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The Near Witch (The Near Witch #1)

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3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,955 Ratings  ·  891 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
...more
Hardcover, 282 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Hyperion Books CH
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Vinaya
Apr 11, 2011 Vinaya rated it it was amazing
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
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oliviasbooks
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
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Nicklein Mae
May 23, 2016 Nicklein Mae rated it it was amazing
This is so underrated I want to punch someone.

The Near Witch was Victoria Schwab's debut novel, yes, the same author of Shades of Magic series. It's actually one of the first yafs I've ever read and loved. I had the pleasure of reading this right after it was released 5 years ago and I still read it from time to time. I read it whenever I feel a slump looming in the background. I reach for it whenever I want something ya but not romance-centered. It's like my go-to book to be honest.

It reads li
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Katie
Jul 18, 2012 Katie rated it did not like it
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
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Patricia Riley
Aug 02, 2011 Patricia Riley rated it it was amazing
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
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Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
Well, that was just creepy enough to give me nightmares every night while I was reading it. It's not the jump out and scare the bejeezus out of you, though...it's the kind of eerie story that sneaks up on you, digs down into your subconscious and makes you start seeing and hearing things when left to your own devices. Or it did me, anyway.

I've had this book on my shelf for ages. I'm a huge fan of Victoria Schwab's work, so I don't know why I resisted picking this novel up until now, except that
...more
Alyssa
Aug 23, 2011 Alyssa rated it it was ok
Shelves: why-the-hype
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
...more
Kendare Blake
Nov 10, 2011 Kendare Blake rated it it was amazing
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
...more
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
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Kat (Lost in Neverland)
My library finally got this in! You know, like half a year after it was released?


After I Finished:

description


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
...more
Kai
Jan 31, 2016 Kai rated it really liked it
Shelves: underrated, 2016
A dark and magical tale, that reminded me of the Woman in Black.
I'm a huge fan of Victoria Schwab, because her writing and her stories are amazing and unique. An expert in world-building, character-depth and originality, all set in a thrilling and mysterious mood like no other.
The Near Witch is one of the author's earlier works. While it'll never be as good as Vicious or A Darker Shade of Magic(since they're both mind-blowing), it was still worth reading.
Zoë Marriott
Mar 27, 2011 Zoë Marriott rated it really liked it
THE BLURB:

"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
...more
~Tina~
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
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Lauren
Jan 22, 2011 Lauren rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Tye Cattanach
Jul 17, 2010 Tye Cattanach rated it it was amazing
I am utterly bewitched. And quite lost for words.
Breathtaking.
Kristi
Aug 05, 2011 Kristi rated it it was amazing
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
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Cookie
More of a 4.5 for this book. I believe this was a debut for Victoria Schwab, and her writing is still as mesmerising. Though I enjoyed her other novels more, this one is still as interesting and lovely. I enjoyed the main character and her love for her sister. I found the love interest to be sweet and adorable and mysterious. The problem with the witch was well done.
I wonder if there's a sequel to this. Though it does well as a standalone and the prequel novella, I'd love to see what else might
...more
Kody Keplinger
Apr 26, 2010 Kody Keplinger rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 06, 2011 Danielle Ellison rated it it was amazing
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
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Jodi Meadows
Jul 29, 2011 Jodi Meadows rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Mizuki
Oct 20, 2015 Mizuki rated it it was ok
Shelves: disappointment
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
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Lamia
Dec 21, 2015 Lamia rated it it was ok
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
Laura P.
Jun 15, 2016 Laura P. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating: 3.90

This story was way cooler than I had expected.
Victoria Schwab has a way with words simply magnificent.
Now, this book is aimed to a younger audience (Amazon says 10-14) but I trusted Victoria and bought it nonetheless, I wasn't disappointed.
The tale of the Near Witch is dark and creepy in a Tim Burton's way (not really scary) with no lack of twists and sweet moments (Cole! <3 ). I loved Lexi, her courage and stubbornness and I loved sweetly sad Cole. Their duo was simply fan
...more
Myra McEntire
Apr 26, 2010 Myra McEntire rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Michelle
Dec 11, 2010 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010
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.
Kisses A
Apr 14, 2016 Kisses A rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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

description
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
...more
Sonia
Aug 16, 2011 Sonia rated it it was amazing
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
...more
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
...more
Lucy
Jan 27, 2011 Lucy rated it it was amazing
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'
...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #114 The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab 1 2 Jun 21, 2015 11:51AM  
stand alone? 3 31 Jul 02, 2014 08:13AM  
~!The Young Adult...: {January} The Near Witch (Victoria Schwab) 6 27 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.” 21 likes
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