The Hazel Wood (Hazel Wood Series #1)

The Hazel Wood (Hazel Wood Series #1)

by Melissa Albert

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The Hazel Wood 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alice is a complicated character. We learn about her in bits and pieces as she learns about herself. A quest for answers and identity. Never a dull moment. The author has a way with words. A hard to put down fantasy novel fascinating for both teens and adults.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a dark, messed up fairy tale. All future books will be on my must-have list!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It was exactly what I wanted it to be
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Thank you for an excellent plot and flawed but loveable characters. I really appreciate that the characters weren't stupid,( it seems that's a fad with authors lately.) I sure hope that the author writes more and soon!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderfully dark twisted fairytale. I devoured this book within a day and my husband did as well. If you're looking for something to suck you in and spirit you away to another reality, this is it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Am I the only one who's sad that it's over? I feel like there were things left unfinished and untold. I hope there will be more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It has been a long time since I have read a book where I couldn't guess the basic storyline. Kind of left Finch a bit unaccounted for, though. I'd like to know more about what he was doing and where he went (hence the 4 rather than 5 stars). Perhaps there will be a follow up?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down, excellent writing and a very unique take on fairy tales. I'm really looking forward to what this author comes out with next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dark, magical, and alluring, The Hazel Wood is an incredibly exciting and unique take on modern fairytales. I couldn't put it down. If you enjoyed The Night Circus, you'll love this book!
peanutbutterandbooks More than 1 year ago
RATING: 4 shimmering stars. Find more reviews on my blog, peanutbutterandbooks.wordpress.com! "When Alice was born, her eyes were black from end to end, and the midwife didn't stay long enough to wash her." I found this to be a lush, captivating read, with flawed main characters and a brilliantly woven dark fantasy world. (Also, oh my lord, that cover is GORGEOUS. I am in love. *endless heart eyes*) First off, the author's portrayal of the Hinterlands was incredibly mesmerizing, and I found myself completely sucked into the story. I'm honestly in awe of her imagination because WOW, that was creative. With the Disney-fication of classics like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, it's easy to forget that traditional fairy tales are very, very violent and more than a little disturbing. In Albert's book, at least, these fairy tales go even further beyond the bloodiness of the original Grimm's Fairytales. They're honestly more like horror stories than anything you'd read to children at bedtime (unless your goal is to give them nightmares!). Albert's writing style may be a hit-or-miss for some readers, but it is TOTALLY right down my alley. You can't deny that she definitely has talent—her writing flows beautifully, with that deliciously dark, twisted fantasy vibe I that I can't get enough of. One of my favorite parts of the story was definitely the short "Hinterland" fairy tales, which sent shivers down my spine. They were all delightfully disturbing (and I would 1000% buy that book if it ever came out). Now, let me just say: FINCH. Poor little Finch. He was such a sweetheart, and probably my favorite character in the book? (I just have this enormous soft spot for delicate little boys who just want to be loved.) Of course, there was definitely something immediately shady about his character. Throughout the story, you can tell that the author was really, really trying to emphasize that there was something "off" about him, a puppy-like eagerness that didn't quite sit right with his true motives. I'll be honest: the protagonist, Alice, who read more like an antiheroine, is incredibly difficult to empathize with, which, I think, is the main problem many readers had. She's not the "outwardly scathing and angry but secretly has a heart of liquid gold" protagonist that I see so often in YA novels—no, she's pretty much completely unlikeable. She's selfish, rude, arrogant, and completely disregards the struggles of others—which is the total opposite of what YA readers like me usually look for in a relatable heroine. (One notable instance being when she basically tramples all over another character's explanation of racial profiling.) On the flip side, I was left feeling rather unsatisfied by the ending. I wanted more closure on the relationships between the main characters, and on Alice's adjustment to normal life. I also felt somewhat disappointed that the one "meaningful" relationship Alice developed—other than her mother, of course—never ended up going anywhere. (Not in terms of romance, per se, just in terms of finding a close friend or ally.) Overall, I would recommend that you pick up "The Hazel Wood" if you love fairy tales with a twist. (A very disturbing twist, at that.) It may not be for everyone, but hey, you won't know until you try out the book for yourself!
