The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 13th, 2015
Pages: 336
Song I Played While Reading: None
Rating: 4 stars

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've never read any of Holly Black's work before. I didn't even realize she existed until I heard about The Magisterium series. That sounds horrible, good lord, but it's true. I had originally downloaded this audiobook for my ride back home from SoCal, but that didn't end up happening. It was interrupted too much from my GPS and I was having problems paying attention, since most of my focus was on surviving LA traffic. 
BUT I finally got around to listening to it and now I'm wondering why it took me so damn long to pick up this wonderful book. I LOVED IT.
I love the fact that the real world and the fairy world have combined in this story and the people are okay with it. Well, maybe okay isn't the right word. Accepted? Yeah, thats better. It's an normal thing for them; they wear charms, leave food and milk out as a peace offering, occasionally make deals with them, and sometimes talk or hang out with them. IT'S SO FRIGGIN COOL, I WANNA LIVE IN FAIRFOLD.
Hazel was the best narrator ever. I literally could not have asked for a better main character. I think it's why I loved this story so much. We're alike in a lot of ways, and it was refreshing to listen to someone that had the same thought process as me. We also dressed the same, which was SO fun. This may sound materialistic, but it annoys the crap out of me when characters don't have a sense of style, or wear the same thing everyday. Hazel was wearing things teenage girls wear today; leggings with comfy sweaters and converse; skinny jeans, boots, and nice tops; dresses with thick swearers and ankle boots... FUN FUN FUN.
The other characters were kick-ass as well, giving this whole story such a close knit vibe, since this really narrated around Hazel, her brother, and their friend Jack. But the whole town was super close, as well, and their families were also there for the three amigos and supported them with whatever they did. It made me feel all warm and gooey inside.
I docked this a star for the slow start and my weird inability to invest myself in the story. But it didn't last long, thank god. 
The writing was flawless, so vivid that I would find myself spacing out and actually be in the scene, whether that be in the woods with the faeries or in school with Hazel and Jack. 
The ending was SOOOOO cute and almost had me in tears. An ending can make or break a book for me, and the imagery was absolutely stunning. This was a fantastic story, and I definitely plan on picking up Black's other works. 

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

“And elsewhere in the woods, there is another party, one taking place inside a hollow hill, full of night-blooming flowers. There, a pale boy plays a fiddle with newly mended fingers while his sister dances with his best friend. There, a monster whirls about, branches waving in time with the music, There, a prince of the Folk takes up the mantle of king, embracing a changeling like a bother, and, with a human boy at his side, names a girl his champion.” (CUE MY TEARS)

"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 floppy 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."

"The only way to end grief was to go through it."

P.s. the audiobook of this was fantastic. If you don't have time to sit down and read it, I highly suggest listening to it! 

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