Book Review: The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert

Book Review: The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert

BOOK REVIEW (39)Series:
The Hazel Wood #1
Release Date: 30th January 2018
Publisher: Penguin Books
Pages: 359
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.


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.


As soon as I read the synopsis for The Hazel Wood I was dying to read it. Dark fairy tale stories? a mystery surrounding a reclusive grandmother and her creepy estate? Count me in! I really enjoyed reading The Hazel Wood but it didn’t turn out quite how I expected it would. It was dark and unsettling and I’m definitely looking forward to picking up the next instalment in the series.

book cover (14)The first half of the book I absolutely fell in love with. I loved the mystery surrounding the Hazel Wood. Where was it located? What was really behind the gates? There were so many questions and these creepy fairy tale characters kept appearing which made me desperate for me. At this point I felt the book could easily have been a five star all time favourite read, but for some reason as soon as Alice reached the Hinterland I felt the book fell a little flat. I felt like the story was racing towards the end and Id didn’t get the opportunity to enjoy it.

The story is a slow burner, but I enjoyed the little hints and clues that led up to Alice finding her way into the Hazel Wood. Alice was an interesting main protagonist, although she was pretty unlikeable and I felt some of her actions were a bit questionable. What I did really love was Melissa Albert’s writing style, I thought her writing was really beautiful and I loved completely absorbing myself in world of this book.

Despite being a little disappointed with the second half of the book I still think this is a really great read. It’s dark and enjoyable definitely gave me some serious Alice in Wonderland vibes. If you love your fairy tales with a bit of a twist, this is bound to be right up your street.
4 stars

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