Monday, January 29, 2018

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Have you ever felt your heart start beating so fast that it may burst out of your chest at any moment, or felt an icy chill run through you that feels like your spine morphed into an icicle?  That is exactly how I would describe my experience of reading The Hazel Wood.  Learning about Althea’s Tales from the Hinterland had me on the edge of me seat (sometimes so far on the edge that almost fell off a few times) throughout the entire book.  Debut author, Melissa Albert beckons readers to embark on a journey to Hazel Wood in this dark and twisted, yet oddly satisfying, new “fairy tale”.

Alice  Proserpine is the seventeen year old granddaughter of the talented, but reclusive author of  Tales from the Hinterland, Althea Proserpine.  After many years of running away from what could only be described as bad luck with her mother, Alice received a letter informing her of Althea’s death at her estate, the Hazel Wood.  Just when she had thought her luck had changed, Alice’s mother is taken by someone who claims to have come from Hinterland.  Her only clue: a message from her mother saying, “Stay away from Hazel Wood.”

During her years of running, Alice had done a decent job of avoiding Althea’s crazy fans, and keeping to herself most of the time  But with a missing mother, she realized that she was going to need all the help she could get.  Reluctantly, she recruits a classmate by the name of Ellery Finch, a Hinterland fanboy with a dark secret of his own.  With her new companion, Alice sets off on a quest to Hazel Wood, and eventually gets more out of the journey than she bargained for.  Alice steps into a new world where her grandmother’s dark tales were born.  There she discovers the whole story of what actually happened to her family and why her luck as been so horrible all those years. 

Typically, I am not the type to read dark, gloomier books, but the intensity of this novel held a firm grip on my mind and refused to let go.  It was very well written, and I expect to see more from Melissa Albert in the future.  With that being said, there Is something that should be known before a reader chooses this particular book.  Readers who have suffered from anxiety or depression that has led to self harm should NOT make this selection.  There are a few scenes that could trigger an emotional response in some readers.  This needs to be known to ensure the safety of readers’ (my followers, especially) mental and physical health.

Overall, I would recommend this book to those who enjoy thrillers with a bizarre twist.  Melissa Albert is a brilliant author.  I am just going to have to keep my fingers crossed in the hope that she actually writes Tales from the Hinterland

My Advanced Readers Copy was given to me by the publishers of Flatiron Books through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  I am not entitled to any compensation for this review.  If you would like to purchase The Hazel Wood, click here

Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Flatiron Books
ISBN: 1250147905

Hey! I am Alexandrea. I am originally from North Carolina and I love all things bookish - reading and writing are what I do best so I hope you stick around to see all that my website has to offer!

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