The Darkest Part of the Forest is a new book that was published in January 2015. I thought it was a really good book only because I absolutely loved the story line. However, before I go into the review of this book I’d like to give you a warning. This book was published this year and holds some of the controversy that is in society today. I’m talking specifically about the topic of homosexuality. If you do not like reading about homosexuals, or the topic enrages you, I suggest you put the book down and do not read it. This book doesn’t tell you whether it is or isn’t until you’re about half way through the book. It also doesn’t just hint at homosexuality, it includes it. It is only kissing (so it’s PG) and doesn’t go much further than that, but even that can cause arguments amongst a split population. I do not want someone to read this book and then become enraged at the author (or my blog for the review) because of a difference in opinions. I may not agree with homosexuality, and it may be against my religious beliefs but I see no reason to argue, or treat people differently, because of their choices. The book does not go into detail but that is my warning. I want no hate being spread because everyone else’s opinions don’t match your own.
On a different note, The Darkest Part of the Forest was a really good book. Holly Black wrote the book very well and I found it hard to put down. I fell in love with the story line because it is so realistic for an unrealistic topic. This story is about the Fae Folk. Often known as fairies, fae or fae folk have been written and verbal stories that have been passed down since the beginning. People often use myths and lore’s about the Fae to convey a lesson to children, to explain the impossible and/or to display warnings. This story sort of takes all of that and modernizes it to create a really vivid tale. I applaud Holly Black for being able to write this revised version well and to still keep the audience interested. It’s difficult with this genre since literature has unspoken “rules” with the fantasy part of writing.
This story is about a girl named Hazel who lives in a strange town called Fairfold. Fairfold is known for its connection to the Fae folk. This town is where the humans and the fae live side by side. Strange relics, amulets, spells and fairies all attract tourists to the town. Fae, not always good and not always bad, can either be a blessing or a curse. For people born in the town, the fairies usually do no harm, the tourists, however, are fair game. Hazel and her brother Ben decide when they were young kids that they could fight the bad fae folk and save the town. It became a game to them.
In the center of the dark woods is the main attraction of the town; a glass coffin. In this coffin, asleep for centuries, is a horned boy with pointy ears. Hazel and Ben love this sleeping fae and would tell the horned boy all about what was going on around Fairfold. The horned boy was part of their game to save the town. It was there at the coffin of the sleeping horned boy that Hazel and Ben decided they would be knights, that it was their job to protect the horned boy and the town from evil fae.
Then one day, the horned boy awakens and is missing.
Now it is up to Hazel and Ben to save the town and find their missing horned friend.
I actually liked this book. Even though I don’t agree with some of the opinions, the book was written well and kept me guessing. The plot twists and turns very much like the fae folk in the story. I loved learning about the horned boy and watching their characters grow with the story. The horned boy started off as mysterious and confusing like any fae would be portrayed and then became a character with an intense backstory and an intense amount of emotions/feelings that put everything into a different perspective. Hazel was downright interesting to read about. She started off as sort of annoying and someone I was disagreeing intensely about and then she switched into this really strong character that I ended up changing my a bit views on. But unfortunately, these characters didn’t stay with me after I read the book-so they were not “real” enough to make me think…
There were a few parts that I wasn’t interested in, or that I found slow but for the most part it was pretty good. However, I was left feeling like I wanted more to the story but at the same time I feel like the story couldn’t really be added on too either. I was conflicted in the end. There is also the part I didn’t like so much about the book; the homosexuality. As I stated in my warning in the beginning, the subject was not excessive nor did it go beyond kissing, however because of my own views and opinions I generally don’t like to read/watch things on that subject. My opinions aside, the book wasn’t bad because of it. And it in no way made the book a bad book to read.
I would recommend this book to any young adult (who doesn’t mind the homosexuality in the story) who enjoys mysteries, fairytales, folklore and myths. I think that those who read the book will be captured by Holly Black’s theme and be drawn into her twisting plots. I give this book a 3 out of 5 stars.