Hey all! I have wanted to get my hands on this book forever, and I was finally able to via Netgalley. The cover is absolutely gorgeous — but did the story live up to it? Keep reading to find out!
Title: The Hazel Wood
Author: Melissa Albert
Rating: 2/5 stars
The Hazel Wood follows the story of Alice, the granddaughter of an author who writes dark fairy tales and her journey to find the Hinterland, the subject of her grandma’s stories. She sets out on a journey to confront what she never knew was possible or real along with an admirer of her grandma’s book.
The best thing about this book, for me, were the tellings of Alice’s grandma’s stories by Finch. I loved how dark and twisted they were and I was enthralled with them. I almost wish the entire book had more of them because the ones I read enveloped me. I also really love the cover and I think that it does justice to the nature of the story, with how spooky it is. I also liked the twists with Alice as she tried to understand and explore her grandma’s world. She didn’t have too much of a relationship with her but her being able to learn through Finch and uncover the truth about secrets about her were mysterious and interesting.
All of that being said, I can’t say I liked this book. I feel like I enjoyed the short stories within the book more than the actual dialogue. The stories were more interesting and then the dialogue fell flat because of it. I needed more from the actual plot line of the book just like I got from the dark fairytales. I didn’t feel very connected to any of the characters except Alice and even then it wasn’t as emotionally jarring. I would be interested in reading a book that was completely full of the fairy tales, similar to Bardugo’s Language of Thorns, because they were that good. I also think that the book was hyped up way too much for me and that’s why I didn’t enjoy it as much.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of dark fairy tales and who isn’t afraid of a little mischief along the way.
Happy reading! ~ Taylor