Monday, 17 August 2015

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

This post contains a review and a bookish manicure.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Published Jan 2015 by Hachette
Source: the publisher
Rating: 5 stars

From the blurb: Near the little town of Fairfold, in the darkest part of the forest, lies a glass casket. Inside the casket lies a sleeping faerie prince that none can rouse. He's the most fascinating thing Hazel and her brother Ben have ever seen. They dream of waking him - but what happens when dreams come true? In the darkest part of the forest, you must be careful what you wish for...

Sixteen year old Hazel Evans lives in a small town called Fairfold, a place known for its fae-inhabited woods. As long as you're a local you're safe (well, most of the time), but visitors are fair game. Hazel and her brother grew up playing in the woods, imagining ways to wake a sleeping prince, and hunting those that would hurt townsfolk. Thier games ended a long time ago, but when the town is threatened, once again Hazel must try and save them.

I've had this book on my shelf since the beginning of the year and I'm so glad I finally read it. Right from the start I adored the conversational tone of the narration, I really felt as though I was being told a modern fairy tale. I also loved Hazel, she's a wonderfully complicated main character and it was wonderful to see her growth over the length of the story.

One of my favourite aspects of paranormal tales is when they would stand on their own if you took away the magical elements, in this case if you removed the fae, we would still have a solid story about a young girl trying to figure out what she wants and who she is. A girl who has been trying to pretend that she doesn't feel inferior and ordinary compared to her beloved brother, and to forget about the neglectful behaviour her parents exhibited when their children were younger.

While we're on the subject of Hazel's parents, I loved that her mum made them kale and raisin granola bars, so I decided to whip some up! I used the Original Glo Bar recipe in the Oh She Glows cookbook, with a few modifications: puffed amaranth in place of puffed rice, raisins in place of chocolate chips, and I made a quick batch of kale chips and crumbled some into the mix - delicious!

The Darkest Part of the Forest is magical, dark, and creepily captivating. And, although I was completely satisfied with the ending, I wouldn't protest if Holly Black decided to revisit Fairfold in the future! While reading I was reminded of Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near, and Maggie Stiefvater's Books of Faerie series, so if you're a fan of those, definitely pick up a copy of TDPotF.

Thank you to Hachette for my review copy.

I love the wild greenery on the cover of TDPotF and decided to do nails as tonight I'm attending the Hachette YA Bloggers Night where Holly Black will be a guest.

I started with two coats of Mode Cosmetics Midas Touch.

Then I sponged on the following: Urban Decay Smog, Ulta3 Chinchilly, Orly Take Him to the Cleaners and WnW Collecting Pollen, Ulta3 Tahitian Lime, and Ulta3 Frog Prince.

I used a fine brush and acrylic paint for the details in the greenery.


  1. Your manicure looks amazing! Just so much detail to it.

  2. I haven't read a Holly Black book in SO LONG and I've heard mixed reviews of this one but I'm so glad you enjoyed it because I want to read it, for sure! Also, your nails are just STUNNING. Seriously, they are so intricate and look gorgeous! LOVE this review and your nails to go with it as well, dear!(:

  3. I have yet to read my copy of this one...which is surprising since I was so excited to get my hands on it at BEA'14! Seeing how much you enjoyed the writing style, the modern fairytale feel of it, and the fact that it stands on it's own without any magical twists! I'll have to give it a go VERY soon :D Oh and your mani is stunning, as always ♥ Such great work! xx

  4. Your manicure looks absolutely stunning, as always! You are so talented. I have had this on my shelf for so long, I definitely need to hurry up and get to this one myself.

  5. I like the gold background of the Australian cover!

  6. Ooh, I hope the event was splendid, Mands! I’m so keen to read this and yet I just haven’t yet. With an influx of reviews hopefully it sticks in my mind and not only on my goodreads tbr, because it sounds, looks and seems to be incredible and I’m so into the elements of it that I’ve heard about. The whole world, it sounds really wonderful and I’m drawn in with every review I read. I really enjoyed reading your unique thoughts on it and am so glad you enjoyed it. How fun that you made the snack they had in the book! xx

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