I am very excited to have had the opportunity to read The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, which is released tomorrow (January 30), because now I get to convince all of YOU to go read it.
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
Published by Flatiron Books on January 30th 2018
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Barnes & Noble, Buy from The Book Depository
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 received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
4 Reasons to Read The Hazel Wood
1. It’s a unique young adult fantasy novel. If you’re looking for a traditional fantasy story, this isn’t the book for you. Not only is the concept of this story original (read the synopsis y’all), but this story has a lot more darkness than your average fantasy novel.
2. There is almost a horror element. DON’T FREAK OUT. This isn’t horror! But it certainly has a unsettling vibe to it. It’s done so well that you want to be rapid-fire turning the pages. You want to know why you feel so unsettled.
3. The story is all about family > love interest, and I really appreciated that. While I will never say no to a good love story, I liked that this novel had even more to offer. The relationship between Alice and her mother, Ella, was both sweet and intriguing. The mystery of the family kept me turning the pages.
4. The ending is definitely unexpected (well, at least part of it). Yeah, you’ll probably be able to guess how Alice resolves her issues, but I don’t think you’ll be able to figure out the outcome of all of the characters. Everyone’s stories unraveled in a surprising way, and I like being surprised, damnit!
If you’re looking for a unique, dark fantasy with a compelling plot and a strong cast of characters, this book is for you. The only reason I didn’t rate it 5 stars is that the story seemed to become a little lackluster in the last quarter. That being said, I still very much enjoyed it on the whole.