I have become a big fan of Liberty Hardy through Book of the Month Club (use the link and "Summer30" to get 30% off a 3 month subscription!). She is a judge for BotM and a writer for Book Riot. She also has a podcast called All the Books, which I just discovered last week.
I had a long trip, so I decided to listen to a bunch of podcasts, including the aforementioned All the Books. On the podcast, the book Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt was part of the discussion. Liberty Hardy talked about how crazy this book gets by the end, but it was such a good book.
I have to concur, this and Lab Girl were my two favorite books of May.
The premise of this book is so much fun. Black Spring is a nice quiet fictional town in the Hudson Valley of NY (it would actually be right around where I live). The town has its share of kids, teens, and lots of families. It also happens to have a 350 year old witch who's eyes and mouth are stitched shut. She randomly appears in various locations around the town, if she isn't walking her normal path. If you hear her whisper (one stitch is loose at the edge of her mouth), you get the sudden urge to kill yourself. If you live in the town you cannot leave, ever too. You are stuck with the witch and your neighbors.
There have been rumors about the witch about how she has leveled the town several times, but as long as you don't touch her, listen to her, or mess with her, she is mostly harmless. The book is about the moment that some of the local teens decide, enough is enough, and it is time to start experimenting with the witch. Their experiment begins with a poke with a stick.
I am going to leave it there because it is such a fun book. The opening pages are kind of playful as people try to figure out what to do with this witch who just appears. They put dish towels over her face, put a hallow bunny costume over her at Easter, and just try to deal with her. The more the teens mess with her, there is a feeling that something really, really bad is going to happen and things are going to go down. By Part II, the book is unrelenting and all forms of playfulness are just gone. The ending is also not one that a reader would expect.
As I was reading it, I kept saying to my wife- this needs to be a TV show or a movie. Apparently, it is going to become one, as this book is new in English, but has been a best seller in Europe for a while. This is a definite must read, especially for the summer. It is so well written and moves along at a great pace with a feeling of something ominous looming over the whole read. The characters are well developed, although I did mix a few up here and there. Katherine the witch though is the star of this book. This is her story and don't forget it.
I rated this one five stars!
Here is the Amazon link- Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
If you are interested in Book of the Month, use the link or the banners and use the code "Summer30" for 30% off 3 months.