Skip to main content

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black: More malevolent fairy folk in publishing! More!


I've been a fan of Holly Black since The Spiderwick Chronicles, which if you aren't aware are five books (but basically one decently long book) about some siblings who find a field guide that shows how to identify/deal with various fairy (sorry, "faerie") creatures, and then the faerie creatures are pissed off and want the guide, so there is a CONFLICT. The important part of the series is that the creatures are awesome to read about.

Black worked on Spiderwick Chronicles with Tony DiTerlizzi, who is the ONLY author or illustrator I wanted to meet at BEA because his Spiderwick Field Guide is ridiculously beautiful and I'm never parting with it.


Ooooh

But they parted ways and Holly Black is now writing pretty awesome dark books for middle grade to maybe high school? Maybe? I don't know what the kids can handle these days, to be quite honest, but I don't think I'd let a 12-year-old read Darkest Part of the Forest since it has 17-year-olds talking about having sex in a pretttttty casual way and TEENAGERS HAVE ENOUGH TO DEAL WITH. Also teenagers having sex leads to Romeo/Juliet-type shit because they're dumb and don't understand areas of grey yet, so things are Everything or Nothing.

YOU'RE ALL IDIOTS

But as to the actual book The Darkest Part of the Forest! There are two siblings, Ben and Hazel, and they live in a town called Fairfold, and that town is basically located at the Hellmouth (Buffy? anyone?), but for faerie stuff. Tourists visit because it has this reputation, and it ALSO has a boy with horns (fun sheep horns from what I can tell) lying in a glass coffin in the forest. Like Snow White! But with a dude!

Hazel's life doesn't have a lot of direction....or DOES it? Because there are Secrets! Dark Secrets! And there's something in the darkest part of the forest (like in the title!) that might be coming out.


This was a quick read. I'm liking Holly Black more and more. I like that her faerie folk are Srs Biznis and not wispy hippie faeries. I'm pretty excited to read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (which I got from Little, Brown, along with this book, because I asked them and they are nice people who believe in having their books reviewed). I had a weird thought process when there was an LGBT storyline and I was kind of "Oh, this is into Being Inclusive," but then I was like "It's not an LGBT storyline! It's a storyline! You are being terrible about your own people! And don't call them your people!"


But no, Black handles the LGBT part really well, and it kind of goes along with the "take back the night" mentality I've stubbornly espoused regarding fairytales and minority representation. If Neil Gaiman's doing it (sort of) in The Sleeper and the Spindle and Holly Black's doing it in The Darkest Part of the Forest, maybe -- MAYBE Once Upon a Time will stop having such a stick up its butt about it and realize fairytales do not only have to involve straight white people.


Ok, they're all still white. BUT STILL. (x)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'.


You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters.

If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing:


We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilarious/awesome que…

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop (Odyssey Books, where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have.


INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy the Pleistocene era of megafauna and drinking Shirley Templ…

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier: DID SHE OR DIDN'T SHE

Daphne Du Maurier's 1951 My Cousin Rachel prompts the age-old question: what if you were a young dumb dumb with an estate in Cornwall who is convinced your charming, thoughtful, and recently-widowed cousin Rachel wants to abandon her native Italy forever and live with you, your dogs, and your elderly butler in a damp house by the sea. AFTER ALL WHO WOULDN'T.

Also she's a widow because she'd married your uncle who raised you who then recently died, so also this has just become the MOST oedipal and makes everyone feel gross thinking about it.




Said dumb dumb is Philip Ashley, who is 24 and aptly referred to in the recent film version as a "glorious puppy." He is so excited about some things. And so sulky about so many other things. He's our narrator, which here means he is our misogynistic, xenophobic lens through which to view all events. His uncle died in Italy soon after marrying Rachel. Said uncle suspected he was being poisoned. He also probably had a bra…