Review: 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.”

This was a difficult book for me to review. It has some really lovely pieces of writing, but at the same time it didn’t really grip me.

The pacing felt a bit off, we zoomed through Alice’s strange ‘bad luck’ childhood with no exploration of how she felt about it which made it difficult to connect to Alice right from the start of the book.

The Hinterland was interesting but parts of the story felt very convenient – ‘Tales of the Hinterland’ is difficult to get hold of? oh hold on there’s someone who has a copy! 

I think this has a potential to be a bit of a love it or hate I book but its left me stranded somewhere in the middle – it was …. alright.