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Review: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (releasing 1/30/18 from Flatiron)

**I was provided with a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no additional compensation**

Goodreads Summary: 
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 Review: 
I'm not usually drawn to YA fiction but when I received this book, the summary sounded very intriguing. (Plus, gorgeous cover!) Reclusive grandmother who is an cult-classic dark fairy tale author?? Hello, count me IN! The book opens with a 1987 Vanity Fair magazine piece titled "The Queen of the Hinterland". Within that half of a page, I was already hooked! Don't believe me, read it for yourself (plus the book's first chapter) HERE. I really did devour this book and had a hard time putting it down. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because there were some stretches that were a little confusing. I recently learned the term "world building" and I think my problems were with how this world worked. Lots of physical descriptions throughout the work but I wanted to know more about some of the characters, especially toward the end of the book. There were also a few curse words (swear word, cussin', whatever you want to call it) in the book, and while I personally have no problem with this language, it felt a bit forced to make a character seem "cool" or "edgy". Overall, I'd definitely recommend this to any fiction lover. 


Judy Krueger said...

I have been looking for a good YA novel to read. This sounds like a contender.

Carmen said...

I love the sound of this one! :-)