Happy Teen Tech Week, everybody! Before I get to the actual audiobook review, I would just like to take a moment to remind y’all that public libraries are about WAY more than just books. Of course we lend out books and audiobooks — but we also lend music, movies, and video games. Many public libraries even lend e-books and downloadable audiobooks FOR FREE via OverDrive.com! As someone who listens to audiobooks ravenously, always has an ebook waiting on her Kindle, and is cheaper than cheap, this service is something I’m thrilled to take advantage of and to share with my library patrons and blog readers. (There are even streaming video and magazines available now on OverDrive, though I haven’t fully explored those options yet.) But, I digress.
Let me just start off by admitting that I am a total Holly Black fangirl. Aside from enjoying her style of writing, I appreciate the fact that she has written fantasies on so many levels. She is a great go-to author for kids, tweens, and teens who enjoy fantasy. The Spiderwick Chronicles are the perfect “gateway” series for early elementary kids. From there, they can move on to [middle grade] The Iron Trial, and then graduate up to her YA works like White Cat, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, and Zombies vs. Unicorns [for which she was an editor/”Team Unicorn” commentator]. I have no idea how I managed to forget to review The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, by the way. It was straight awesomesauce!
The Darkest Part of the Forest is a modern, feminist fairy tale. Rather than a tale of a girl waiting to be rescued by a prince or a knight in shining armor, this story was about a girl named Hazel who actually WAS a knight. Rock on! Having grown up in Fairfold, hearing stories of the Folk and the devastation they could bring upon careless humans, Hazel should have known better than to make a deal with the Faery King. After waking up one morning to learn that the faery boy from the enchanted glass coffin in the woods was awake and missing, nevertheless, it became abundantly clear that Hazel was in way over her head. With the help of her brother Ben and his best friend Jack, Hazel had to try to try to figure out the role she played in the faery boy’s waking and whether there was any way to save them all from the magical mayhem she unwittingly set into motion.