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The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert | Spoiler Free

Updated: Apr 29, 2019

This book consumed my day. I started reading at 6 PM and did not stop reading until midnight, and then proceeded to fangirl about it for about another hour to my sleepy, unamused boyfriend. It was AMAZING.

 It is easily one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year. I won’t be giving too much away since I did receive it to read as an ARC, so bear with me if the details are a bit vague. After Alice’s mother is kidnapped, she realizes that there is actually more to her grandmother’s book of stories, and reluctantly teams up with an acquaintance to try and track down her mother. 

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.”


THERE ARE SO MANY. The amazingly creepy tone and setting, the interspersed with these wonderful original fairytales. At one point the book specifically mentions how The Hinterland is not a place for kindness, but a cruel, beautiful mistress and that basically sums up the entirety of the book. We don’t get kind characters, sweet characters. We get characters who are made of things more feral than what you usually get in fairytales, and it wouldn’t work for any other book than this one. It’s amazing. 


The Hinterlands are an amazing place. I would have loved to see more of them, be more immersed in its Stories. But I guess that’s kind of the point? Already the book has been romanticized when the entire time the characters talk about how this isn’t a story that allows for that sort of thing. I can’t say anything else, other than I wish it had been longer so that I didn’t finish it quite so quickly. 

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