Book_and_recipe_Examiner More than 1 year ago
“I turned slowly in place, alone in a clearing in the deep dark woods. That was when I entered a fairy tale.” Alice has been on the run from bad luck with her mother Ella since she can remember. Her grandmother, Althea was once a famous author for her book Tales from the Hinterland, a novel of dark, adult fairy tales that has slowly been disappearing in the many decades since its release. Alice has never been allowed to meet the grandmother who lives in the Hazel wood, though a kind red-haired man did once try to take a young Alice there, in what looked like a kidnapping. But one day the man returns to the coffee shop where she works, reading a copy of the mysterious book, and leaves without a word, only a comb, a feather, and a bone on the table by his empty cup. Then, Ella disappears, and her wealthy fiance demands that Alice leave the apartment for good. Stranded, Alice reaches out to the only friend she has, who also happens to be the wealthiest boy at her prep school, Ellery Finch. Ellery is a super-fan of the Hinterland, who thrills to assist Alice find her mother and the truth behind the odd book’s origins. With clever twists, quick suspense, and engrossing tales interwoven in the storyline, The Hazel Wood will make you yearn for answers from grim stories you’ve truly never heard before. For discussion questions, a themed recipe of butter pecan cupcakes with honey lavender frosting, or similar books, visit: http://hub.me/alWgX
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Usually dont read books like this but di enjoy it
Anonymous 8 months ago
Dark and creative. Read it in two days.
Courtney_Elena 9 months ago
Original Review: www.literarychaos.com I really expected to love this book. I really wanted to love this book. I was so excited by the synopsis. I love retellings and fairytale based stories, and this one sounded like the kind of book I could lose myself in. Between the synopsis and all the hype in the bookish community, I had high expectations for this book. Unfortunately, this book fell flat for me. That is to say, I found the story enjoyable, but I did not love it in the way that I had hoped I would. I felt like this story could have had better pacing. I really wanted more fantasy and fairytale elements. I really enjoyed the sections of the book that were set in the Hinterland, such as the fairytale chapters dispersed throughout the book, if there had been more of the story set in the Hinterland, I feel like I would have liked the story much more, but instead, the majority of the book was a road trip that I at least found rather boring. It also did not help that Alice is one of the least likable characters I have ever read. She was so rude, selfish, and ill-tempered. She constantly talked about her anger issues, and it often felt to me like she was making excuses for her behavior instead of trying to learn from her behavior and fixing it. I understand that her behavior is an important aspect of the story, but it did not make her character any more bearable. Then there was the way that she treated Finch. She was so rude to him, it really irritated me. This person is helping her, and yet she was so ungrateful. I felt like she so stuck in her own pity party that she didn't notice or understand her privilege and the inequality around her. What was worse for me there seemed to be very little growth in this aspect. I wanted a good redemption arc, I wanted realization of her privilege and her selfishness. Unfortunately, I did not get that. I feel like this is one of those polarizing books that people either really love or really dislike. I personally fell in the middle I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it. I felt like it this was over-hyped, at least for my reading tastes. This book does have good aspects to it and I can see why some people really loved this story. It just wasn't for me.
