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The Near Witch (The Near Witch #1)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  4,662 ratings  ·  860 reviews
The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger-a boy who seems to fade like smoke-appears outside her home on the moor at nigh
Hardcover, 282 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Hyperion Books CH
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Josefine Germod You either buy it or borrow it from a library.
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Apr 11, 2011 Vinaya rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Every Single Person on my friends list. You better run for cover, now!!!
"Of every aspect of the moor, the earth and stone and rain and fire, the wind is the strongest one in Near. Here on the outskirts of the village, the wind is always pressing close, making windows groan. It whispers and it howls and it sings. It can bend its voice and cast into any shape, long and thin enough to slide beneath the door, stout enough to seem a thing of weight and breath and bone." *

There are books I like that most people hate. There are books everyone loved, which never appealed t
It's really easy to see how much time and thought debut author Victoria Schwab has successfully invested into the wording of her witchy kidnapping tale. Each sentence has been set carefully into the mosaic of legends, winds that have a soul and everyday life inside of the small town of Near, which is located within an endless stretch of moor and forest, far away from the rest of the pre-industrial civilization.

Although the description did not interest me at all, when I first encountered an ann
Patricia Riley
Aug 02, 2011 Patricia Riley rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Shelves: favorites
I was lucky enough to get a ARC of The Near Witch and it turned out to be, by a mile, my favorite of the (many) books I read in 2010! Within two weeks of getting it, I read it twice! As I read it again today to celebrate it's release it will be the 6th time I've read it! Suffice to say this book managed to do two things that I have not had a book do in a very, very long time:

1) It so completely drew me in and entangled me in the world of the story that if someone had jumped out in front of me w
Jul 18, 2012 Katie rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Katie by: amazon
I stopped at page 82, roughly one-third of the way through.

I am at a loss when it comes to all of the rabid fans of this novel. I found it as dull and drab as the grey skies of moor country.

The writing is stilted. The narrator is boringly typical. The author named the little sister "Wren", which is so nauseatingly whimsical and twee, in the YA world of, missing a parent, girls.

It did, indeed, feel familiar, as the jacket promised, but not in a comfortable, favorite hoodie, kind of way - more lik
Hillary Hunt
Victoria Schwab's writing will rope you in with its lyrical loveliness, I will say that. But the actual plot of the Near Witch is rather ho-hum. After all the swooning reviews I read for this one, I was expecting more. Here's why it didn't capture my fancy:

Not much suspense. You pretty much know what's going on the whole time, there are no surprises.

The book is written in first person, from the pov of Lexi. And yet her character came across as very vague and nondescript. I did not understand wh
Zoë Marriott

"The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappear
This book could have been a 5 star read for me. It had a few things going for it: beautiful, poetic writing, an interesting idea revolving around witchcraft, magic and mystery, and raving reviews from fellow Goodread reviewers before the book’s publication date.

But here’s why it ended up a 2 star read instead.

The book is written in the first person, narrated through the protagonist, Lexi. I generally find that first person narration usually works if the voice is witty, engaging and gives the re
Wow, what a great book!

The Near Witch is my favorite kind of fairytale. It has all the wonderful elements and moments I look for in an escape.
The setting is rich and luscious with vividness. I can see the town, the children dancing and singing, the cottages nestled on hills, the whispering moors and the forest trails, each having it's own energy.
These characters are all genuinely interesting. A stranger's arrival stirring up commotion in a town where no strangers venture, ever. Missing childre
Kat (Lost in Neverland)
My library finally got this in! You know, like half a year after it was released?

After I Finished:


There are no strangers in the village of Near, until one night, Lexi sees a mysterious figure on the Moor, disappearing in a single gust of wind.
The next morning, word of the stranger has spread and everyone is curious. But when a child is stolen from his bed, the locals are quick to blame the stranger. Lexi is sure that he is innocent, and with the help of Cole (the name she made up for him when
The Near Witch left me breathless. Victoria Schwab’s writing is meandering and beautifully descriptive, a style that perfectly matches the breezy moor setting of her story. She expertly spins a bedtime story into something horrific, and turns a close-knit small town into a cocoon of fear.

