The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

ng2
Title: The Darkest Part of the Forest
Author: Holly Black
Series: N/A
Edition: Digital ARC, 336 pages
Publication Details: January 13th 2015 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): YA; Fantasy
Disclosure? Yep! I received a copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an HONEST review.

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?

Review

YES! This is what I’ve been waiting for by Holly Black.

Since absolutely loving The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, I knew I needed to read more by her. I had planned on reading her back catalogue but you know how it is…so little time. Therefore, I was pretty thrilled when I got approved for an advanced copy of this one. And rightly so!

The Darkest Part of the Forest is a fairy book with bite. It reads like a deliciously dark classic fairy tale, but it’s thoroughly modern too.

In the small town of Fairfold, humans go about their days like any average community, but there’s just one difference, faeries also exist. On the whole, faeries have come to be accepted and their magic is seen as harmless. However, many people in Fairfold continue to abide by certain rules and superstitions in order to make them immune to their magic, making you raise an eyebrow as to whether they are as harmless as everyone thinks they are.

The town has an interesting history to say the least. And at the centre of it all, is the horned boy who sleeps in the glass coffin in the middle of the forest. He’s been there for as long as anyone remembers and he never wakes up, or ages.

Protagonists Hazel and Ben have fawned over the horned boy since they were little, naming him their Prince, they both dream of kissing him and they long for him to wake up.

But then he does…. and Hazel and Ben’s lives soon start to unravel. Can they protect themselves and save their Prince, or will their secrets come between them and destroy everything ?

To show your regard, you give each other other lovely bouquets of lies.”

I’m finding it so hard to review this book, which is always a sign that I loved it! There are just so many things I liked about it, it’s hard to put into words.

For starters, I found the writing style beautiful. It’s one of those books where I just wanted to highlight passage after passage. It was honest and heartbreaking, and magical all at once.

Hazel never cried. She was forged from iron, she never broke. No one was tougher than his sister. The worst part was how quietly she wept, as if she’d taught herself how, as if she was so used to doing it that it had just become the way she cried.”

Hazel and Ben really stand out as great protagonists for me. I loved how close they were but that they had so many secrets from each other which twisted and tainted their lives. I loved that they were both in love with the horned boy, and that there was never any hoohaah about Ben being a young gay character – which is exactly how it should be – but you still rarely get gay characters in stories without their sexuality being a big issue, or the driving force of the plot.

I was blown away by how Holly Black built this world of fae but made it so modern. It felt like such a perfect juxtaposition, something I haven’t seen pulled off so well before. For example, she uses age-old folklore such as the residents of Fairfold filling their pockets with iron and oats to protect them from faery magic and in the same breath, the horned boy attracts tourists wanting to take selfies with him.

I loved that Hazel was a Knight. I loved that the kids of Fairfold seemed so normal despite living amongst faeries. I mean, they get wasted  and dance around (and on top) of the the horned boy’s coffin… so much to love.

I can’t even get started on the romances. Seriously. I’ll just stop now.

The only reason I’ve given it 4 unicorns instead of 5 is because it took me quite a few chapters to get into it. But that’s the only tiny grumble I have.

unicorn rating 4Available now in hardback!

Mustache Questions: About moi!

mustache-questions

I was tagged by Punk’s House of Books (many thanks!). I stole the image from previous posts.

I wrote this over the Christmas holidays btw.

FOUR NAMES THAT PEOPLE CALL ME (OTHER THAN MY REAL NAME)

1. Lipsy

2. Lozza

3. Barry (really! LOL)

4. Lippo

FOUR JOBS THAT I HAVE HAD

1. Bar wench & waitress

2. Ice cream shop manager

3. Media Researcher (PR)

4. Christmas Co-ordinator

FOUR MOVIES I HAVE WATCHED MORE THAN ONCE

So many! The one’s I’ve probably watched the most:

1. Interview with a Vampire

2. Labyrinth

3. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

4. Lost Boys

FOUR BOOKS I’D RECOMMEND

Just four? To whom? What genre? Ahhh. OK I’ll try…

1. A Million Little Pieces – James Frey

2. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

3. Mystery Man – Bateman

4. Cinder – Marissa Meyer

FOUR PLACES I HAVE LIVED

1. Crewe, Cheshire, UK

2. Putney, London, UK

3. Southfields, London, UK

4. Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey, UK

FOUR PLACES I HAVE BEEN

1. Bruges, Brussels

2. Reykjavik, Iceland

3. Rome, Italy

4. Athens, Greece

FOUR PLACES I’D RATHER BE RIGHT NOW

1. Iceland – I want to live there, and it’s been snowing there on and off all month! WANT!

2. Scotland. How have I never been?

3. A castle, any castle. Always.

4. I’m at my parents house right now which is lovely, but I also miss my flat and my own bed!

FOUR THINGS I DON’T EAT

1. Rice (It’s Maggots, Michael)

2. Mushrooms. Slimy slugs. Ugh!

3. Green trees or white trees (cauliflower and broccoli). I love vegetables but I just don’t like the taste of these at all.