Anonymous 12 months ago
.... but falls flat somewhere in the middle. Finished it but became disappointed midway. Too many characters thrown in once Alice enters Hinterland and insufficent character development of characters we've known -- or known about--- from the beginning. Finch is left in the lurch and Janet, a come lately character weighs in much too heavily. Sorry. I know I'm in the minority. Language is beautiful but obscures the plot
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I+couldnt+put+it+down
onemused More than 1 year ago
"The Hazel Wood" was a fascinating, dark YA fantasy that follows 17-year-old Alice, the granddaughter of the infamous author of the Hinterland fairytales. She has had a hard life with unstable living situations, which changed when her mother married a wealthy man. However, the man is not great to her mother, and Alice feels that she deserves better. Alice's life is soon turned on its head when Alice's mother is missing- apparently taken into the Hinterland. As Alice's mother has always prevented her from learning anything about the fairytales her grandmother wrote and they are no longer in print, Alice knows nothing about this land. She turns to a rich boy her age, who used to have a book and knows most of them by heart. As they journey to find the Hinterland and Alice's mother, things are not as they appear, and Alice's trip becomes something more dangerous and frightening than she could have imagined. I was instantly drawn into this story and the characters. The whole book is shrouded in mystery, and I was completely engaged in unraveling the stories and Alice's past. With dark fairytales told within the book and a perilous journey, this book is absolutely fascinating. I really enjoyed it and recommend for anyone who enjoys dark fairytales and YA fantasy! This is an enchanting story that has me ready for more. Please note that I received a copy from a giveaway. All opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great modern fairytale. No handsome prince rescuing the damsel in distress. Dark and hopeful at the same time.
TheLiteraryEmpress More than 1 year ago
If only... I have a lot of mixed feelings about The Hazel Wood. I think there were elements I was so happy to see and feel, but then there were so many things that I didn’t enjoy and left a sour taste in my mouth. What I absolutely loved about this book was the elements of magic mixed into the modern day world. That was done on point and in ways that made my heart sing. There is one scene in the beginning where Alice returns to her apartment and it’s so full of magic you can smell it. The level of intensity in this scene reminds me just what suspense is in prose, but sadly this moment is one of the few that has any build to it. One thing I will say The Hazel Wood brings to the table is the ability to suspend your disbelief. That is what fairytales and fiction are about after all, and what many are missing. For me, I like it when a world doesn’t explain itself; in fact, I prefer it that way. As a reader I find exposition to get in the way of story because an author feels the need to tell us about the world or make the world believable, and The Hazel Wood just throws you to the wolves and says have fun with it. This was the biggest satisfaction during my read, that the world felt genuine and real, like I could spot a character out in the street and not miss a step. In my notes I say something along the lines of it’s Stranger Things meets Alice in Wonderland, and it’s that level of belief in the world that makes The Hazel Wood hard for me to talk about. The Hazel Wood is hard to review because of the last half of the book. It reaches a point where I felt like I was reading a completely different book. This is where the trigger warnings should come into play. This is where I got lost and never really came back. I’m all for dark atmosphere and aesthetics, but this got too dark, too absurd, for me to follow. And there is a “story within a story” element going on later in The Hazel Wood, but it wasn’t earned. I guess that’s where I have a problem; the pay off isn’t worth trudging through the slop of darkness and bogged down characters with no development and jumpy plot twists to make it worth my while to read. If The Hazel Wood read more like the first half of the book, I would have bought it. Unfortunately, it meanders down a path I can’t follow into a dark place that I don’t feel like exploring. That’s about all I have to say on the subject. It had such high ambitions and was so close to achieving them, but The Hazel Wood fell in on itself before realizing and trying to dig itself out.
