The Darkest Part of the Forest ARC Review by Holly Black

Wednesday, 18 February 2015
The Darkest Part of the Forest, by Holly Black
Publication: January 13, 2015, by Little Brown Books
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Faeries
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

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?

The thing is, I can't go through a bookstore without ending up seeing a book by Holly Black. Like really, it's literately impossible. Ms. Black is an author who's been raved about so much that I figured that it's about time that I have to go through her books and find something that can possibly captivate me. I wasn't sure about this when I received it for review from the publisher, but thankfully I decided to give it a go since it was utterly fabulous. The Darkest Part of the Forest can easily be stated as one of the best faerie books that I've read to date—and I know you and I will be seeing more reviews of her books coming from me.

A blast into the past will probably show you that I have never really been a huge fan of fantasy novels, specifically witches and faeries. Paranormal has really gotten onto my nerves recently as everything is and has been the same since 2010. I've practically have given up. This comes from an author who has sticked with this genre from the beginning and never has let go. I say that she can probably be compared to be the next Cassandra Clare in the future, or in the future where I read her other books. Black's writing is something that can chill you to the bone, make you feel like you've never witnessed anything else like this in your life before, and throw you down the stairs of captivation. She's incredible.

Coming into this, I expected a book where the protagonist secretly was a faerie, and this would be her story about saving the humans. I didn't want a total repeat of those average paranormal books where there'd always be the different creatures and there's that one person who's new and falls in love with that human. I've got enough of that stuff. This dealt with faeries in a total different way, where the protagonist, Hazel, is curious of the fae world that everyone speaks of in her small town. There's a glass coffin that lays in the forest, with a body of a horned boy, who one day escapes and causes chaos.

"Sometimes Ben told stories about how he would free the prince, with three magic words—words he'd never say out loud in front of Hazel. And in those stories, the prince was always villainous. Ben had to stop him before he destroyed Fairfold—and Ben did, through the power of love."

As this concept was picture-perfect, I also have to mention that as Holly Black set this in a present-day setting, she added so many modern concepts like LBGT aspects and such gorgeous romance. I can't stop thinking about how this went from some historical things to an urban setting. From the moment I picked this up, I was really addicted, and it mostly stayed that way throughout the novel.

I mean, of course there were those moments when I rolled my eyes or I kind of yawned. It was a little slow-paced and kind of long to read, but I liked the way the story flowed. It was the perfect length and there's no complaints of wanting it to be longer or shorter from me. And really, the writing style was on-point. Holly Black is so talented at writing and her stories are absolutely unique.

Hazel has had to be my problem throughout this book. She was strange. At some points, I found that I really liked her personality and speak, but at others she annoyed me when she was trying to figure out everything for everyone and when she acted like she was the boss. I couldn't relate to her too much, either. How was I supposed to enjoy the story when the protagonist got on my nerves? Well thankfully, I went through it. Ben was my favourite character, as well as Jack, who got me so excited and I thought was so hot. Fictional crush, count me in!

Now I'm sitting here and am wondering, "No sequel?" In some ways, it's a good thing since I've totally got enough of series and trilogies and all of that. HOLLY BLACK KNOWS HOW TO BE UNIQUE AND HOW TO WRITE LIKE IT AS WELL.

GORGEOUS ROMANCE, GORGEOUS JACK, GORGEOUS JACK, GORGEOUS JACK AND GORGEOUS WRITING. This was a fantastic read and I'm pushing you all to go out and grab it since it's not even close to anything else you've ever read. I haven't read anything like this in a while—GO FOR IT!

*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!*


I love comments, I always read them, they always make my day and help me improve my posts. Thank you!