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The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

The Near Witch (edition 2011)

by Victoria Schwab (Author)

Series: Near Witch (1)

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8056321,032 (3.89)11
Sixteen-year-old Lexi, who lives on an enchanted moor at the edge of the village of Near, must solve the mystery when, the day after a mysterious boy appears in town, children start disappearing.
Title:The Near Witch
Authors:Victoria Schwab (Author)
Info:Hyperion Book CH (2011), Edition: First Edition, 288 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab


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Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
I liked the atmosphere of the book. It is a bit creepy with a touch of spooky on the side and the author was not heavy handed about it. I loved how that feeling just kept simmering underneath the story. Very well done. I also thought the descriptive prose was spot on for the story. However, it was not enough to make up for the items I found lacking.

First, is the lack of character development. Both Lexi and Cole felt rather shallow and not because of personality but because the author did not give them enough depth. I kept waiting for the author to give us more. A couple of times I found myself thinking, as a scene unfolded, oh now the author is going to give us more. But it never happened. It was disappointing on that front.

Second, I felt there was a couple of scenes (two) that I felt were redundant. I would have preferred that those went another direction or were removed all together. They didn't seem to advance the plot.

I am on the fence about recommending this one. It was an OK story but with all the books available to read I would have preferred something with more meat on the bones. ( )
  purpledog | Oct 19, 2020 |
While I do enjoy the story idea, I will not lie the writing in this was very frustrating for me. Some moments it would feel very beautiful and have this flowing, soft, graceful feel to it, and then all of sudden it will feel stiff. A lot sentences would feel short, and quick and it would lose that soft flow it had.

I did enjoy the special short story at the end more “The Ashborn boy” it was just more appealing for me. ( )
  SweetKokoro | Jul 31, 2020 |
WOW! I cannot believe this is Schwab’s debut! This was, in my opinion, one of her strongest works! I mean, maybe not *quite* Monsters of Verity or Shades of Magic good, but close! It was a stronger book than The Archived, and I liked it better than Vicious.

Because wow, this book was spectacular! Everything about it was just wonderful!

Let’s do a list of things I liked, shall we? Because I like lists, and also because there was literally nothing I disliked! (Except for the fact that it was so so good, and a fairly short book, and therefore not long enough. Or maybe I’m just mourning the fact that I have now read all of Schwab’s published works (except for the middle grade series about angels that I still can’t quite believe she wrote…))

- The GORGEOUS writing! I mean, it was by Schwab. What did you expect? But still, it’s worth mentioning, because it was AMAZING!!!
- I sort of love her writing style.
- Okay, maybe more than sort of.

- The creepy, atmospheric, amazingness!
- This book was sooooo creepy! I finished it late at night, and well. That went well for my sleep. (Not.)
- I swear, it was SO creepily written. It gave me shivers, and terrified me out of my wits, but in the very best way.
- Seriously. So creepy. Deliciously creepy. And I LOVED THE CREEPINESS OF IT SO MUCH!

- The world building! It was unique and eerie and atmospheric, and lovely.
- And by lovely I mean the world was terrible, but it was amazingly done.
- Because that’s what lovely means, right?

- I sort of adored Lexi. She wasn’t necessarily the *most* unique YA heroine out there, but she was likeable, and she was memorable.
- Lexi was a bit of a rebel. She didn’t like being told not to do something, and so she had a tendency to do it anyways. She was bright and fun, and a caring older sister.
- Cole was also awesome. He was a sweetie with a tragic past (which, let’s face it, is a wayyyy better trope than a bad boy with a tragic past), and I adored him. He was sweet. He was really, really sweet. But he also had a lot to him. His backstory was super sad, and also really interesting!
- I loved Cole. A lot.
- Like, a lot a lot.
- Wren was adorable. Seriously, she was SUCH a sweet, hilarious child. She was a very no-nonsense five year old, who couldn’t be tricked by silly stories.
- She was the absolute cutest.
- And the sibling relationship was beautiful!

- Then there was the romance.
- Okay, I have to say, it was SO insta-lovey. Ridiculously insta-lovey.
- But you know what? I don’t care. The romance was sweet and cute and I shipped it REALLY HARD.

AHHHHHHHHHHH!!! There’s so much I’m missing, but OH MY GOSH, I JUST LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH!!! You should DEFINITELY go read it! Right away. Just don’t be dumb like me and read it late at night.

***Initial reaction, July 11, 2018***

It is midnight. I am incredibly creeped out. I'm not going to be able to sleep for hours. It was worth it. RTC. ( )
  irisssssssss | Jun 17, 2020 |
I found The Near Witch to be incredibly aesthetic and darling… but I can also see why Victoria did not go viral with this one. To borrow her own words, this is a small book. And loves, there’s nothing wrong with small books. They can be the sweetest, most beautiful stories. They are some of my favorite escapes. But they do not typically turn into television shows or sit on the New York Times bestseller lists for a long time, especially when that small book is a debut.


That does not mean The Near Witch or other books like it are not worth your time. On the contrary, this was a wonderful read. I found myself swept away to the moor with Lexi. Schwab has this absolutely beautiful writing style that intrigues and haunts and illustrates, lingering for a moment on all the senses then wisping away as the story winds on. I love her writing style, and having now read something YA, MG, and Adult by her… I love how they are all different, and yet, all the same.

Lexi isn’t the type of badass female heroine we get used to seeing in adventure stories. She is quiet, smart, and one of the most stubborn characters I have seen. Lexi was fantastic because she was a formidable heroine without sarcasm, sword fights, or because of the romance. I loved Lexi as our protagonist because I feel like she’s such a good example of the different kinds of strong women out there. Also, because she just seemed like a normal person who got tired of being told she couldn’t do what the boys were doing, and who wouldn’t accept that she couldn’t make a difference. And she made a difference because of it.

If I were to criticize one thing, I think I would say the characters were a little undershared. I toyed around with the word “underdeveloped” in this context, but I don’t think that’s accurate. Lexi, Cole, Wren, everyone… they were full, round characters. But I feel like there were walls around so many of the characters that we say only a sliver of each and I was unsatisfied. And maybe that was part of their characterization, and that’s okay. But I want so much more from each of them.

My favorite character, for the record, was Mrs. Thatcher. I want a story about that woman, she feels like she has a story to tell.

Otherwise, the world here felt like something real. Even with the inclusion of the witches, this felt like it could be a piece of tucked away Scottish history. I cannot say how much I loved the aesthetic. I’ve seen the word “creepy” thrown around in reviews, but for me… it wasn’t creepy. It was witchy. The most perfect, foggy day, ominous wind through the trees, witchy.

If you are looking for a good read, an easy read, and something with the best aesthetics, The Near Witch is a great book. I will flat out tell you that I ordered a copy to add to my library after finishing because I know this is a book I can fall into. The audiobook was… okay. I wasn’t a huge fan of Heather Wilds, who narrated this one. I don’t feel she was a good fit for this book and she didn’t bring it to its full potential. But I have so much faith in V. E. Schwab and the story itself, I know this is one I’ll want to read again. ( )
  Morteana | Apr 8, 2020 |
The story is good, but much too simple for what I'm used to reading from Victoria Schwab. Understanding that, this tale was good and mysterious and definitely clean enough for higher leveled elementary readers and middle schoolers. ( )
  MrNattania72 | Mar 17, 2020 |
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Sixteen-year-old Lexi, who lives on an enchanted moor at the edge of the village of Near, must solve the mystery when, the day after a mysterious boy appears in town, children start disappearing.

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Book description
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.
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Average: (3.89)
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