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 where her drive came from.
The romance was flimsy and unsupported by the story. They go from strangers to devoted to each other over night. Blink and you'll miss it.
The stakes were too low. You pretty much know there's no bite in this book when you're reading it. Makes you care less.
The whole plot just felt undercooked. There just wasn't a lot there. The story felt....small. And I don't mean in length, I mean in depth and development. I wanted more. I wanted more of who Lexi was, who Cole was, why they were attracted to each other, more suspense, more fear. I wanted there to be more explanation of why Lexi was so compelled to sneak out every night. I wanted Otto to do more than just huff and puff. I wanted a compelling reason to care or worry about the characters. But like I said, it stayed small, thin.....I don't know how else to describe it.
So that all may sound harsh, but honest to goodness I think Victoria Schwab is a wonderful tailor of words. But that was not enough to make this book captivating to me. If you want to best show off a well tailored suit, you need a good frame to hang it on.
My favorite bit:
"My Father used to say that change is like a garden.
It doesn't come up overnight, unless you are a witch. Things have to be planted and tended, and most of all, the ground has to be right. He said the people of Near had the wrong dirt, and that's why they resisted change so much, the way roots resist hard earth. He said if you could just break through, there was good soil there, down deep."