The Hazel Wood
Author: Melissa Albert
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Published: January 30, 2018
Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.” Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.
I had been excited to read this book for months. Unfortunately, for me, it just didn't live up to the hype. This made me super sad because the cover is absolutely gorgeous and one of my favorites. This one was a let down for me and honestly pretty average. The first half of the book was way better. The second half dragged on and the ending was not anything special. I expected the book to take place mostly in The Hazel Wood but it's actually set in modern-day NYC. I think if the book was set more in the actual Hazel Wood, then I probably would have liked the book more. The world-building was just blah and I didn't care about the characters or where they were going to end up.
The only parts I loved were the actual fairytales themselves. The main character Alice, to me, was unlikeable. The plot dragged on and was almost too slow. However, the overall concept was unique. I feel like this book was just trying way too hard to be something exceptional. There were times when I had no idea what was going on. It's kinda confusing. There needed to be way more of a back story. I needed more action. Nothing really grabbed my attention. The book was just an average read for me.
Melissa Albert, I write books slowly, and read books fast. I try to reply to all messages and questions, so please reach out, or come find me on Twitter (@mimi_albert) or Instagram (@melissaalbertauthor)!