4. Tinned ravioli. Ygh. We used to have this as kids and I always called them pockets of poo. You’re welcome!

FOUR OF MY FAVORITE FOODS

1. Bacon

2. Pork steak with Stilton sauce. Mmmm pig and cheeeeese.

3. Green Olives

4. Goat’s cheese

FOUR TV SHOWS THAT I’VE WATCHED…

…recently…

1. Buffy The Vampire Slayer (always)

2. The Fall

3. Hannibal

4. Californication

FOUR THINGS THAT I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS YEAR (THE NEXT 12 MONTHS)

1. Frozen Sing-a-long for my birthday

2. Hopefully getting a new, amazing job. Or failing that, just a job.

3. Maybe going on holiday in summer if #2 happens.

4. The unknown! Here’s to new adventures in 2015!

FOUR THINGS I AM ALWAYS SAYING

1. Yessssssssssss!

2. Amazing!

3. LOL – I started off saying LOL to take the piss out of people who say LOL. Now I say LOL, LOL!

4. Save me, Barry!

FOUR PEOPLE I TAG

Only if you want to, no pressure!!!

1. Chrissi @ Chrissi Reads.

2. Dianne @ Dianne Tanner

3. Lynn @ Lynn’s Book Blog

4. Emma @ Emma Carroll Author

2015 Goals/Resolutions

I know it’s a bit late, but I had two weeks off at the start of the year and missed all of the end of year/start of year stuff so expect them in dribs and drabs over the next week or so!

Icon1

I’m not one to make resolutions really, but I do have some goals this year:

1. Find a good job (sounds simple right?).
2. Be more organised, especially with blogging. I’m want to post less at the beginning of the year to build up some content so I’m not always behind or get bogged down when life gets busy.
3. Request less ARCs and read more of the books on my real-life shelves.
4. Promote my etsy shop!
5. Go to the dentist/doctors more – take care of myself better (I already went to the dentist – woo me)!
6. Save money (after I’ve found a job of course).
7. Change the look of my blog.
8. Work on more original content – less memes!

I think that about covers it!

Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber

w2
Title: Mr. Miracle
Author: Debie Macomber
Series: Angelic Intervention #10
Edition: Digital ARC, 272 pages
Publication Details: November 20th 2014 by Cornerstone
Genre(s): Romance; Christmas/Holiday
Disclosure? Yep! I received a copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an HONEST review. Many thanks to Cornerstone.

Goodreads
Purchase

Harry Mills is a guardian angel on a mission: help Addie Folsom to get her life back on track – and help her find love.

Creating a happy ending for Addie and her neighbour Erich doesn’t seem like much of a challenge. But soon after arriving in the town of Tacoma, Harry realises he might need some guidance. Addie and Erich can’t stand each other; growing up he was popular and outgoing, while she was rebellious and headstrong. Addie would now rather avoid Erich entirely, especially at Christmas.

Harry is going to need all the help he can get, and a bit of divine inspiration, to help Addie and Erich find their Christmas miracle.

Review

I was well and truly into my festive reads when I started on Mr. Miracle, and after reading and loving Starry Night by the same author the year before, I was looking forward to this one immensely.

I wasn’t aware that this (and a lot) of Macomber’s books are about angels, which isn’t my favourite theme, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

Mr. Miracle introduces us to Harry, an angel who is sent to earth on his first ever assignment: Addie Folsom. Harry’s ‘cover’ is that he’s a teacher and his subject, Addie, has just returned home after a failed career start to finish school which she skipped out on a few years previous.

Of course, Addie is in need of some guidance – hence the angelic intervention of Harry. She’s a bit lost. Her father died recently, her career never took off like she thought it would, she’s been pretty unlucky in love, and so she finds herself with very little to show for herself. With a heavy heart, Addie has to swallow her pride and move home.

Addie knows that the first Christmas without her father is going to be hard on her and her mother, but she’s glad they will be together….however, her mum has a different idea entirely and has booked a cruise with her neighbour in order to avoid Christmas altogether.

There’s just one problem. The neighbour’s son who happens to be a childhood enemy of Addie’s has been in an accident and can’t fend for himself. Will Addie step in and care for her school-day’s foe? Will she change he mind about him?

I’m sad to say that I was quite disappointed in this book. The story was very simple and predictable, but a lot of books in this genre are and I still end up getting sucked into the romance and silliness of them, but this one just didn’t win me over.

Addie’s initial hatred for Erich just seemed to disappear in a poof of smoke, and I didn’t find it heart-warming or very festive at all.

Some of the characters were interesting, such as the motley crew in Addie’s class, but they didn’t get enough page-space.

Maybe it’s because I enjoyed my previous festive reads so much that this one paled in comparison; I’m afraid I found it all a bit contrived.

Better luck next time, I guess!

unicorn rating 2

Mr. Miracle and other Debbie Macomber books are available in paperback from Waterstones now.

WWW Wednesday 14/01/15

www_wednesdays4

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

Hope you guys are well!? I’m feeling refreshed after a couple of weeks off, so here’s to my first WWW Wednesday of the year.

www140115

Currently Reading: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black. Loving this modern-day fairy tale so far!

Recently Finished: I finished Sixteen Sixty-One by Natalie Lucas which was a mixed-bag for me. I’m trying to get ahead of myself as far as reviews are concerned so non-ARC reviews such as this one are going to be a bit delayed. However, I also finally finished Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber which I should have reviewed ages ago (sorry), so that one will be up soon.

Up Next: So many to choose from! I can’t wait to start on all the books I got for Christmas and my birthday (which I’ll be posting about soon), and I have Red Queen from Netgalley which looks so awesome!

Leave a link to your post and I’ll come have a gander! 🙂