Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

20958632Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Release Date: January 13th, 2015

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Romance

Blurb: 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?

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Stories like that were will-o’-the-wisps, glowing in the deepest, darkest parts of forests, leading travelers farther and farther from safety, out toward an ever-moving mark.

The Darkest part of the Forest was an incredibly enjoyable read. Holly Black is a master at weaving the modern world and the world of fae together to create a splendid story. Black’s writing was mesmerising and left me wanting more and more with each page turned. Holly Black knows how to keep you at the edge of your seat with her writing, which is such an incredible feat.

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill monsters and feel quite proud of themselves.

Holly Black is a master at writing teen characters that actually feel like teenagers; giving them depth and purpose that you can’t help but care and cheer for them. The cast of characters are diverse and wonderfully written and everything felt in place. Parents were present (yay).

As I’ve mentioned before, the book was well written and I wasn’t prepared for the level of twists that were taking place. Severin, our boy in the coffin, was interesting and I just knew that when he finally showed up, shit was about to hit the fan. Which it did, in a good and creepy way.

characters

You and your sister are very dear to each other. To show your regard, you give each other lovely bouquets of lies.

The main characters were interesting to read about. I loved Hazel, Ben, Severin and Jack. I loved the side characters and I even loved the villain. The sibling dynamic between Hazel and Ben was fun to read about and it was interesting to see how they each saw each other through their POV in the story (more so Hazel than Ben). I loved reading the history between them and learning how they drifted apart even though they clearly cared for each other.

There’s a monster in our wood. She’ll get you if you’re not good. Drag you under leaves and sticks. Punish you for all your tricks. Anest of hair and gnawed bone. You are never, ever coming… home.

Hazel was a strong female character and she being the main, main character; the story was told mostly in her POV. Seeing the events unfold from her eyes was captivating and I felt frustrated when she did, I was happy when she was happy, sad when she was sad. I felt connected to her character and that’s what I love most about Holly Black’s characters.

I need to stop fantasizing about running away to some other life and start figuring out the one I have.

Ben was a little more hard to connect with just because his POV chapters were really few in numbers. But whenever he did get his own chapter I could sympathise with him. I didn’t feel much for him at first but at the same time, I did love when I get to know why he did the things he did. Ben is gifted and with great talent comes great expectations. The more the story went on the more I understood him.

I don’t bother with all that fancy stuff – I go by Jack, these days.

Jack’s storyline was interesting and I loved, LOVED his family. His twin brother, his MOTHER! Omg! What a woman, such a badass! I loved his interactions with Hazel and the rest of the cast and his backstory was the most satisfying to read about.

Down a path worn into the woods, past a stream and a hollowed-out log full of pill bugs and termites, was a glass coffin. It rested right on the ground, and in it slept a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives.

Lastly, there’s Severin and boy was he a mystery. I actually started to get frustrated with the story when I was about halfway in and he still hadn’t shown up (woke up). But when he did, I fell in love! I’m such a sucker for his type of character. I was pleasantly pleased with how his showing up made the story soar to new heights!

romance

There don’t have to be first dates and second dates. We’re not normal. We can do this anyway you want. A relationship can be whatever you want it to be. We get to make this part up. We get to tell our own story.

The Romance subplot in The Darkest Part of the Forest was swoon-worthy. The romance between Hazel and Jack was just so teenage-y? It was so age-appropriate and I loved every second of it. It didn’t overshadow the main plot and flowed so easily and I found myself rooting for them every step of the way.

I wanted to be in love like in the storybooks and songs and ballads. Love that hits you like a lightning bolt. And I’m sorry, because yeah, I get that you think I’m ridiculous. I get that you think I’m hilarious. I know, I get that you’re mocking me. I get how stupid I am, but at least I know.

Then there was Ben and Severin and this is where I wish so badly that we got just a little bit more of Ben’s POV. I’d love to know what he thought of Severin just a little more! They had the most swoon-worthy romance of the two relationships and I just couldn’t help but squeal at that one scene! At one point I was so scared for them but apparently, love prevails!

I love you like in the storybooks. I love you like in the ballads. I love you like a lightning bolt. I’ve loved you since the third month you came and spoke with me. I loved that you made me want to laugh. I loved the way you were kind and the way you would pause when you spoke, as though you were waiting for me to answer you. I love you and I am mocking no one when I kiss you, no one at all.

ending

The ending was every bit the epic showdown I imagined it was going to be! The events towards the ending were bone chilling and gripped me by the throat. I was at the edge of my seat for the last 100 pages are so and it was so worth it! Although this is a standalone and it ended perfectly, I can’t help but want more of these characters.

rating

4.5 Swords

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The reason this isn’t a five-star read is because of the simple fact that I wanted more of Ben’s POV and didn’t get it. But overall, It was such a good read and Holly Black is truly the Faerie Queen. Have you read The Darkest Part of the Forest? What did you think of it? Is it on your TBR? Let’s Chat.


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14 thoughts on “Book Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

  1. YAAAAASSSSSSS!!! I also love the little glimpse you get of Ben and Severin and Hazel in The Cruel Prince. I’m hoping for more in The Queen of Nothing!! Have you read Black’s Modern Faery Tale trilogy as well??

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  2. I have to admit that I haven’t heard of this one before but it sounds like a great read. It’s hard when you love a character that you don’t see enough of, isn’t it? Great review!

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  3. Very in-depth review! Can’t wait to pick up this book in the near future. 🙂 also love the swords instead of typical stars, Keeana.

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  4. This is a great review! I’ve been seeing a lot about Holly Black on Twitter and Bookstagram, but haven’t read any of her work yet.

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