Wednesday, February 21, 2018

REVIEW: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert - 4.5 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM
Title: The Hazel Wood
Genre: YA Contemporary to Fantasy
Author: Melissa Albert
Publisher: Flatiron
Publication: January 30th 2018
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading format: Provided ARC + Owned Hardcover

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert is the story of Alice, her mother and her grandmother. Alice's grandmother wrote a book of dark fairytales that people fell in love with. These fairytales are more that just stories and they end up changing Alice's life forever.

Going into The Hazel Wood I was a bit weary because people very close to me either loved the book or felt completely let down. I was worried about where I would fall on that map but luckily for me, I really enjoyed the book. It ended up being different than what I was expecting, a lot darker and weirder but that only added to the greatness of the book. I would also like to add that this IS NOT an Alice in Wonderland retelling. The only similarities this book even has with that one is the characters name is Alice and she ends up in an alternate world. That is where it ends.

Alice has spent her life on the road with her mother. They go from friends spare bedroom to rented garage to whatever apartment they can manage to rent. Alice never stays in any one place long and that is because he mother thinks something or someone is following them and they are never safe. Then her mother receives a letter stating that her mother has died and all of a sudden their luck has changed. Alice's mother decides to settle down and she finally has a somewhat normal life. Until...

Everything in this book gets VERY interesting when Alice's mother goes missing and characters from her grandmothers book start randomly appearing to her. Problem is, the characters from her grandmothers book aren't good. They are murderous beings and Alice has to figure out how to get her mother back AND stop the characters from causing harm.

Alice enlists the help of fellow classmate and mega-fan of her grandmother, Ellery Finch, to help her find her mother. He is all too willing to help Alice but it turns out his motives might now be so pure of heart. I think the Ellery Finch part is the only part of the book that I wish would have ended differently.

The only way for Alice to save her mother is to find her grandmothers home, The Hazel Wood, and actually go INTO her grandmothers book and finish her own story, Alice Three Times. This is when the book REALLY picks up and I really love how the author handled this ending. It was very unique and dark and I really enjoyed it.

In the end, I felt this story had a lot of depth and the author had a very interesting talent when it came to weaving such a dark story. I thought this book was a standalone but when I went to look it up to get the cover for my review I saw that there will be at least 1 other book and 1 possible novella so I am very excited for both of those and The Hazel Wood has found a new home on my favorites bookshelf.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.


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