“The Hazel Wood” by Melissa Albert


asteriaiconThis was another one of those “Hey look how pretty that cover is!” moments thanks to Instagram. I read the synopsis and a few reviews and thought it was interesting, it was billed as like a modern day fairy tale, so I picked it up from the library.

The story follows Alice, a 17 year old girl who has spent her life on the road with her mother, running from their seemingly endless string of bad luck. The only family they have is Alice’s grandmother, Althea Proserpine, who is not a part of their lives. All Alice knows is that Althea wants nothing to do with them and that she wrote a very undergrown book called “Tales from the Hinterland” containing dark fairy tales.

When Alice’s mother is kidnapped from someone in the Hinterland, she enlists the help of her friend Ellery Finch, and learns that there is more truth than fiction to grandma’s fairy tales. Alice must enter the Hazel Wood and the Hinterland in order to find her mother, and find answers to her biggest questions.

Overall, I found this book just….meh. I think the stunning cover and pretty illustrations at the start of each chapter were the best things about the book. I found the characters not overly likeable, the writing just okay, and had I not made notes as I went, I would have forgotten the plot. For me, it was one of those books that will pass in and out of my mind quick. I thought this was going to be more about fairy tales, and was really disappointed. Sure, the Hinterland has its stories, but they were mentioned more in passing rather than be what the story is really about. There is no real romance, yet no real action either, nothing to keep you going. I see this is the first in a series, and I think I am just going to pass on the rest of the books. I have found online that this might be going into a movie, in which I wish it the best of luck, and hope that their creative license adds a little oomph to the whole thing.

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