The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Goodread’s Summary


I had no idea what to expect from this book, I knew almost nothing about it and practically went in blind. This was an Owlcrate book one month so I had never even heard of it before I received it in my box. When I started to read this book i got a really weird feeling. Not in a bad way necessarily but I could just tell from the first few chapters that this book wouldn’t be similar to anything I had ever read. This book is dark and creepy with twisted fairytales and all kinds of monsters. I want to say this book is a retelling and a fairytale, but I can’t because it’s not really. This book has created another category all to itself, it is extremely different to anything I have ever read. At first with that uneasy feeling this book gave me I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, but after a while I got really into the vibe this book has going on. I think this book exhibits a lot of the same messages that fairytales do, like you can choose your family, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, never underestimate your enemy, etc. This book just relays those messages in a very different way. Going along with this dark vibe I got the sense of missing things in the story. Like I was kind of confused for part of the book but I guess the book is supposed to have that effect. The characters were really great and fun, although sometimes their personality fell a little flat. Also this book seemed to use a good chunk to build up to the action at the end so it can go sort of slow if you aren’t really dedicated to the story. The chapters have amazing chapter header art that goes along with the chapter, I really enjoyed that. I think this book is supposed to be the first in a series, but I’m not sure. I feel like this book had a definite ending, no cliffhangers, no loose ends that needed to be tied up. So I’m wondering where the author will take this story in the following books if this does end up being a series. I just don’t see anything else that can make the story stretch, unless she takes the next book in a totally different direction. Overall if you like dark books about finding yourself, making your own choices, and fighting for the ones you love, then this is a great read! Has lots of fantastical elements and entertaining scenes to keep you interested if you can make it through the first half of the book.


I was too busy trying to keep up with the story that I didn’t slow down to look for good quotes!


I just want to say that Alice had a really screwed up childhood and I was totally judging Ella for the way she was raising her until I figured out why they had to run all the time. I really liked the Hinterland stories but I wanted to read all of them and not just two. While we’re on the subject of Hinterland I didn’t want it to be completely gone at the end. I mean that place was the whole essence of the story and book and it felt wrong for it to just disappear. Maybe she could have just left it abandoned and in the next book she could show someone discovering it and bringing the darkness back to life but in a different way. But I am glad Alice and Ella reunited, I didn’t really like the time jump while she was stuck in her story but I guess I’ll just have to deal with it. I was really sad that her and Finch drifted apart at the end, but to be honest there wasn’t much of a relationship between them to begin with. I think they were just using each other to get what they wanted. I wasn’t truly shocked when the book revealed that he had been working with the Hinterland. I was disappointed that the grandmother, Althea, wasn’t really trying to help her and love her. I wanted Alice to have that family connection but it just didn’t work out.

What did you think of this book? How about those “stories”?

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