Happy New Year, everyone! Can you believe it’s 2018 already?! I couldn’t think of a better way to start the year than with a review for one of my favorite books that is releasing at the end of the month!
On another note, I’m back at school so expect posts to be sparse for a little bit.
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
To be published January 30, 2018, by Flatiron Books.
YA > Fantasy
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.
Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review!
This book was probably my most anticipated 2018 release. I’ve been talking about it endlessly on all of my social media. And I couldn’t be more thrilled to say that this book surpassed all of my extremely high expectations!
A modern-day fairytale of its own, this book is a dark take on stories, characters, and traversing worlds. I didn’t want to put this one down. I wanted to keep uncovering the secrets of Alice’s life, her mother, grandmother, and the Hinterland.
One of the reasons I loved it so much was because it’s a story-lover’s book. Centered around fairytales and their crossover with the modern-day world, we’re pulled deep into a mysterious, chilling, but alluring place that is the Hinterland.
The writing, the characters, but I think mostly, the world and the incredibly unique concept is what made me fall in love with this book. The Hinterland is eerie and chilling, but also magical and seductive.
I also really loved Alice. She’s a main character you root for. But she’s also got lots of layers (we learn about more and more as the story progresses). She’s determined to get her mother back at whatever cost.
Ellery Finch (what a great name!), was another highlight for me. He’s quirky, awkward, and a total fanboy for Tales from the Hinterland. But what made him stand out for me was his somewhat conflicting motives for helping Alice find her mom. It’s clear that he’s been kind of crushing on Alice, but it gets a little cloudy when we learn it could just be because of her being Althea Proserpine’s granddaughter.
The detail in telling certain stories from Tales of the Hinterland was great. The stories were dark and creepy, and not at all lacking development. I just wish that the stories as they appeared in the book could have been there for us to read also. I would have loved to experience Althea’s “writing.”
All in all, The Hazel Wood has made its way to being one of my favorite books. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I finished reading! I highly recommend you pick this one up if you love fairytales, fantasy, books, and darker stories. Fans of The Night Circus will be in their glory with this one!