The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Lexi lives in Near with her mother and sister. Since her father's death, she has begun to step into his shoes (literally: Lexi wears his old hunting boots when she goes out roaming on the moor outside of Near). One night, a strange wind starts blowing, and a strange boy appears. The next night, children begin to disappear from their beds. Lexi doesn't believe that Cole, the stranger, has anything to do with the disappearances, but the rest of the village quickly gives in to fear of the unknown. Lexi and Cole must work quickly to discover the sinister secret of the Near Witch, a creature who was murdered hundreds of years ago by the villagers. The truth, however, is much more complicated, and the odds seem stacked against Lexi and the mysterious boy. The villagers may not remember the truth of the Near Witch, but that doesn't mean she isn't real.
This excellent story has at its core a very classic tale of wicked witchcraft: it's a ghost story tinged with revenge, and the whole thing reads like a beautiful, familiar fairy tale.
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