Mar 2, 2018

My Thoughts: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Cover Love: I do love the fairy tale elements of this cover. I think it's so pretty!

Why I Wanted to Read This:
The synopsis just made me really curious. And I am glad it caught my eye! There hit a point where I just could not put it down. Here's the synopsis from Good Reads:

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.

My Thoughts:
First off, I want a book of truly dark fairy tales like this. I know that most of the true Grimm fairy tales have darker endings, none of them have the feel of Tales from the Hinterland. This is a world I would like to visit from time to time. It's probably because the author did such a good job weaving these tales into the overall story. It was just well done.

I didn't love Alice or Ella (her mother) but understood them more and more as the story went on. They had never had a chance to put down roots, which was what made them as flighty as I felt they were. I guess we never really get to know Ella besides Alice's memories of her, but she just wasn't my favorite. I know there is going to be a second book and maybe it will explore Ella's relationship with Hinterland--that would be very interesting to me. I would like to know more about a lot of the Hinterland characters!
I don't want to write too much about the story because it would give a lot away and I think it needs to get discovered on your own. One thing I do wish was longer was the climax. Alice worked so hard to get where she was and then a few pages later it was over. There was so much build up into this world and who she was and looking for her mom that it felt a little rushed and unsatisfying to me.

I am going to buy a copy for my library even though it is mature and dark, I know several readers that would love this book!

To Sum Up: Give me more dark fairy tales, I love them! Great setting and lots of interesting imagery. Well done!

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