The Hazel Wood

The Hazel Wood

A Novel

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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.
Publisher: New York, NY : Flatiron Books, 2018
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781250147905
Branch Call Number: YA ALBERT
Characteristics: 359 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Tierney, Jim


From Library Staff

Fantasy - short list

Not all fairy tale princesses live happily ever after. Alice and her mom have been running her whole life, but the Hinterland has finally caught up to them, and Alice must face her own macabre story arc to discover her true self.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jul 17, 2020

The first half of this book was fabulous and then the second part was confusing and difficult to figure out who was where, doing what, felt like Alice in Wonderland on a bad acid trip (a not good acid trip). As soon as Alice went into the Woods it went downhill. Had a lot of potential but lost me in the middle....

May 26, 2020

I decided to get this book after reading raving reviews and seeing it popping up several times in my recommendations. At first I was not convinced I was going to like it, it seemed to me to be a young adult novel and so not something I was really interested in reading. However, I decided to go on and see what happened. In the second half of the story, I changed my mind and realized that it was probably too dark for a young reader, especially for the nature of the fairy tales in it. So, what do I think about it? From a stylistic point of view, I find it a little too verbose, many times I just had to put it down and then force me to pick it up again. However, the plot is very original and I like the idea that we are all creators of and responsible for our destiny, not matter where or what we are born. I also appreciate the emphasis on the importance of friends and family, and of the strength of love, that in this case truly conquers all. I won't say anything about the plot because the blurb seems to be informative enough and to say more would mean to spoil it. I gave this book four stars because I did find it a bit repetitive in some parts, and also rather depressing in its representation of a world dark and cruel. But there is some hope and it is certainly very original, so I would perhaps suggest reading it together with Angela Carter's re-writing of traditional fairy tales.

Beaverton_JennieC May 15, 2020

The woods in this modern-day fairytale/fantasy knockout of a YA novel hide some very strange things, indeed. Seventeen-year-old Alice, who is the granddaughter of a famously reclusive author of a cult-classic book of creepy fairytales, must venture into the land of dark and twisted stories to rescue her kidnapped mother.

May 02, 2020

Creepy enough to hook a bored teenager aching to escape the absurdities of one world for the mind-bending cruelties of another. Good writing was the only thing that kept me reading as I prefer...happier endings.

JCLAlisonS Apr 23, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, though the main protagonist is thoroughly unlikable (read: self-centered). This title offers true escapism, world-building, elements of dark fantasy and adventure. You won't be able to put it down because it's a world full of excitement.

Highly recommended, even if you're not usually a reader of dark fantasy. I'm excited to read the next book in what seems will be a trilogy!

(Sidebar: It also reminded me a bit of another book I loved, The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill.)

sjpl_DanaLibrariana Apr 06, 2020

While this isn’t one of those books that will stay lodged in my brain for a while, it was an enjoyable fantasy escape. I’m a sucker for fairy tales and for scary stories and this novel has a nice blend of both. I appreciated the writing and descriptive detail of the scenes and characters. I did feel like there were too many tendrils of story out at some points. Overall, however, I’m glad I read this book.

Feb 29, 2020

I like the concept of this book; I thought it was quite original, and I loved the darkness of all the fairy tales (even if some of them didn't make much sense or have any of the "moral of the story" that most of the traditional fairy tales - even the Grimmer ones - have).

If I'd rated it while still in the first half of the book, I'd probably have given it 4 stars. The set up was good, and the initial twists were well done. But, at the end, I'm not satisfied. I felt like there needed to be more . . . resolution?

Feb 03, 2020

The Hazel Wood provides a brief but enthralling look into the world of twisted fairytales. The author creates effective suspense in the beginning but the short length of the book is its biggest downfall. The latter half is too fast-paced and fails to explain the lore behind the happenings of this fantasy world. Overall, it's an enjoyable and easy read but not terribly memorable.

Jan 22, 2020

Most of the reviews that I have encountered for this book were not entirely positive, so I wasn't sure if I wanted to read it. But when I saw it at the library, I decided to give it a chance and am so glad I did.

This was an original story, unlike anything else I've ever read. I really enjoyed the stories within this story and honestly hope Melissa Albert shares Althea's book because I am dying to read it. I know... I know... be careful what you wish for.

I won't say any more for fear of spoiling things for you. I think the less you know about this book, the more likely you are to enjoy it.

Oct 08, 2019

Some people may love it. I found it went too far into a fantasy world.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Jul 16, 2019

Bilhana thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

OPL_KrisC Mar 31, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Mar 23, 2018

kkaur2 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

burgundy_panther_13 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SPL

To Top