Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

The Darkest Part of the Forest (2015) by Holly Black was a great book! It kept me engaged and interested from beginning to end. I loved all the characters and the integration of the fairy world with the real world in just this one small town. The main character Hazel is reckless and headstrong, but also brave and kind.

Hazel's relationships with both her brother -- how much they loved and looked after one another -- and with her brother's best friend and fairy changeling, Jack, were really deep and interesting. The secondary storyline of Jack's journey, feeling out of place and slightly isolated -- with his peers being at times amazed and at other times afraid of his otherness -- was also really moving and compelling.

Lastly, I especially enjoy when 'villains' are given some depth and meaning to what they are doing, which this story does very well. Even though the 'villains' in this story aren't even human, and it would have been easy to simply make them evil in a black-and-white sense, Black really gives some insight into why they do what they do, and how different perspectives allow actions to be interpreted in many different ways.
“They were in love with him because he was a prince and a faerie and magical and you were supposed to love princes and faeries and magic people. They loved him the way they’d loved Beast the first time he swept Belle around the dance floor in her yellow dress. They loved him as they loved the Eleventh Doctor with his bow tie and his flippy hair and the Tenth Doctor with his mad laugh. They loved him as they loved lead singers of bands and actors in movies, loved him in such a way that their shared love brought them closer together.”
Keep reading! Beth

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