CaptainsQuarters More than 1 year ago
Ahoy there me mateys! This book was a slow-burning, dark, and atmospheric read. It felt like a Grimm's fairy-tale mixed with some Alice in Wonderland but was mostly set in our modern world. For all of the book's slow pacing, I somehow found meself mesmerized by the mystery of it all. Alice and her mom are always beset by bad luck and have led a fairly nomadic life. Alice's life has been heavily influenced by the tantalizing facts about her grandmother, Althea, even though they have never met. Ye see a young Althea wrote a famous children's book of fairy-tales and became a sensation. Yet the book is hard to get a hold of. It is a rare collector's item and is out of print. Alice has never been allowed to read it. The one time she tried she only got as far as the table of contents before her mom confiscated the volume. It was never seen again. Why are Alice and her mom always on the run? And what is so special about those stories? If ye read this novel ye can find out. Alice is a kinda quirky, if tad unlikable, character and her journey certainly is an interesting one. Most of the story takes place in a seemingly contemporary tale where the fantasy can be glimpsed in the seams and cracks outside of periphery vision. Those glimpses are enticing. Of course the fantasy elements increase as the story progresses and that was super fun. The only small quibble was the ending felt unsettled. But it fit the Grimm-like mood and so I was satisfied. Then, of course, I found out it is part of a series! I do think it can feel like a standalone though. I do wonder what adventures Alice will get into next. I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for me honest musings. Arrr!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excited to read more by this author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a really interesting book. The interactions were so authentic and the language didn't stuffer to be too polite nor was it over the top. I want to read tales from the Hinterland now
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely awesome!!The story gripped me and kept me. .. A story line normal with some dark and twisted turns...
readers_retreat More than 1 year ago
I will start by saying - this is an incredibly talked about book pre-publication and despite me loving everything the synopsis detailed, I was a tad worried that, like other massively hyped novels, that it would be a let down - I needn't have been concerned, this book is magnificent. I have certainly noticed that it has polarised opinion quite a bit but I can't understand why as I wouldn't have changed anything about it, it was a fantastic read for January and the start of a whole new reading year. Also, a quick note of appreciation for the cover - absolutely gorgeous! I have worried a fair bit since finishing it about writing the review with my primary concern being doing the novel justice. I genuinely think this is one of those that you need to read as I don't think any review can convey the magic and enchanting nature of the story. It has managed to leave a lasting impression on me as I haven't stopped thinking about it since wrapping it up. I am still thinking about the upcoming books Albert is writing - 1) the sequel (The Hazel Wood #2) and 2) a companion book filled with the Fairytales of the Hinterland. Both of these I am going stir crazy for already! They seem like an eternity away. I'm now desperately searching for similar books to keep me entertained until these have been offered as ARC's or published. Main Characters - Alice is a steely-minded and tenacious girl who seems to have issues with her anger at many points during the novel. I admired her the most for the love she had for her mother Ella - she stopped at nothing to try and reach and rescue her despite feeling scared. I feel I would react in the same way if my mum went missing or was taken. Ella is Alice's "mother" and her and Alice have an amazing bond between them. This bond is a main focus of the book as it endures even when Ella disappears propelling Alice into a shadowy world. Finch is a boy from Alice's school who has been a big admirer of Tales of the Hinterland and of the mysterious Althea. Prose/Writing - Albert's writing is magical and engaging from the very beginning - it took no time at all to get into the story and be invested in its journey and outcome. Lush, lyrical and well structured with a flow that makes it difficult to put down, a beautiful piece of creativity. One thing I was told to expect was a change in the writing style after the 50% mark and I know that a few people have mentioned the change in their comments with me or in reviews. Whilst I do agree that there is a change and the prose is noticeably less descriptive I didn't experience a reduction in my enjoyment due to that. If you are a fan of darker fairytales (Grimm), YA and Mystery genres I wouldn't hesitate to reach for this one. I've purchased a copy for my bookshelf as I know I'll read it again before the new ones appear just to refresh. Well executed and simply mesmeric this is a novel that will knock your socks off! Albert's got IT! In spades. I would like to thank Penguin Random House Children's, Melissa Albert and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
JLeighG More than 1 year ago
The Hazel Wood is a well-developed and enjoyable fantasy. I love the details and the twists that are present in this book. I felt like I was traveling with Alice on her journey. Although some twists were predictable, the ones that didn't really draw me deeper into the story. I didn’t really like the random flashbacks that didn’t have any context as they were disjointed from the story. Though, they were important to building the story between Alice and her mom, Ella. I’m excited to see what happens next in book two of The Hazel Wood series!