Title: The Hazel Wood
Author: Melissa Albert
Publisher: Flatiron books
Publishing date: January 30th 2018
Genre: teen fiction, urban fantasy
Page count: 368
Goodreads synopsis: 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: hmm.. this book. I don’t even know really want to say. I am sort of speechless but in an uncomfortable way…
First let me explain my three star rating… I gave it three and not less because I give it credit that I didn’t DNF it. I did make it all the way through which is saying something. I don’t tend to waste my time on books I don’t enjoy. And Melissa Albert’s writing is beautiful. She is a fantastic writer. The cover of the book is also really well done. It looks great on the shelf, but that’s about where the things I liked ends.
I was really highly anticipating this book. Actually this was the one book I was probably most looking forward to reading in 2018, so believe me when I say I am super disappointed in it.
The characters were terrible. Alice was just rude and cruel and yes, (no spoilers) but she did have a reason for being that way which you find out towards the end, but by that time, I hated her character so much that I didn’t give two craps about her character (to put it mildly!) She was just a horrible character. Really awful and unlikeable.
Finch was better but I still didn’t fully understand his character. I felt he had depths that were hinted at but never fully explored. I feel like his character was a missed opportunity.
The rest of the characters were meh, not really worth mentioning except the weird relationship between Alice and her step sister Aubery. Did they like each other, hate each other, tolerate each other? Who knows? Their relationship was so hot and cold and confusing but maybe that was the point? Either way, I didn’t enjoy it nor did I understand the point of it.
The plot gets messy. It gets really hard to follow towards the end. There are mildly exciting parts but most of it is dull and filler type scenes. It doesn’t move fast at all. It was difficult to get through.
I hate writing bad reviews, but I do want to tell you guys the truth. Maybe this book just wasn’t my cup of tea. Lots of people did really enjoy it; I am just not one of those people. It was an odd book (which I don’t mind. I’ve read my share of weird books) but odd in a way that made me uncomfortable and confused.
This book is going to be a series even though, I feel, it had a pretty final ending. It is most likely a series I will not be finishing.
I really really wanted to like this one guys! I just couldn’t. Three stars is honestly a very generous rating and it’s solely because I do believe Melissa Albert is a great writer, and I most likely would read more of her books. The Hazel Wood was just not for me.