Review: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on February 7, 2020 | 2 Comments

Review: The Hazel Wood by Melissa AlbertThe Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
Series: The Hazel Wood #1
Published by Flatiron Books (1.30.2018)
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 359 pages
Source: I own it

4 Stars

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.

My thoughts

Why did I wait so long to read this?! I guess I thought I wouldn’t like it – it had some mixed reviews, and recently I’ve seen mostly bad ones, so I started questioning whether it would be a me book or not. But it totally was!

I love how strange and haunting this book was – it’s definitely a darker fantasy. It pushed the boundaries of magical realism, without being annoying and full of wtfery like the genre usually is (I’m not a fan, can you tell?). Melissa Albert’s prose is enchanting, and I was able to picture everything very vividly in my mind.

The main thing I enjoyed about this was how creepy it was! I love the disturbing kind of fairytales, and the book within this book, Tales from the Hinterland, was full of them! Melissa can you please publish that as an actual book?! I loved the snippets of Alice-Three-Times we got, and I craved more. View Spoiler »

I really enjoyed this while I was reading, but sadly it didn’t stick with me. I started forgetting things pretty quickly. But I definitely want to read the next book!

Favorite quotes

The feeling of knowing you’re being an asshole is as bad as feeling wronged, but without the satisfaction.

Overall Assessment

Plot: 4/5
Premise: 5/5
Writing style: 4/5
Originality: 5/5
Characters: 3/5
World-building: 4/5
Pace: 4/5
Feels: 2/5
Cover: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 4/5

Jessi (Geo)

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2 responses to “Review: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

  1. This book definitely sounds intriguing to me. The magical realism and the idea of a fictional world possibly being real fascinates me, but I also really love the idea of the protagonist having an famous author for a grandmother and her not wanting to engage with fans of her grandmother’s work. I hope to check this one out soon.

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