Lexi, as a character, was fantastic. Her narration was gorgeous; some of the thoughts Victoria Schwab wrote for her were so raw, and real, and just thinkers (pretty much anything that started with “when my fath
Kendare Blake
The Near Witch is...elegantly creepy. The Near Witch is....organically pretty and organically gross. Victoria Schwab's debut is one of lovely, moody, atmospheric writing. You'll smell the fresh baked bread. You'll breathe deep of crisp moor air. And you'll get gritty, loamy, dirt all up in your nose and mouth and eyes. It's quite the experience.

I enjoyed the determined spark in protagonist Lexi. I enjoyed that I wanted to throttle those characters struck with mob-mentality. Or at least I wanted
Tye Cattanach
I am utterly bewitched. And quite lost for words.
Absolutely beautifully written! A fairy tale with a little bit of a creep factor. Yes, it's as ridiculous as it sounds... ridiculously GOOD!

The Near Witch was one of those books that you can't help but read slow... just so you can savor. Usually when I am into a book I cannot stop turning the pages fast enough... but with The Near Witch it was different. I loved the story, but I just had to take my time with each word. Does that seem crazy to anyone else? Was I the only reader to experience this
Kody Keplinger
I got the honor of reading this book early, and OMG< how lucky I feel!!!

This was not a book I expected to like. I don't usually like fairy tales, but I was SHOCKED by how much I loved this book! I loved the characters and the story was just wonderfully weaved and beautiful!

Victoria has an amazing career ahead of her.
Danielle Ellison
Things that make me happy: A good song. A fantastic story. Dreams. Romance. Beautiful words. Things that require the suspension of disbelief. Magic. Getting lost in a world that isn't my own. Hope, passion and the possibility that maybe, just maybe, the extraordinary can happen to the most ordinary people.

There are very few places in life these things all come together. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab is one of them.

I've read a lot of books. A lot of books. I also love a lot of books. If you r
Jodi Meadows
I wanted this book in a serious way. I've been following Victoria's publishing journey for years now, and was thrilled when she got her deal. That was nearly two years ago! It's been a long wait for THE NEAR WITCH, but it's finally on its way. I was lucky enough to read the ARC a couple weeks before the book's official release.

"It starts with a crack, a sputter, and a spark."

There are many fine things about THE NEAR WITCH, but the first thing you notice is the prose. Victoria's prose is delici
Kat Kennedy
Sep 15, 2011 Kat Kennedy marked it as do-not-read
Myra McEntire
As V's critique partner, I was also lucky enough to get an early read of THE NEAR WITCH. I'm so glad I didn't have to wait until WINTER 2011 for the ARC to come out!

Victoria's writing style is lyrical, poetic, and elegant. Even though Lexi's world is that of a fairy tale, her voice translates. Teens today will find her relatable and brave.

Readers will love falling into the world of THE NEAR WITCH, and will be hungry for a sequel the second they finish!

Congratulations, Victoria, on a stunning de
Kisses A
I don't have words to describe how much I enjoyed this...: description
This was so good and a bit creepy.Non spoiler synopsis: Lexi Haris lives in a little village in a cottage with her little sister and mother. Her dad was a role model to her but is now dead.There is no technology and the there is a lot of trees, grass ,hills and a moore. The place is quite windy and gloomy

The town was known for witches and one night a stranger comes to town and from the next night children mysteriously disappear.Lexi is c
There are so many words that I can use to describe The Near Witch - mesmerizing, atmospheric, spellbinding, beautiful, lyrical... take your pick. All I know is that this is one of the best books I have ever read.

Victoria's writing is gorgeous. There is a lyrical quality to it and it immersed me completely in the town of Near. I feel like I took a trip to the moors, felt and heard the howling wind. I couldn't keep my eyes off the page, but at the same time, I wanted to take it slow so that I woul
Allison (The Allure of Books)
Y'all, this novel stands out. The elegance and subtlety of both the writing and the story are rare enough on their own - forget about finding them together.

