Format: Paperback, 359 pages
Published: 8th February 2018 by Penguin
Genres: Fantasy, young adult
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the strange bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a 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 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.
To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began
A copy of this novel was given in exchange for an honest review.
The Hazel Wood is about Alice’s quest to find her mother after she goes missing. She’s danced around the borders of the world her grandmother created all her life – running from it, hiding from it – but finally the time has come for Alice to go into the Hazel Wood and uncover the secrets her mother’s been trying to hide from her.
Everyone is supposed to be a combination of nature and nurture, their true selves shaped by years of friends and fights and parents and dreams and things you did too young and things you overheard that you shouldn’t have and secrets you kept or couldn’t and regrets and victories and quiet prides, all the packed-together detritus that becomes what you call your life.
This book is AMAZING. I regret how long it waited on my list before I finally opened it. I was swept away from the start although it was something of a slow burner to start off with – I didn’t really understand where it was going until it had gone, but sometimes that’s the best kind of story, the kind that you just can’t predict.
My favourite bit was perhaps receiving the snippets of the dark and twisted fairy tales her grandmother wrote about, although reading about the tales coming to life was a very close second. Rarely have I come across a novel so imaginative, and I can’t wait for Melissa Albert to release the Tales from the Hinterland. I’m sure it won’t disappoint.
Hell is caring about other people.
This novel is so carefully crafted; everything about it, from Alice’s creation (yes, she is a little annoying but it’ll all make sense when you get to the end) to the world Albert has created in which Stories are brought to life (note: Stories with a capital S). The Hazel Wood is a wild and magical ride from start to finish and I can’t wait to see more of what Albert has in store. I highly recommend this novel not only to readers of YA, but also people who just love fairy tales.