Hello and welcome to my blog tour post for
THE HAZEL WOOD by Melissa Albert!
I have a review of the book today plus Melissa stopped by to answer one of my burning questions, so be sure to read all the way to the bottom!
THE HAZEL WOODAuthor: Melissa Albert
Series: The Hazel Wood #1
Source: ARC via Raincoast Books
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Rating: 4/5 stars
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.
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion of the book.
This is one of those books that either people are going to love it or not. Thankfully I was one of the ones who loved it! I thought that it was a little slow for pacing but it drew me in right away. I loved the darkness to it and the way it draws you in. If you've seen the movie Jennifer's Body, there is a point where Needy talks about how Nikolai looks like a petrified tree she saw when she was younger saying he was "pale and twisted and evil" and that is EXACTLY how this book feels to me. Also if you haven't seen Jennifer's Body, go watch it.
I loved the inclusion of the fairy tales in this because it added an element of depth and creepinesss. Reading through them took my breath away and made me feel more connected to the story and as if Albert was taking a piece of my soul at the same time. I am so excited to have a full collection of the Hinterland stories in the future because I think it will just add that much more to the story itself.
I was irked with Alice but I feel like that is in tune with her character? As the story progresses I started to realize more and more that Alice wasn't a good person but that didn't make me dislike the story. I thought the character inspection was probably the best part of the entire story because I thought the setting was fantastic, but it would have been nothing without the characters.
I definitely think that this is one of those books that you are going to love or hate. I would recommend giving it a chance and seeing how it goes. I absolutely loved it and hope you guys do too!
How did you name your characters? Are they based on people you know in real life?
Melissa Albert: It can be so hard to name characters without them sounding like they’re exactly that, characters in a book! I think I kind of embraced the issue, giving some of my characters—Ellery Finch, Althea Proserpine—big, unusual names. Althea’s real name is Anna Parks, so her renaming herself was a signal that she’s a self-mythologizer, especially in her meaningful choice of Proserpine as a last name. And I just like the rhythm of the name Alice, though I have some regrets now based on the fact that it’s leading people to assume the book is an Alice in Wonderland retelling: definitely not the case! None of the characters are based on anyone I know, and none of them are very much like me, which I think made them more fun to write than if they were. It’s always exciting to make your characters do the things you wouldn’t dare to.
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.
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