fun read and one that was hard to put down. The town of Fairfold definitely has a dark secret and readers are taken into a world where fairies exist along with humans, but everyone is careful not to disturb the fae world.

Holly Black created a great fantasy world in this story, but her characters are what really make this story as good as it is. Hazel grew up telling stories with her brother of being a knight and a bard, and that they are both destined to fight evil together. Included in these stories is a mysterious boy who lays in the center of town sleeping. No one knows anything about him and yet they all dream about him, but Hazel and Ben are the two who are truly in love with him, he was always the center of their stories. Once this mysterious boy wakes up, the story truly starts and things in the town of Fairfold begin to get interesting.

I truly enjoyed how Hazel is trying to piece together what has happened, Hazel wants to remember the stories of fighting monsters because she believes that she has finally been called to action to save her town. What had me continuing in this book was the mystery revolving Hazel, there is a lot that she isn't remembering and I wanted to figure out what was happening to her. Holly Black adds so much to this story and she makes a splash in such a short amount of time, people in this book are continually shifting from one side to another and it is almost impossible to tell who is really evil.

Hazel is an amazing character to follow, she has her insecurities and she is most definitely not the perfect person. Yet, Hazel has a strength that readers must admire, she fights for what she believes in, and yet you can see that she is scared of the unknown as well. She is also one to admire as you find out more about her past and the bond her and her brother, Ben share with one another. Hazel wants everyone else around her to be happy, and that is someone I can relate with in some ways.

What I also loved was the romance, Black adds in a lot of romance to the story, and yet you can't help but root for what Holly sets up for readers. Some of the secondary characters were also amazing, especially Ben's best friend, Jack. He is really a fae but was adopted by the human family, so he is someone trying to live a normal life even though he is different. His friendship with Ben and Hazel is adorable and he truly plays such a big part in the story.

If you are a fan of fairy tales, this story will definitely be perfect for you. It has a mix of contemporary with the magic added in, and the characters will keep you amused for hours on end.

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