The Hazel Wood
Welcome to Melissa Albert's The Hazel Wood—the fiercely stunning New York Times bestseller everyone is raving about!
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.
Don’t miss the New York Times bestselling sequel to The Hazel Wood, The Night Country, out now, or Tales from the Hinterland, coming January 12, 2021!
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Melissa Albert’s breathtaking, lively writing shines through her sprawling debut, which combines long-held family secrets with freaky folklore. Alice Crewe lives according to the nomadic ways of her mother, Ella, who pulls up stakes whenever bad luck strikes. When Ella goes missing, signs point to Alice's grandmother—a renowned, cloistered author of pitch-dark fables—and Alice gets drawn into her elder’s twisted fictional world. Albert’s affection for fairy tales is obvious; we loved following her plucky heroine through forbidden, foreboding worlds.
Alice Proserpine has grown up on the run, haunted by a book her mother, Ella, has forbidden her from reading: Tales from the Hinterland. It's a collection of unsettling fairy tales written by a grandmother Alice has never met, a recluse with an obsessive fandom. Then Althea, the grandmother, dies, and Ella cryptically declares them free. Alice is focused on how they can turn their straw existence into a brick one after so many peripatetic years, and she's bitterly disappointed with Ella's solution: marry up. Shortly after, Ella goes missing, sending Alice and classmate Ellery Finch directly to the place Ella warned Alice to avoid: the Hazel Wood, Althea's estate, where Alice painfully unravels the mystery of her childhood. Albert's debut is rich with references to classic children's literature; Alice's sharp-edged narration and Althea's terrifying fairy tales, interspersed throughout, build a tantalizing tale of secret histories and magic that carries costs and consequences. There is no happily-ever-after resolution except this: Alice's hard-won right to be in charge of her own story. Ages 12 up.
Loved the beginning. Once Alice starts getting deeper into the Hinterland world, things get super confusing. Some parts I had to read twice to fully understand what was going on. Other than that, good book.
The Hazel Wood
Fabulous book. Hope another is on the way!
Worst Book Ever!
I’m writing this review because I had to. I’m eleven years old, and I thought this was a CHILDREN’S book. Let me explain:
I got the actual book at the bookstore. I got home, and was very excited. It said when you opened it, “best children’s novel.” Really? This isn’t a CHILDREN’S novel. Even if it isn’t, NOBODY should read this. It swears too many times, and is dirty. This book should be for people who are depressed. Please don’t read this book no matter how old you are!