You're Gonna LOVE Me: "The Near Witch" by Victoria Schwab

Title: The Near Witch
Author: Victoria Schwab
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Received: ARC Courtesy of NetGalley
Goodreads Page


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 disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

The Near Witch is beautiful, full of stunning descriptions that make readers feel as though they’re actually there. It’s been a long time since I’ve read something where the words could visually paint pictures in my head in such vibrant detail. Victoria Schwab creates her own folklore in a way that feels realistic, from bedtime stories to children’s nursery rhymes. The novel has ghost-story elements as well; at times, my skin crawled from the creepiness of the descriptions. The Near Witch is fluid and builds at a steady pace, pulling readers in until it’s possible to put the book down. The writing is so strong; it’s hard to believe this is Schwab’s debut novel. I wish there was a backlist of titles to delve into next.


(because you need to see just how beautiful/life-like these descriptions are. I won't share my favorite description, though--It's too close to the end!)

“Outside, the night is still and streaked with silver threads of light, and the wind is breathing against the glass, a wobbling hum that causes the old wooden frame to groan.”
(pg. 9)

“His form is smudged at the edges, blurring into the night on either side, as if he’s moving very fast, but it must be the weathered glass, because he’s not moving at all.”
(pg. 10)

“The air around us seems to shiver, and the wind brushes cool against us. I take a sharp breah in as the wind coils around his outstretched hand. It spins faster until it looks like his fingers are bleeding into it. Then they grow thinner until I can see right through them, until there is no difference between the swirling wind and his skin.”
(pg. 143)

And finally, would you like a touch of creepiness to really get you craving this book?

"She climbed up and out onto the moor.
Now her skin is really made of moor grass.
Now her blood is made of moor rain.
Now her voice is made of moor wind.
Now the Near Witch is made of moor.
And she is furious."

(pg. 172)

-All pages from nook edition of e-arc; changes may be made before book launches in print

Check back soon; the amazingly-talented Victoria Schwab was kind enough to do an interview for Fairy Tale Fortnight!


  1. Yay! I've only read the first few chapters so far, but, wow, I kept saying to myself "This is her first book??" She certainly gets the "Born to Write" gold star from me :)


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