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Stacey O'Neale

We review fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction books in both young adult and adult. Our website also features contests, giveaways, author interviews, guest posts, and more! http://www.fantasybookaddict.com
The Near Witch - Victoria Schwab This review was completed by Camille Morales, staff reviewer with the YA Fantasy Guide.This book is about a girl named Lexi Harris, who lives in a town called Near. Her father is dead, but when she was growing up he used to tell her stories about the Near Witch. She was always told that the story was one that people told to scare kids. She was also told that the wind calls out at night, but that you mustn’t listen to it because it is lonely and looking for company (this has to do with the tale). And one thing she knows is that there are no strangers in her town. There has never been a stranger. Ever. One night, however, she sees a boy outside her house, and he seems to fade, so she isn’t totally sure he’s there. But, somehow, she knows he’s real. And now there’s a stranger in her town. The night after the new guy is seen—because it is confirmed that he is, indeed, real—kids start to disappear from their beds at night. Everyone immediately accuses the new guy. But Lexi doesn’t. She feels she can trust him, and they end up looking for the kids together. So they search and search and Lexi grows more curious every night about who it might be, and she start to suspect that the Near Witch is more than just a bedtime story, and that there is more to the wind that speaks to the children. She becomes interested in the boy who has no name, the stranger that came to her town. Together, they need to find who is taking the children before it’s too late.There are not enough words to express my love for this book, but here we go. First, I loved the setting. The story made the town seem haunting and scary and I loved it very much. I loved the characters. Lexi was too awesome, and I loved her and the way she was different than the other girls. I loved the way she really, really cared for her family—her mother and her sister and even her uncle. I loved Wren, her little sister. She was very cute and loyal to her sister. I loved Cole (it’s the name Lexi gives the stranger) and the way he really cared about everything, about the kids and about the people—the ones who weren’t trying to kill him. Um, I liked Lexi’s mom A LOT. I thought she was a great character and the whole family had gone through so much. I would’ve liked to see more of Helena, Lexi’s friend. I liked the kids and the two witches, Dreska and Magda Thorne. The only characters I did not liked were the ones that weren’t meant to be liked, like Lexi’s uncle, Otto. But, in his case, I guess I understood why he was the way he was at times, “at times” being the key words, because other times I wish he would’ve left Lexi alone, and I admired the way she stood up to him because it is what I would’ve done. So, basically, the characters were great. The pacing was kind of slow, but you don’t really notice. Only a week goes by, but it feels like longer because there is so much going on. At times, I wanted to cry, but I didn’t. Instead, I somehow hurt. I liked the main characters a lot, and I cared for them. The tale of the Witch was haunting and beautiful and I loved it. I loved this book a lot. I definitely recommend this book to EVERYONE. You should all go buy it. I give it a 5/5 stars.