The Hazel Wood

The Hazel Wood

A Novel

Book - 2018
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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
1250147905
Branch Call Number: YA ALBERT
Characteristics: 359 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Tierney, Jim

Opinion

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


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a
ashleykirkham
May 21, 2019

Great dark fairytale!

n
nalahblueberry5
Mar 11, 2019

Nothing wrong with the book or writing, I just didn't know it was YA going in

b
bookishmutant
Dec 30, 2018

Real rating: 4.25 stars

Since it came out sometime this year, I’ve heard LOTS of people raving about it, especially from the likes of EpicReads. I almost bought it at Barnes and Noble (should’ve done it, now that I know how good it is), but brushed it off because a) I wasn’t really hooked in that moment, and b) the hardcover was unreasonably expensive for a book. Now I simultaneously regret and delight in the fact that I got it at the library. Delight, because man, this book was a treasure; regret because now I’ll have to return it in a week’s time.

I didn’t have super high expectations, but MAN, “The Hazel Wood” blew it out of the water! Near-perfectly executed magical realism...was that magical realism? I mean, it’s been shelved as fiction and fantasy, but I’d say it was a pretty perfect blend of both. The fantasy element, towards the end of the book, was a little more prevalent, but...I guess that would be magical realism? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Either way, the author made it work almost flawlessly.
Honestly, I was hooked from start to finish. The writing was spectacular, and the world building was so enchanting, that I felt like I never wanted to leave. (That is, until I got to the Hinterlands...hehehe...) I found myself growing attached to Alice, and I loved exploring her backstory. The other characters, whether I liked them or not, were incredibly well thought up, and the chemistry between them was perfectly executed. I loved the lore that came along with “Tales from the Hinterland”, and all of the dark, creepy fairy excerpts we got throughout the course of the book. I’d like to see more of those, and apparently, “Tales from the Hinterland” is going to be published as a separate book in a few years’ time...

And finally, I REALLY enjoyed all of the little pop culture references that were thrown in there, especially the music related ones. I’ll admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the description of Lana from the coffee shop, and the subsequent interaction between her in the customer who mistook T. Rex for the Stone Roses. I cracked up at the latter.

All in all, “The Hazel Wood” is most definitely worth a read, whether you like fantasy, fiction, or both.

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Dec 27, 2018

I don't know how else to describe this book other than "atmospheric and weird". It's dark and strange and aggressively not romantic in a way that is very refreshing for a YA book, and I finished it feeling, honestly, kind of sad that there's going to be a sequel, because this book is so odd and vividly realized that I almost wanted it to just exist by itself out in the world without any follow-up or resolution. I realize the words I'm using to describe this don't necessarily sound that complimentary, so please just trust me when I say that I mean "weird" in the best possible way.

r
RaptorMouse
Dec 13, 2018

Alice has been on the run with her mother ever since she can remember; always running from the nameless bad luck that always seemed to follow them. After her mother Ella received a letter stating Ella’s mother Althea died, they finally settled down and the bad luck seemed a memory of the past. All that changed when Alice came home and found out her mother has been kidnapped by the Hinterland, a strange fairytale land where most stories end in death. Now, with the help of her classmate Ellery, she is not running away from a nameless something. She is running towards the Hazel Wood, the house where Althea Prosperine first wrote her novel, Tales from the Hinterland. Will she be able to rescue her mother or is there death in their future? A strange story full of adventure and mystery, it is a story to be enjoyed by teen and adult alike. Warning: does contain (needless) character death.

JessicaGma Nov 12, 2018

I was on board with the creepy and weird until her Black friend gets killed - seriously?? There's a trope that needs to vanish. It was overhyped for me, and didn't quite do it.

Tigard_LisaE Oct 18, 2018

Fully creepy. My childhood is ruined.

LPL_ColtonS Sep 18, 2018

Alice Proserpine is used to living her life on the run. Living with her wild mother, leaving town at the slightest disturbance or hint of "bad luck" has become all too familiar. But when her mother is kidnapped by dark agents of The Hinterland, a fairy-tail world created by her grandmother, the search leads her to the one place she has always been told to keep away from; The Hazel Wood. Dark tales meet the real world, where doors can open anywhere, where stories can kill, and where you can get a free drink for any song, post 1972, that you can sing from start to finish.

b
bonjbothe3rd
Jul 19, 2018

So, I think this book is 4 or 5 stars until you hit the last third of it. Then I felt the writing got really weird. There were some descriptions of things that were cringe worthy. It basically just really fell apart for me, which was disappointing because I really liked the first two thirds of the book.

b
BohoBookDragon
Jul 18, 2018

Very intriguing premise, although I did feel that Melissa Albert got a bit overly descriptive at times and that caused me as a reader to zone out of the story. However, when this book was great, it was GREAT and I couldn't put it down during parts.

I didn't pick up on the "Alice in Wonderland" with a twist- to me it felt more like a brand new fairy tale. Melissa Albert does realistic fantasy very well.

Overall, an interesting and engaging story.

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OPL_KrisC Mar 31, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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kkaur2
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

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