Series: The Hazel Wood #1
Author: Melissa Albert
Source/Format: Won in a giveaway; Paperback
More Details: Young Adult; Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Flatiron Books; January 30, 2018
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Synopsis from Goodreads...
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.
The Hazel Wood was good. I liked it. I still encountered some of the same issues I had the first time around. Like the opening chapters, while interesting, weren’t my favorite part of the story—Alice Proserpine’s characterization and interactions with the characters around her somewhat contributed to that. That being said, once I got past the point that I originally stopped at, the story picked up some pace with the introduction of more of the fantastical elements. The “Tales from the Hinterland” and everything to do with it were among my favorite portions of The Hazel Wood. They were where the fairy-tale atmosphere and Alice shined the most—and the aspects about Alice that were sort of meh, made sense when put into context with the rest of the story. The Hazel Wood is, by no means, a light book. It deals with some of the darker aspects of fairy-tales, and that was true for most—if not all—of the Hinterland stories.
In general, the characters were interesting. Finch was probably my favorite character from The Hazel Wood, because I enjoyed his backstory and character arc the most.
Overall, I liked The Hazel Wood. The ending definitely left room for more possibilities, and since the sequel, The Night Country, is already out, I don’t have to wait to read it. Have you read The Hazel Wood? If so, what did you think about it?