Book Review: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

We were each our own island, gathered together into one messed-up archipelago

I wanted to read The Hazel Wood because it has to do with fairy tales and I have been liking retellings and just the old fairy tales recently. I didn’t like it as much as I had hoped, but it was made up for with the pieces of Tales of the Hinterland in it. I loved those pieces.

Book Review: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert


Title & Author: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Release Date: January 30 2018
Series: The Hazel Wood
Publisher: Flatiron Books


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.

I give The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert four out of five hearts because the idea behind the story is great, but the execution not as great.

Melissa Albert is a great author. Every word she writes is the right one, but I felt the story was slow going and it didn’t pull the reader deep into it. I rather read something that keeps me wanting to get back to read instead of this surface skimming that Melissa did.

I couldn’t connect to Alice and Ellery, they felt to far away and I didn’t get to know them as more than Alice, the granddaughter, and Ellery, the Hinterland superfan. There was almost no background information on the duo, except for the tat bit about Alice’s grandmother and her mother.

Overall I think The Hazel Wood is original, not even a retelling, but something that stands on its own. And the twist at the end is also great. Melissa’s descriptions are lively and set the scene. But her character development could use some work.

Let me know what you thought of this book!
If you have any requests for which book I should talk about next, please let me know in the comments down below.

For now, let books enrich your life!


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