Friday, 30 June 2017

THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST - by Holly Black

THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST - Holly Black
Published: 2015 - by Indigo.
Pages: 324.
Genres: Young adult / fantasy / romance / magic / paranormal
Source: Library.
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?


I love fairy tales. But I wouldn't have picked up this book if one of my friends hadn't said how amazing it was; I just don't like the cover at all.
Still, I got it from the library, and then I began reading.


The idea is incredibly strong and unique. It's a truly imaginative tale, and sparkles and seethes with an eerie foreboding from beginning to end. The atmosphere's dark, haunted, creepy, and otherworldly, and I loved Black's take on the Fae. This is how I like fairies to be portrayed: dark, dangerous, unpredictable, sensual, and terrifying. There's nothing "right" about them; they're sly, manipulative, and frightfully inhuman creatures.

The pacing is perfect, and Black's writing is superb. She weaves a tight, brilliantly plotted story, and it's so constantly quotable. The plot never wanders, never weakens, and grows stronger and stronger as the story progresses.

“Once, there was a girl who vowed she would save everyone in the world, but forgot herself.”

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

The characters are all three dimensional and dynamic.  I didn't particularly love anyone (except for Hazel) but I did like and appreciate how deep and complicated they all were. They all grow throughout the story, and I loved that. Not to mention how broken everyone is; a heartbreaking but essential aspect of the book. All the main characters are hurting, and it's beautiful and profound the way Black handles their individual arcs.
The flashbacks are also amazing. Through them, Black reveals certain specifics about the characters' pasts that add so much to their present motivations and circumstances, and it's done so intelligently and thoughtfully.

Hazel Evans, the heroine, is my absolute favourite thing about the story. She encompasses everything I adore in a strong female character: bravery, brokenness, compassion, insecurity, and most of all, riddled with flaws. She's a flawed and real girl, but she's so broken and beautiful. Her inner scars torment her, but she learns to overcome and accept them. Not to mention how fantastically feminist she is; for all her hurts and mistakes - and perhaps because of them - she stands for a great deal of inspiring female strength in a largely male populated story.
I loved Hazel's character.

I wasn't not mad on any of the romances. I did love what those relationships brought out in the characters, but I just didn't feel the "I SHIP IT!" feeling. To be honest, I think I would've preferred it if there hadn't been romance at all.



The Darkest Part of the Forest is a dark, eerie, well written and utterly unique tale, and one packed with strong characters and  morals.
The only thing missing was more of the fairy tale aspect. It didn't quite give me the beautiful magical feeling I love in a fairy tale. 
I highly recommend this book, but there was something missing for me.


P.S.I do think this book deserves 4 flowers. But my 4 flowers stands for "I loved it" and I can't say I loved this book. 
3.5 means "I really liked it" and that I can say with assurance. 

8 comments:

  1. I liked this book, but like you, I didn't love it. It was great though! I think I would have preferred no romance, and let the focus be completely on the other pars of the story. Still, this book worked for me and I didn't think it would. I'm gad you mostly enjoyed it, Amy!

    Have a great week. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. *high five*
      Yeah, I didn't think the romance was great :(
      Thanks Alyssa!

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  2. You've convinced me to give this book a try-- even with the flaws it sounds so interesting!

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    1. It's definitely interesting! Hope you love it :)

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  3. I think, like Anna, that I may need to give this a try. I like a similar take on the fae, more of a dangeorus kind of angle, and sounds like that's what she delivers here. Plus the great writing!

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    1. Yeah she does! And totally :)
      Hope you get to read it soon!

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  4. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. I think I'll reread it in a few months. :') I'm sorry you didn't love this but I'm glad you at least really liked it! ;D

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