Book Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest
How’s your day going?
I can’t really complain all that much. Just enjoying a weekend to myself. Peace and quiet is the best!
Today I’m sharing my review of The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black.
I’ve never read any of Holly Black’s work before, so I just dove right in on this one!
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?
I DNF’d this book 25% of the way through.
Unfortunately, I just don’t think Holly Black’s writing is for me.
This story is about a pair of siblings who have grown up around a mystery. An elven prince (they assume) has slept within a glass coffin in the woods for years. The local youth have parties out there, dancing, drinking, and making poor decisions. But when the coffin is found smashed open, the siblings decide to track the prince down.
I want to say I enjoyed what I read of this book, but I’d be lying to myself.
I think the one thing that kept me going was the premise. There are all sorts of mention of fae folk, and I wanted to see just how diverse these magical creatures were and how that fit into the siblings’ world. Who doesn’t like magic?
Unfortunately, we don’t really get enough of it.
The book starts with a party in the woods. Hazel is there, sizing up guys because she wants to be a flirt and make out with somebody. Oh, the coffin? Yeah, it’s there, but the author just wants to talk about how lonely Hazel is and how desperate she is for attention. Um, okay? Maybe they’ll focus on the coffin later. Nope, that doesn’t happen, at least not enough.
The plot just really wasn’t moving anywhere for me. There’s way too much description about the characters’ clothing and meaningless whatnot and not enough happening. It was very boring to me and hard to keep going. Even when the plot does get going, we’re randomly interrupted by poorly placed flashbacks that end up being an entire chapter.
Um, that’s not how you execute a flashback. It totally took me out of the main plot and didn’t give enough to the story. The flashbacks were just more dull high school drama, and as much as I love drama, its significance was minor at best.
The writing itself could’ve been a lot better. People say show vs. tell for a reason, and there were way too many info dumps along the way. I don’t need someone to tell me how/why someone is the way they are. Let the reader discover that through the plot. I felt like I was being lectured the whole time. Certain events are clearly placed to try to make the reader feel sympathetic, but honestly I didn’t really care all that much.
Which ties in to the character. I didn’t really like any of them. Hazel is basic, and so is Ben. Hazel’s desperation and lack of any admirable traits just bored me, and Ben wasn’t much better. Both just seemed so intensely focused on a relationship to the point where it felt childish, especially when they lived in a magical part of the world. Who cares about a relationship when there’s magic all around you?
It’s hard for me to understand how this has a rating of 4+ after so many reviews, and I’m glad I didn’t waste any money purchasing this.
Overall, this was a very disappointing read that lacked plot and character depth. It may be for you, but I would seriously consider reading a preview or borrowing it from your library before buying.
That’s a Wrap!
Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!
Have you read this book before? What did you think? Do you have a book recommendation similar to this one? Feel free to share in the comments!
If you’d like to see other reviews of mine, feel free to check out the book review section of my blog or my GoodReads. You can also follow my GoodReads reviews here. There are some great binge-worthy books on there!
Have a great day!
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