Published August 2, 2011
Amazon - Goodreads
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.
As soon as I started The Near Witch I was hooked. The story immediately pulled me into Lexi's world and did such an amazing job of introducing me to the people of Near. This quaint village reminded me of the old Grimm's fairy tales, but it still felt completely unique. I loved how Lexi's environment played a major role in the legend and that the time period isn't really explored that much in young adult literature. It definitely gave yet another refreshing part to the book.
Schwab's legend of the Near Witch was eerily gorgeous. At night, the wind holds the voice of a witch that lures children out of their beds to come and play as punishment to the village for her being accused of a boys murder many years before. Lexi tells this story perfectly and had me at the edge of my seat wanting to know what else was happening with this legend.
This book falls into a category of its own. It's paranormal, but there's this underlying aspect to the story that's completely organic. The legend of the Near Witch could be passed down for generations. I feel like this story could be told when a child would be tucked in at night. I've yet to read a book that has been focused around a legend and The Near Witch did it so perfectly.
Lexi, the main character, is one of my favorite leading ladies I've ever read about. I loved her persistance to find out where the children were going, her fierce love for her younger sister and how she didn't let others affect her thinking. Even though her father wasn't in the book, I loved how she recalled times they spend together and how fondly she thought of him.
The ending was so incredible. Once the climax of the story started I literally couldn't put the book down. Schwab's descriptions were spectacular and all of the actions mixed with the unexpected twists were amazing. I wouldn't say this book is scary, but there are definitely parts that sent chills up my spine!
It's written in my blood and bones and memory instead of on pieces of paper.
The Near Witch is an incredible debut from author Victoria Schwab. The story had an eerie old-town feel partnered with a strong and extremely likable female lead that left me frantically turning pages to see what happened. Filled with unexpected twists and turns this unique legend will leave any reader absolutely breathless.