Title: The Darkest Part of the Forest
Author: Holly Black
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT, Romance
Story Perspective: Third-Person
Themes: Love, Relationships, Trust, Family, Sacrifice
Publication Date: January 13th, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
In the small and quaint town of Fairfold, where people and fae live together, lies a sleeping horned boy in a glass coffin. The horned boy has been there for so long that he’s become the town’s attraction.
Siblings Ben and Hazel are among those who are curious of the sleeping horned boy. That is, until one day he isn’t sleeping, then truth of his past comes out, Hazel’s hidden night time secret is revealed, and the deadly force that attacks their town is alive.
I actually picked up this book for a book club that I recently joined at my local library. The cover, title, and synopsis drew me right in and I couldn’t wait to get started!
Being in a fae world filled with magic and mystery was certainly fun and thrilling. The mystery behind the horned boy and the hidden life of Hazel kept the plot moving forward, which is something I always appreciate in any read. Another aspect that I appreciated was the LGBT relationship inclusion. It just added a layer of reality to this otherwise magical tale that I truly enjoyed. One of my favorite scenes, aside from the sweet romances, was a thrilling incident that happens in the kids’ school. I wasn’t necessarily scared, but it did give me the chills as I was able to easily picture myself in Hazel’s shoes.
On the other hand, there seemed to be other plot points not fully explored. For instance, no one really noticed that Hazel had gone missing every night for several years? Even her brother, who is so close to her? Also, their parents’ absence wasn’t explained to my satisfaction.
For the most part, the characters that were meant to be liked were likable and those who weren’t meant to be liked weren’t. In general, I really liked several of the characters here. However, there were some that I wished were developed a bit more. For instance, Severin, the sleeping horned boy, was given some background, but not nearly enough to make his story as fulfilling as it could have been. Even Severin’s sister would be an extremely interesting character to follow more. Lastly, I would have liked to learn more about Jack, Ben’s best friend.
Overall, there were some parts that I felt could have improved, but I genuinely enjoyed the story and the world Black created. Most likely, I will look into more of Black’s works (maybe even The Spiderwick Chronicles)!
For those who enjoy young adult fantasies with some light and sweet romance woven in may enjoy this one!
Number of books of my choosing versus for review:
5 out of 52 books of my choosing for 2019
7 books for review for 2019