The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on January 15, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Fairies, Fae
Pages: 336 : Paperback edition
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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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?
This was my first time reading a Holly Black novel and I think I started it around the same time as Halloween because I figured I needed a creepy/dark book to read during that time (also since I hadn’t read that many during the month of October, since school has been INSANE). That aside…I wish I had liked this more. Everyone hypes Holly Black so much, and I do like the writing style, but the story itself fell a little flat for me.
I felt that the action didn’t really start until the last quarter of the novel and there was a lot of confusing build up. This being my first fairie/fae novel I didn’t really like it. I think I’m just not into that sort of paranormal fantasy realm because I can see how it would be really excellent for other reader’s and I know a lot of people do like that type of subgenre, but for me I think it was a little too out there.
However, the characters were three-dimensional and I really liked them individually. I felt that they had a lot of potential and Hazel herself is a wonderfully strong female character. I also liked the fact that her brother Ben was a strong character too and wasn’t shoved out of the limelight since Hazel is more of the “main character” per say. I think the characters alone made up for the fact that I didn’t like the story that much and sort of redeemed the novel for me so to speak. I would give this 3/5 stars.