The plot completely transports you to another world: specifically, the town of Near. Children in Lexi's small town begin disappearing around the same time that she starts seeing a person that seems to be made of smoke floating around outside after dark. When she meets the otherworldly boy, they form an unlikely alliance that plunges them int
The Near Witch is a deliciously eerie and captivating book that drew me in with the first pages. The book reads like a fairy tale with lush, vivid descriptions. I could visualize the curling wind and tall grasses depicted in the story. The story has a timeless and mysterious quality that is in turn dark, chilling, and romantic. This is the perfect book to curl up and read on a cold winter night.

The protagonist, Lexi, lives with her mother and younger sister in the town of Near. After her father'
So…where do I begin? I’ll start off by saying that I was really pumped about reading this book. I mean, I *did* do a happy dance when I got it on Netgalley, you know. Victoria Schwab seems like an awesome person, and the summary of this book sounds so very intriguing.

First of all, I’ll talk about what I liked in this book:

1) The setting. Beautiful, atmospheric and rich. This is, after all, a fantasy book, and thus I was very impressed by how well Ms. Schwab crafted this unique little town of Nea
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
Take a beautiful love story and mix it together with an engaging fairy tale and you have The Near Witch. I am in love with this debut! Victoria's writing is spellbinding and her story is hypnotic. I could not put this book down. I loved everything about it, from her richly developed characters and setting, to the mystery surrounding the story's lore and everything in between. It's a story that flowed well and really came to life for me.

I adore Lexi. She's an independent, strong, courageous girl
Just under a 5.

When this popped up on Goodreads toward the end of last year, I thought 'Ooh, that's a cool title, picture's kinda neat' and that was the end of it for awhile. I didn't think it was going to be a gotta-have for me. And then during Fairy Tale Fortnight, Bonnie wrangled us an interview with The Near Witch author Victoria Schwab... I hadn't realized The Near Witch had a sort of fairy tale/folkloric element! Add to that the fantasticness of the interview, how much Victoria amuses me o
Steph Su
I’m not usually a fan of being scared, but I make an exception for Victoria Schwab’s gorgeous debut novel THE NEAR WITCH. Reading THE NEAR WITCH is like treating to yourself to a five-star restaurant, with an especially decadent dessert to top it all off: the characters and plot may at times be frustrating, but the very experience of reading this story is worth it.

I’m going to continue with the dessert analogy to describe the writing. Victoria Schwab is like an innovative master pastry chef: she
I had hope for this book, witches! Children being kidnapped! Supernatural stuff going on in the background of woodland and small village! What can go wrong?

In the end, I can't believe the author actually can manage to make witches and magic and supernatural threat so damn boring.

In the end, the teenage romance/love triangle makes the book feels like one of those run-of-the-mill YA.

The writing is fine (but not so fine if you compared it to the likes of Neil Gaiman's), and the same can't be said t
I'm sorry to say I'm not as enthusiastic about this book as my fellow goodreaders are. The writing was good, but there was this little something missing to make it quite as enchanting as it could have been. I didn't really connect with Lexi and the romance came out of nowhere, which is a huge pet peeve for me. The story line was predictable and a little dull, and I'm just generally disappointed by this book. It had potential, with a very well-set universe and atmosphere, but the execution was la ...more
Classic and original, enchanting and haunting, timeless and current.

The plot of THE NEAR WITCH echoes the best of Grimm's Fairy Tales and the gorgeous, flawless writing echoes the best YA authors of today and of centuries past. I was enthralled from start to finish- this is one you will NOT want to miss.
Aug 08, 2010 Courtney added it
Shelves: ya-fiction, 2010
Lovely intense, spooky. Fantastic fairytale AND tribute TO fairytales.

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stand alone? 3 27 Jul 02, 2014 08:13AM  
~!The Young Adult...: {January} The Near Witch (Victoria Schwab) 6 26 Apr 09, 2012 03:45PM  
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Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say "tom-ah-toes," "like," and "y'all."

She also tells stories.

She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.
More about Victoria Schwab...

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“Maybe one day the words will pour out like so many others, easy and smooth and on their own. Right now they take pieces of me with them.” 47 likes
“Magda looks at me as if I've gone mad. Or I've grown up. It's kind of the same thing.” 20 likes
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