I jumped out of my skin with absolute glee when Amanda asked if I'd like to review this book for her. After I read Holly Black's The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and White Cat, I fell in LOVE with her writing. I'm a mild fan. ("Mild Fan" here is a phrase, which means: entirely, ludicrously excited to the point of flailing forever.) Thank you so much, Amanda!
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: January 13th, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill 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 attract 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 (Goodreads).
Why I Loved:
This book. OH, SWEET FAIRY BREAD, THIS BOOK WAS BEYOND FANTASTICALLY AMAZING. It was so beautiful and powerful, so intriguing and fantastical and dark and scary that...I just loved it. It's a magical story about Hazel and her brother, Ben, and their love for a horned boy cursed to sleep in a glass coffin. They live in Fairfold, which is a quiet town absolutely embroiled in fairies. Fairfold is a tourist attraction but the locals know the fairies are real. There's mischief. There's unexplainable phenomenon (like the horned boy). People also get murdered. Just your average day in Fairfold.
I absolutely adored Hazel. She's brave and unbeatable and really has no concept of defeat. She seemed almost Peter Pan-ish to me...she was in the process of growing up, but still entirely in love with her magical childhood. (She killed monsters. Her brother has a magical gift for music. Average Fairfold stuff.)
Ben was equally wonderful and even got a few chapters in his POV. He's older, but more quiet, more easily trodden. He and Hazel used to be thick as thieves but... BAD THINGS GO DOWN. Of which I will not say. Mwah ha ha. Let's not forget our horned boy wrapped in delicious magical mystery. I have to admit, though, I loved him a lot more when he was sleeping. I expected something HUGE from him and I felt his personality reveal was a bit of a let down.
If the characters aren't gorgeous enough... the writing is beautiful. At 30% in on my ARC I suddenly stopped and realised I loved this book so much it hurt. I was absolutely caught up in the magic and creamy spot-on description and murderous turn of events. Sure it's a magical story. But it's dark. It's called The DARKEST Part of the forest for a reason, my wee changelings.
It has a bittersweet ending, and I'm half sorry it's a standalone. Don't get me wrong, I love standalones...but...I could read and entire series about the town of Fairfold and Hazel, Ben, and Jack with ease. They all broke my heart a little. Which means it's a good book! You definitely need your heart stabbed a little with fairy swords so...
GO! GO! TRY THIS MAGNIFICENT CREATION!
I gave this book 5 stars on my Goodreads
About the Reviewer:
Cait is a blogger, reader, writer, and lasagna devotee. Flailing over shiny books and fabulous authors is her favourite thing ever. When she grows up, she'll most likely rule the world. She lives in Australia with a puppy that chews all her bookmarks. Find her at paperfury.com or on Twitter.