Author: Holly Black
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Gay & Lesbian
The Darkest Part of the Forest: ★★.5
So, I had to wait a while before I could write my review for The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black, because I wasn’t exactly sure how I felt about it. Overall, I wasn’t excited nor did I hate it. It just fell flat for me. The cover art is dreadfully beautiful and I really wanted to love it–it was the only part of the book that I actually loved.
The writing was simple, which isn’t an issue to me, but I did find it somewhat repetitive. I understand that authors should maintain a consistent writing style throughout a book, but I found that she continually wrote the same types of sentences. And these sentences stood out like a sore thumb every time she did it. For example, when she listed things: “Then she walked fast, elbowing through the merry crowd; past pipers and fiddlers; past stick-thin fairies with powdery wings; past willowy green women with black mouths and tongues, wearing dresses fine as mist; past long-fingered girls with crowns……..” and the list goes on for about FIVE more times. There were at least 3-4 times the author did this and even though her descriptions were very whimsical, I found myself skimming over it.
I found that the premise of the book was overall very promising. It revolved around this sleeping horned-boy/prince–just like Sleeping Beauty. But, I found myself wanting to learn more about the Horned-Boy (Severin). The focus shifted so quickly that I found myself disappointed that his past was just kind of thrown into the mess as a means of just appeasing readers. I was not appeased, not completely at least. The flow of the book started really slow and all of the sudden the conflict hit and BAM the climax. Done. There just wasn’t enough for me to really take it all in and it left me feeling…bleh. I feel like the end scene was supposed to be this super epic moment, but it really didn’t come off that way to me.
NOTE!!! This book includes homosexual themes. And I’m going to be really careful what I say because I know it’s a sensitive topic in which heated debates arise. I want you all to know that I’m Christian and homosexuality is against my faith. With that being said, I don’t go condemning homosexuals for their life choices. I watch Project Runway all the time and I love the gay people on there (they’re usually the most hilarious/creative ones). Anyways, Hazel’s brother Ben is gay and when it was first introduced it shocked me because I wasn’t expecting it. I just didn’t think his homosexuality was believable in all honesty–I mean if you’re going to make a character gay, then please own it. I wouldn’t have known he was gay unless the author had literally written it down (which she did). Basically, parents, be aware it does play a large role in this (I won’t write the spoiler here) book.
HAZEL: A good chunk of the book was the development of her character, but at the end of the book she didn’t even know who she really was. I wanted to see her develop and discover herself, though that didn’t happen.
BEN: The gay brother, who didn’t seem too gay save the fact he went around kissing boys. There was a lot of hidden torture in this character that I felt would’ve been interesting for readers to learn more about, however you only really get just barely under the surface level.
JACK: Jack was probably my favorite character. I wish there was more about him. I think the turmoil he suffered being part of both Faerieland and Fairfold could’ve been exploited even further.
SEVERIN (THE HORNED-BOY): I didn’t really like him. I was expecting to like him, but I didn’t. He was one-dimensional and the only big development was his realization at the end of the book (WHICH WAS WAY RANDOM AND NOT AT ALL SWEET…)
All in all, I can’t say that I would explicitly recommend this book to my friends. I wouldn’t tell you guys to go out and buy it, but if you’re able to borrow it from the library or a fellow bookworm, then I would say that’s the way to go. Thus, The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black is rated a 2.5 in my library. (Sigh…that’s the lowest review I’ve ever given) Reminder my rating is based on my personal preference, you might read this book and find it the most amazing read ever.
BUY IT ON AMAZON