The Hazel Wood review

A review about The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert.


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.


I do not like giving negative reviews but his book was not for me. My intend is not to hurt or to offend anyone with this. Keep in mind this is just my opinion and you are free to agree or disagree with it.

It started fine. It was mysterious and I was interested from the beginning. Sadly it lost me after a while. Mostly because the focus was on all the things that were going on and not on the main character herself. I want to explain some reasons why this book was not for me.

Like I said before the book was more about what was going on than about the main character herself. With that most things that happened felt random. You went from one thing to another very quick. It always felt like things were left unexplained and therefor it felt like a lot of things were random, vague and did not add to the story. I think it would have been better if there was a better explanation to why things happened and more focus on the main character.

Because there was little focus on the main character the character development was lacking for me. She changed but that felt rushed. The development was not subtle throughout the book. It felt more like the change was announced instead of shown.

It just makes me sad that this story did not live up to its potential. The idea is great and I loved all the fairytales from Althea. Sadly it just did not work for me. I gave this book 2 stars.

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