Synopsis from 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.
About: The Hazel Wood is a young adult fantasy written by Melissa Albert. It will be published on 1/30/2018 by Flatiron Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publisher, 368 pages. The genres are young adult, fantasy, and fiction. This book is intended for readers ages 12 to 18. This is the author’s debut novel. I have read one other book from her called Our Crooked Hearts. According to the publisher’s website, “Flatiron Books is committed to publishing intelligent fiction and nonfiction with commercial appeal by authors with distinctive voices.” It is “named after the historic building in which the company is housed.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading The Hazel Wood on 8/6/17 and finished it on 8/18/17. I love reading this book, despite some creepy elements in it. It keeps me at the edge of my seats. The bad luck gives me goose bumps and makes me hold my breath but I could hardly put down the book. This book is fantastic! The fairytales within the fantasy is excellent! It’s unlike anything I have ever read before and I love that it’s different. I like that I could not guess what will happen next and when Alice share her past experiences, it’s always a pleasant surprise.
In this book, readers will follow the point of view of Alice Crewe (aka Alice Proserpine) as she and her mom move away yet again from the bad luck that is chasing them everywhere they go. Growing up, Alice and her mom Ella moved often from state to state and live temporary at family and friends’ house until bad luck catches up to them and they would have to move again. This bad luck involves Alice’s grandmother, Althea Proserpine and the series of fairy tales of Hinterland that she authored. Alice has never read the stories no matter how hard she looked for them. On the internet, all she can find are fans of the book. The book is rare and few collectors have possessions of it. Despite using a different last name from her grandmother, classmate and superfan of the fairytale, Ellery Finch knows exactly who Alice is. Finch shows signs of crushing on Alice but since Alice moves often, she doesn’t want to get close to anyone. When her mom goes missing and it feels connected to her late grandmother, Alice relies on Finch to help find her mom because he has more knowledge of the highly sought after fairytale. In their search for Alice’s mom, they stumble upon many unexpected turns and it gets creepier the closer they get!
This book is very well written and I love how original it is. The fairytale of Alice-Three-Times is creepy yet addicting! I like the fairytale on The Door That Wasn’t There. The idea on bad luck chasing and how the photo was taken of Alice and Finch sleeping at David’s house gives me the creeps. I love the robbery at one of the house Alice stayed at, where the bookshelf holds something other than books! I smile at that. The plot and characters are all very interesting! This fantasy is truly one of a kind. It’s unpredictable and I highly recommend everyone to read this book!
Pro: cover, originality, fairytales, bad luck, suspense, mystery, couldn’t put down, fast paced, page turner, adrenaline rush, creepily captivating, some humor
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
Melissa Albert is the founding editor of the Barnes & Noble Teen Blog and the managing editor of BN.com. She has written for McSweeney’s, Time Out Chicago, MTV, and more. Melissa is from Illinois and lives in Brooklyn. The Hazel Wood is her first novel.
More Information about Flatiron Books
Website: https://us.macmillan.com/publishers/Flatiron-books | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/flatironbooks | Twitter: https://twitter.com/Flatironbooks
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Flatiron Books for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.