My official rating is closer to 3.5, but I felt it deserved more than just the three star showing for anyone giving my review a cursory glance.The Near Witch is beautifully crafted. From the very first paragraph I was stunned and awed by the poetic way in which Schwab wrote this story. There is a rhythm to her words, a cadence that makes you feel as though you're being read the story out loud by a practiced orator. It reads very much like a fairy tale; though the story is entirely unique, it felt familiar to me somehow, which I think was due to the tone and tempo of the storytelling.Though for as pretty as it was, and as many times as I stopped to reread particularly gorgeous passages to myself, the story itself failed to engage me. The plot moved slowly without much excitement, and then when tension built it was so short-lived each moment meant to be exciting was merely anticlimactic. That being said, it was an enjoyable read--just not a particularly engaging one, which was unfortunate as I was so pleased to find something that was different in nearly every respect from the other YA novels I've read.