Monday, May 18, 2015

The Darkest Part of the Forest

The Darkest part of the Forest by Holly Black 

Holly Black is a legend.
I don't need to know what the book is about, if it's written by Holly Black you can automatically know that it's going to be amazing.  

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

Personal Opinion:

First of all, I want to once again state that Holly Black is a legend. Her name will ring in years to come as a staple of YA and Paranormal literature. She will go down in history as an author of classics.
Of that I have no doubts.
So believe me when I tell you that this review is hardly a review at all.
This is a praise session.

When I think of Holly Black's writing the word that comes to mind first is "Raw". Fantasy is not always pretty, and I'm almost positive that it was a Holly Black novel (Tithe)  that taught me that back in high school.
I find beauty in things that should horrify me and while The Darkest Part of the Forest isn't as dark (for what I remember anyway, it was quite a while ago) as Tithe, it still delivers those surreal lines that take your breath away.
Like this:

"His song began to change. It grew softer, sweeter, like the morning after a long cry, when your head still hurt but your heart was no longer broken."

This was one of those lines that makes you stare at a wall and feel. I'm not talking about, "Omg FEEELS!" No, I mean this line makes you remember the feeling of puffy eyes and wet pillows. That is the magic of Holly Black.

Another thing I love so much about this book is the diversity.
Different races and sexualities are things YA (and all genres in general, honestly) need more of. My favorite thing is that Ben, our glorious gay main, while being gay and completely adorable is not a trope. He was not defined by the fact that he was gay and I cannot wait until that is a norm for LGBT literature. Are there going to be characters that fit the stereotype? Sure, but they don't all have to and this is only the second time (The first being Cassandra Clare's Alec Lightwood) that I personally have seen a gay character that didn't fit a stereotypical "gay" profile aside from in an erotic novel. (Don't judge me.)
I was halfway through the book when I realized Jack was black. Shame on me.  Did it change how damn hot I find him? Not a damn bit. There was one line:

His eyes lit with wickedness. For the first time that day, something had amused him. "Anything you like or nothing at all." 
I squealed then. Holy crap, Jack, warn a girl before you get so seductive. I can only imagine how Hazel reacted to that.

Speaking of seductive, let's talk Severin. At first we totally think that Severin will end up falling for Hazel and I think that's exactly what we were supposed to think so that Severin's beautiful confession in front of the Alderking's court, injured himself while Ben was inside the cage also hurt and broken, hit us like a lightning bolt.
It totally did, I had read that part in the car before work and I was giddy my entire shift.) I could not even begin to put into words how flawless that entire scene was. I've reread it several times already. It gave me the dark satisfaction that our heroes were injured and nearing defeat and the thrill of Severin's love for Ben, that he thought he was going to die and could not die without saying it, to the very moment when Hazel figured out her clues and all I could think was 'Yes!'

Anyway, I've begun to babble. I do that when I'm in love with books.

I adored this book, so much that I can't wait to read it again. No really, I'm actually tempted to go back to the beginning though I have just finished it.

I also love that it ends back where it all began, just with a different someone inside the coffin in the darkest part of the forest.

Favorite Quotes:
(I got to cheat this time, my favorite favorites made it into the review. *chuckles*)

“I love like in the storybooks. I love you like in the ballads. I love you like a lightning bolt. I've loved you since the third month you came and spoke with me. I loved that you made me want to laugh. I loved the way you were kind and the way you would pause when you spoke, as though you were waiting for me to answer you. I love you and I am mocking no one when I kiss you, no one at all.” 

“The only way to end grief was to go through it.” 

 “Once, there was a girl who vowed she would save everyone in the world, but forgot herself.”

Overall Rating:


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