Title: The Hazel Wood (ARC/Finished Copy)
Author: Melissa Albert
No. of pages: 357/368
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fiction
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Date Read: April 8, 2018; April 22, 2018
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. (Goodreads)
This book. I was highly looking forward to reading this book and it didn’t disappoint. I actually read two different version of this book, an ARC and a finished copy, because I wanted to see if there were major dis-similarities. From what I could tell, the changes, if any were actually made minor and didn’t affect the plot or quality of the book at all.
One of the biggest things I loved about this whole books was the cover. I’m gonna be honest 75% of the reason I wanted to read this was because the cover was beautiful and intriguing and gorgeous. The ARC is black with the gold and silver writing, and the finished copy I had was the OwlCrate exclusive cover. It was green with the gold and silver writing. It faintly resembles the description of the Tales of the Hinterland book that Althea had written.
One of the other reason why I loved this book was that the tales told aren’t mainstream. Like, don’t get me wrong. Fairies, dragons, princesses that end up with the good guy, and trolls that turn into princes are cool and all…. But sometimes not everything can have a good ending. All the stories that we’re told from the Hinterlands are all dark and twisty and end in death. Sometimes, it just needs to happen. And I liked the fact that that was why Finch had read them in the first place. He was going through a tough time and reading the tales brought him some comfort that he wasn’t alone.
Also. Ellery Finch. Can I just stop and talk about how he was such an underrated character. Like, he’s a main character, but still was treated like a secondary character. I absolutely LOVED that even though he was a fan of Althea, she actually wanted to know Alice for Alice. Not because he was a fan, even though he was. He was tamping that down to get actually be friends with this new girl that no one else even bothered with. And dropping everything to help her. Honestly, I’m really upset with how Alice took him for granted. I have lots of feelings about Finch okay. He deserves to travel all the worlds he wants.
Overall, I thought this book was really good. The first read through, I couldn’t put it down. The second read through took me a while, but I still loved the story. I highly recommend this book because even though it was something that has been done, it’s from a perspective that hasn’t been done. Or at least not that I’ve read. Melissa Albert did a wonderful job at keep the tone dark, but adding enough light humor to bring a release when needed. It was intriguing, mysterious, and an absolute thrill to read. If there’s more to come, I’m more than ready for the next installment.