Synopsis: 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.
Review: This is one of those books that I kept putting off. It took me ages to get around to reading it. However, I was hooked as soon as I finished the first chapter. I loved Lexi. Her father raised her to be self-reliant and headstrong, but he's dead now and her uncle has taken it upon himself to try to tame her. Meanwhile, a stranger (handsome, of course) comes to town the day before children start disappearing. The Near Witch had a definite old-fashioned fairy tale vibe, which I'm a sucker for. They live in a small village in the middle of a forest. A witch was supposedly banished a hundred or so years ago, but the children still sing creepy rhymes about her and two secretive old ladies living on the outskirts of town seem to believe that there's more to the story. As the situation worsens, Lexi is trying to desperately to find the children and save the stranger, who has been blamed for the disappearances. I adored the main character and the world this was set in. There wasn't really room left for a sequel, but I'd like to see a companion novel. Go and pick this one up, The Near Witch is one of the best books I've read this summer.