I've been very good.
Very very good.
And I can stop now.
When I first got to read the Advanced Copy of THE NEAR WITCH, I obeyed Victoria Schwab's polite request to *not* blog about this book far in advance and to please wait until we were closer to the release date, even though it was soooo hard! Now that we're finally here, I feel free to squee in detail about this absolutely gorgeous debut.
It looks like this:
It teases like this:
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.
Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.
And here's what *I* have to say about it:
If I had to choose one word to describe this book, it would be "melodious" because the words read like misty poetry that infused the story, the characters, and especially the setting: the moor. The moor itself is a character, a presence the pervades the book and flavors everything from Lexi's own magic to the boy beyond the window. I adored this story! It has every bit of the fairy tale quality I crave with the love of family, adventure, the familiar, the fantastical and the real mixed together with a narrative that I can only describe as lyrical. I couldn't wait to tell everyone about it & NOW I CAN!!! So here's the pitch: read it with some sweet tea and a long block of time because you don't want to put it down once you start; it's *that* kind of book.
And there will be more. Go check it out!
P.S. If you haven't been following the hilariously sweet-as-cupcake adventures of Victoria Schwab, I can't recommend her enough either. She's on the web here and blogging here and on Twitter here. You can't miss her: she's the one in the glasses and the dimples wearing the witch's hat!