Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

July 29th, 2011 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Downloaded from NetGalley

Publication date: August 2, 2011

Publisher: Hyperion Books CH

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from

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.

This book entranced me from the moment I first picked it up and unfortunately that was during my lunch hour at work.  I was so distracted that whole afternoon because I wanted to finish reading it.  The writing was simply amazing and beautiful to read.  I thought Ms. Schwab captured perfectly the small village atmosphere and how once a group mob mentality takes over just how dangerous it can be.  It’s sad that strangers are always the first ones accused of a crime even though there is no real evidence pointing towards them.

I loved Cole’s character.  He wasn’t your stereotypical perfect, strong and confident hero.  He had a haunted past which left obvious scars on him but he had a hidden core strength that shows through as we get to know him and even though the romance comes on relatively quickly I can see why Lexi falls for him.  Lexi on the other hand wasn’t as endearing to me.  She was supposed to be this strong female who was an expert tracker but her behavior just baffled me at times.  For instance, the sister witches tell her the Near Witch is at her most powerful at night but does Lexi go after her during the day?  No?  She always sneaks out at night.  Yes, her uncle has suspicions about what she’s up and tries to keep tabs on her but she seems to manage to sneak off to every where else during the day.   She also knows a deadline looms before the next child disappears and yet she kind of seems to dawdle along.

That and the fact that the conclusion seemed very rushed to me were the main reasons I didn’t give this a perfect 5 star rating but still it was a wonderful book that I highly suggest to everyone.

On a side note: I often found myself with a feeling of de ja vu while I was reading this book.  For the life of me I cannot think of why and what other story might have been similar.  If you know of one please let me know.  It’s been bugging me ever since I finished reading it.

Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Paranormal, Young Adult

4 Responses

  1. Bookworm1858

    I don’t think this is the book that’s causing your deja vu but this reminded me of Plain Kate by Erin Bow with the superstitions about witches and the desperation of the people. I was also struck by a fairy tale quality to both stories.

  2. Sheila DeChantal

    OOH I want to read this one too!

  3. melissa @ 1lbr

    I felt very much the same as you. What a perfect creepy setting! But, I was a bit disappointed in the ending as well. Deja vu might come from the familiar fairy tale feel of the story.

  4. lisa

    I recently read Tighter, by Adele Griffin, and I loved it up to the last two chapters.

    I hate when I feel like the author is rushing just to get done, and there are lots of loose ends that aren’t tied up.

    Thanks for the awesome review, new follower here(:


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