Publish Date: August 2011
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.There are no strangers in the town of Near.These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.But when and 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.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 the nameless boy.
So, The Near Witch didn't quite sell me for the first 2/3 of the book. It wasn't bad, the writing was fantastic, but I just wasn't really feeling it. And then the last 1/3 of the book pretty much grabbed me and wouldn't let go. I ended up being awake until 2 just so I could finish it. At one point I checked the clock and it was midnight and after I turned the last page I checked again and it was 2. It completely sucked me in and I had no idea that much time had passed!
I've heard everybody rave about how awesome Lexi is, but I wasn't quite feeling it most of the time. She proved herself in the end, but while I applaud her for wanting to help, she just seemed majorly stubborn in the beginning to me. Cole wasn't anything swoon-worthy for me either. Mostly he was just neither here nor there. I could take him or leave him. And Helen. Her placement in the story was just kind of odd to me. Lexi seemed to be more of a loner so I don't really think she needed a best friend in the story. Also, Helen was barely there at all. In fact, she's only in three scenes. I feel like she was just this weird add-on.
Then there's the romance. I really wasn't a fan of this romance at all. There was just no lead in at all. It was like he wasn't there, then he was there, then they were all in love and stuff. I can understand being interested because he's new, but the emotions all felt like a little too much.
Final Thoughts: Despite the complaining, I really did enjoy the story. The writing was fantastic and eerie. It has a sort of fairy-tale vibe to it, but it's completely original. The stories and rhymes sprinkled throughout were a wonderful touch to a world all its own.
Rating: 4 stars