Monday, September 8, 2014

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black Review and Giveaway!

The Darkest Part of the ForestThe Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black


a Rafflecopter giveaway


My rating: 5 of 5 stars






☆☆☆☆☆

No spoilers and colorful language abound! I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Normally I wouldn't review an ARC this early, but honestly, I cannot help myself.

                    
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I stood in line at BEA a good 40 minutes before the drop time, anxiously counting all the people in front of me, clinging to a desperate hope that there would be enough copies. There was some shoving, some light elbow nudging, a glazed over fog in the faces of the fans, all uniting in a singular objective: getting an ARC of this book. It was all worth it.

Confession time you guys, I am a Holly Black newbie, and with that comes all the glorious musings of a blogger who just discovered their new favorite author. The Darkest Part of the Forest blew my mind. I am a fan for life.

                         
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Ben and Hazel Evans live in the town of Fairfold, where the line between the human reality and the otherness of Faery blur, a town with a glass coffin housing a beautiful horned boy in eternal sleep. Mortals have long been enamored with the Fae, equal parts chanting and dangerous but the townsfolk have an odd symbiotic relationship with the them. Locals  stay out of the woods on a full moon, they turn their socks inside out and stuff their pockets with iron and oatmeal, and in return the Fae leave them be. The tourists on the other hand are free game, that is until an 11 year old girl who fancies herself a knight, starts to fight back.

Hazel and Ben were raised by artists, forgetful parents who valued all nighters with oil paints over dinner and a bath. They were wildly imaginative children, a knight and a balladeer, they were each others caretakers, they were each other's everything until one day too many secrets piled up between them. Their imagined prince, the horned boy wakes from his sleep, they must finally say all the things they have been hiding from each other in order to protect him.

That's about all I'm going to say on the plot, this is a very character driven novel and I won't spoil you!

Holly Black's writing is both profoundly understated and eloquent beyond measure. The way she can pack a single sentence with tremendous emotion left me speechless and craving more. The world building of Fairfold was perfectly executed, "info dumping" transformed into gorgeous prose, I was enraptured from the very first page.




Something else really struck a chord with me and should be praised, in this story we have a young male gay character who is out, and not a single aspect of this is trivialized by some ignorant stereo type. Ben speaks of love and insecurity, he speaks of family and self evaluates, he is a wonderfully realized character with a rich sense of humanity. All too often "the gay guy" is coined as some cartoony mishmash of the exaggerated, a trite plot point rather than a complex and compelling character. Holly Black masterfully normalized his sexuality in a way I feel should be embraced by all.



The Deepest Part of the Forest is dazzlingly good with fanciful highs and dark lows, at the heart remains the love of a brother and sister united once more as a knight and balladeer. Nothing short of spectacular it transcends it's genre and hold it's rightful place with the best of the best








27 comments:

  1. Seems like a very interesting book. I haven't read Black yet, but I'm looking forward to it! :)
    xoxxx

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    1. This is my first Black book but it certainly will not be my last.

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  2. Want! I really liked her Tither series and I'm hoping that this book matches that level of awesome!

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  3. I have The Coldest Girl in Coldtown on my shelf, but haven't actually read any of Holly Black's books. This one, though, has been getting AMAZING reviews!

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    1. It's so good, I think that's why I'm having such a hard time reviewing it!

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  4. I LOVE Holly Black! But only book I've ever read from her is THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN, in which I A.B.S.O.L.U.T.E.L.Y loved it!! I can't WAIT to read this book!!

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway! :)

    Rafflecopter name: Vannah Batista

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    1. Oh nice! I picked that one up last night, thanks for the rec, I'll let you know how it goes. You are welcome, have to spread the love when you find a kick ass book!

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  5. I have to say I just read the Iron Trial and really enjoyed it. It is my new fav!!

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    1. I might just have to read all her books…reasonable, no?

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    2. More than reasonable If i do say so myself

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  6. I haven't read Holly Black yet, but I met her at LeakyCon this year and she was AMAZING! Can't wait to try her stuff out!! :)

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    1. This was my first and it was an amazing intro to her writing, it's flipping gorgeous.

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  7. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown right now, but it always seems to be the last one I read that's my favorite.

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    1. I think the consensus is READ ALL THE BOOKS.

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  8. I had never even heard of this book until I saw your review on Goodreads. It sounds amazing!

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    1. There is virtually no advertising for this yet, I believe she is celebrating a release right now, a new addition to an already existing series if memory serves. It barely even shows on GR, you have to search for it under her books. I loved ALL THE THINGS ABOUT THIS BOOK but it felt very much like a standalone which I also loved. There was good closure, but not entirely out if she ever felt like picking it back up. I do hope so!

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  9. Your review has left me desperate. Bad Erica.

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    1. Muuuuahahahahaha! I've been compiling a post of my top 10 2014 reads of the year, and this came in and busted up my whole list!

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  10. The Curse Workers is the best holly Black series! But I'm looking forward to read her new book!!!!! thanks for the giveaway :)

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  11. Oh God I want!!!! The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is one of my all time favourite standalone, and I looooooved The Curse Workers series so much it hurts. Seriously, Holly Black is queen. Bless her. And bless you for this review and giveaway!! Now that I've read your review, I'm a hundred times more excited for it ahhh I need this book more than air haha. Thank you!!!! :)

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  12. I'm definitely old school. My favorites would be any of The Spiderwick Chronicles. I haven't read anything else, but I am looking at the White Cat books as a possibility, and of course this one. Thank-you for this fab giveaway. :)

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  13. I most recently read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and really liked it. Back when I worked at B&N Holly came in for a signing and I got to get my Spiderwick Chronicles signed ^^ She is an awesome author! Thanks for this giveaway, I am looking forward to reading this!

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