Hi, bookworms! You know, sometimes I’m a bit perplexed when it comes to hyped books. I’m not a difficult readers with particular tastes. I’m quite adaptable. So, even if I’m one that can easily like over hyped books, I’ve always some doubts
That’s why I was really pleased that The Hazel Wood was an okay read that I totally enjoyed!
Title: The Hazel Wood
Author: Melissa Albert
Series: The Hazel Wood #1
Publisher: Flatiron Books
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.
Hyped books are something that so far haven’t really let me down. Happened that I loved the first book or started to feel another series only thanks the second installment… but I’ve been quite lucky. Anyway, the story grew on me.
This was the case too. I started The Hazel Wood with a normal expectations and I end up being in love and already in need of the second book.
First of all I need to point my only two “not so okay” points:
- many fables are cited but only few are really told. I get that those are part of the main story, even if not entirely, but I would have loved to hear more
- Alice does some really s****y things but when she’s called out (even if not really in the most direct confrontational way) both times she managed to get away with it.
All the rest? I liked it.
First of all I liked Alice. She’s bitter and actually really down to earth. Sometimes can be a little annoying on certain aspects because looks like nothing makes her happy. But I felt her attitude as realistic. There’s something, in the way she moves around the story and the way she talks, the way she goes toward her objective that makes her more human, instead that the classic character made of pages and ink.
Same thing I cannot say for Finch, not because he’s a bad character but because while I liked him, at the same time, I think that he needed much more pages. Yes, in the end all will make a sense (sorry if I sound vague but I don’t want to spoil) but I would have liked to see him being more presents. I can only hope that the second book will talk about him. Finch’s story open to so many possibilities and it would be amazing to read a novel from his POV.
Talking about the story itself, I loved the start and I loved the end, while I’d a bit of downs with my span attention during the middle of the book. I was intrigued by the growth of the plot but at the same time I was too much looking forward to arrive at the core of the event.
The author created a beautiful and creepy world, built around a concept that (I’ve to admit) I guessed quite early. exactly like what I guess is supposed to be the major twist. Well, I’d got it quite easily, but this didn’t diminished how much I still loved the way Albert described it, informed the reader.
Is a common (or at least something I already think about) concept that still works and at this point should have been use much more, because with attention and work leads to some good novel.
The Hazel Wood is not a perfect book but for sure is fascinating, with immersive description, creepy atmosphere, a touch of fables’ magic that couldn’t help but hugging me into its development, keeping me to the pages and definitely breaking my heart
I’m a softy at its end.