The Hazel Wood | Melissa Albert | Review

“I remembered less from my own life than I did from the books I read.”





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 is one of those books that has been on my shelves for the longest time, it is one of those books that I just haven’t got round to picking up. However, my TBR jar spoke and I decided that February was the month I would finally get round to reading this.

In 2018 when this book first came out I heard a lot of good things about it which is why I picked it up. The hype quietened up until recently when Melissa Albert released her next book, this then made me excited to pick up The Hazel Wood again. Is it bad to say that I wish I hadn’t of bothered.

The first 100 pages in this book were excellent, Melissa, I feel did really well with setting the scene and helping the reader get to know the characters. I could not put this book down, I started it in the bath and ended up having to refill the bath with hot water because I just didn’t want to get out and stop reading. I am disappointed to say that after the first 100 pages I became bored, confused and literally had no drive to pick this book up.

I really liked the writing style of this book, that is something that I cannot fault. The style makes for a really easy read one in which you are able to devour in a very short period of time. I loved the way the fairytales were depicted and written, these really stood out in this book and when I came to one of them I always found myself excited to read them.

I think for me it was the characters, I didn’t like any of them and I could not gel with them. Therefore, what ever happened to them I didn’t really care. It was always convenient that things were handed to them on a plate and they didn’t really have to go searching too far for them. A book for me to enjoy has to have at least one memorable character, this book did not, and therefore I didn’t have that important connection I needed for said enjoyment.

I would say give this book a go and figure out your own thoughts and feelings but I don’t feel like I can and will recommend this book to anybody as I am really disappointed by it. I am writing this review a week after finishing because this is the first time I have been able to bring myself to do so. I didn’t hate it, I was just left disappointed.

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