First, let's start with plot. I found it interesting that this was almost like a modern fairy tale and was concerned at first as to how they would mix, but Holly Black melded the two wonderfully. There isn't an overwhelming amount of modern day stuff, but there's enough that you know what era you're in. And there's lots of fairy tale creatures, but not so much that you're overwhelmed. The plot moved quickly enough, but you didn't feel like you were being rushed through.
The characters were all amazing! So. Much. Realism. Everyone was very well-rounded and there was lots of character development, which is great! I love when characters are both well-rounded and have great development. The Darkest Part of the Forest was interesting because there was so much of the characters that you had to try to figure out yourself. It was kind of like a mystery/thriller thing, which was intense because it's all from first person perspective so the fact that Black was able to keep certain things hidden while throwing out a bunch of clues and hints was very skillfully done. I absolutely love Hazel and Jack and Ben and just everyone. There is no character that I hate. Even the villain was well done. And the love stories! They are very realistic and not forced at all, which is good. I hate when authors set up love stories just because they feel the need and force it to fit what everyone else is doing with their love stories. Black's love story between Hazel and Jack was very much expected by me from this genre (mortal/fey thing) but it was artfully written. And the beginnings of Ben and Severin's love story was also well written as well, and also unexpected (in a good way), but it fits, and that's what matters.
Setting was interesting because the story takes place in modern day with the fairy tale aspects. The modern day town that also has so many old-timey traditions to keep the fey happy was very interesting. It's great because people can still be that scared and superstitious and suspicious, so it was cool to see all of those feelings directed toward fey.
All in all, I would definitely give this book a five out of five. It's from a girl's perspective, but it's not super mushy or chic lit by any means. It has a darkness to it that makes it very interesting to read but isn't too scary to read before going to bed.
Quote of the day: "We weren't - I mean, not really -" Jack started, making gestures toward the bed that Ben thought meant "I am not trying to dishonour your sister, although it is possible that I am hoping to have sex with her," at the same time Hazel began apologizing for ditching Ben. - Holly Black, The Darkest Part of the Forest