REVIEW: The Darkest Part of the Forest - Holly Black

Series: Standalone
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release Date: January 13th 2015
Book Length: 324 pages
Publisher: Indigo
Source: Physical copy, Goodreads 
Review: 3/5 *Full Review Below.

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? 

The title, cover and synopsis had me sold for this book. 
Fae books are a favourite of mine; ‘The Iron Fey’ by Julie Kagawa is the best series ever, seriously check it out!

So what happened with this? It’s simple, the book could have been SO much more! I was expecting a dark fairy tale all about the Fae being tricksters with their riddles and twisted bargains, never saying thank you, protecting yourself with charms. A gloomy dark prince with horns who has been trapped in a glass coffin in the darkest part of the forest for hundreds of years? A brother and sister who dreamt about rescuing him and slaying evil Fae Folk.

This book could have been perfect but yet it took me almost a week to read this. For me this is bad news, the book failed time and time again to capture my attention, this made it harder and harder to pick the book up again.

The first half of the book was slow and throughout we have these flashbacks that appear at random and for the most part don’t hold any significance apart from distracting you from the plot. Hazel was definitely a new type of MC, the type of girl who longs for distraction and uses boys as a way to accomplish this, completely disregarding other feelings. The romance to me just didn’t click or make any sense as Hazel seemed too interested in kissing other boys, then pretends what she feel for the love interest is nothing but a child’s ‘crush’, then admitting that she’d loved him all along. Confusing much? I did adore the M/M romance, Ben isn’t just looking for love, he wants this great romance to sweep him off his feet. While his romance wasn’t exactly sweeping but more Insta and confusing, I did find it rather cute!

The story soon picks up in the second half which produced a lot more drama and action. The main focus of the book is the brother/sister dynamic which developed wonderfully, but in all honestly this book read more like a child’s fairy tale in places than a dark and twisty YA which I so desperately wanted, this book was just missing something for me. Recommended for fans familiar with Black's writing and lovers of fantasy.

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  1. Aw - sorry you didn't like this book. I'm a huge Holly Black. Did you ever read any of her other books?

    1. No, this is the first book I've read by her but I have heard that her other work is great! Is there any you would recommend? :)

  2. It's kind of hard to compare anything to Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series. I have yet to read a series that comes even close! She's set us both up with such high standards for fey stories, no? I mean, just think about Ash! ;D

    1. That is so so true, if I was seriously comparing this against Iron Fey there would be no star! That's how much I love that series haha, Ahhh ASH! my god, the love of my little life <3 He's forever somewhere at the top of the book boyfriend list ;)

  3. I loved this novel SO much more than Doll Bones and Coldest Girl in Coldtown. My biggest issue were the MC's parents lol

    1. OMG how bad were her parents? It was actually disturbed the scenes that were being told in those flashbacks, I was furious! hahaa, I'm going to check out the Coldest Girl in Coldtown it sounds so good :D


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