Book Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Darkest Part of the ForestTitle: The Darkest Part of the Forest

Author: Holly Black

Series: None, Standalone

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Release Date: January 13, 2015

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Source: Borrowed from the library

Okay, I love Holly Black. She is the QUEEN of awesome standalones that will make you obsessed with her. Her stories are always crazy good and oftentimes crazy creepy. I love this about her. She is not afraid to creep out her readers! Here’s your synopsis from Amazon:

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 pointy 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 and a hero is needed to save them all, Hazel tries to remember her years spent pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?
1. This world is so amazing. The first chapter will have you hooked from the start.
Seriously, this book is the owner of one of the coolest first chapters I have ever read. You find out that their town, Fairfold, is home to faeries and the locals know it. Tourists, however, aren’t so lucky. There is a horned boy in a glass coffin in the forest. The forest is always a dangerous place, but the faeries usually don’t harm locals. Why? Because locals know how to keep the faeries away and all of the rules about them. It is so strange to see a faerie story with the fae out in the open! Coolest thing ever!!!
2. Holly Black has this seamless way of weaving flashbacks and the present.
I know you’ve been there. You’ve been reading a book and BAM! you’re in a flashback and you’re like…what is going on? Black never does this to you – it’s incredible. The first flashback is that of Hazel’s friend (Hazel is our wonderful MC) Jack. Jack is a changeling. I’ll let the book tell you his story, but it is so cool. Seriously I cannot even gush more about how awesome this story was!!!
3. The 3rd person point of view and the brother/sister team will make you fall in love with this, I swear.
It super rare that I read a book with 3rd person POV anymore. Black definitely chose the right voice for this book. 3rd person makes for dramatic irony, of which I am a HUGE fan. This leads me to the brother/sister duo of Hazel and Ben. They’ve always had to take care of one another because of their parents. Their parents are artists, and they’re extremely flighty. They almost seem to forget they have kids. Since Ben and Hazel suffered through this no parents childhood thing, they are extremely close. However, they have SO MANY secrets they keep from each other. The whole book you want to scream JUST TELL HIM/HER ALREADY!!! I loved them as a team. They’re both fantastic.
4. Recently I read A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – also about faeries – and I thought it was interesting to see how different authors and worlds have different faerie rules.
So, in Maas’s world, faeries can lie. In Black’s world, they cannot. It’s so interesting to see the differing rules, and variations on those rules. These faeries definitely stick to their rules, and the humans have to as well. For example, Hazel knows all of the rules when dealing with faeries, and one is to never thank them. I found this interesting since they demand so much respect from the mortals. As a reader, the rules can get confusing, but Black being the genius that she is, helps you remember everything Hazel does wrong! Holly Black, I love you. I seriously want to live in your brain.
5. There is an awesome monster in this!
The main villain (through most of the story) is a giant lady made of trees. Her name is Sorrow. When she visits, and if she touches you, you fall into a deep sleep and your start spewing tree stuff like moss and leaves. She makes a few appearances in this book, and really you can’t help but feel horrible for her, especially when you get to the end. I won’t spoil this for you, because it made me smile so huge!
OVERALL: 5 STARS!!! Can I give Holly Black infinity stars? Because I want to. This book was phenomenal. This was a fantastically new take on faeries living among humans and faeries themselves. This was a super twisted fairy tale full of realistic fight scenes, gore, and magic. Holly Black impresses me YET AGAIN with this book. Click the link below to order because seriously, wow. That’s all I can say.

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