ARC Book Review – The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

 The Hazel Wood (The Hazel Wood, #1)
Author: Melissa Albert
Publish Date: January 30, 2018
# of Pages: 368
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


(From Goodreads) 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.


Rating (1-10, 10 is exceptional)
Quality of Writing – 8
Pace – 8
Plot Development – 9
Ending – 8
Characters – 7
Enjoyability – 8
Ease of Reading – 8

Overall Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


The Hazel Wood is a well integrated mix of reality and fantasy. In this book, Alice learns about her past and journeys to the end of a fairytale to find her mother.

Wow! This book was so good! It was dark, creepy, and made you want more, more, more when the last page was turned. If you like dark fairytales, you need to check out this book!

The quality of writing in this book is stunning. The imagery in The Hazel Wood makes you feel as though you just stepped into a fairytale while reading it.

The pace of the book is consistent throughout. While the book is painted with vivid details, the pace of the story marches along to a steady beat, never leaving you behind or making you yawn with boredom.

The overarching plot is unique and interesting. You can’t help but grow attached to Alice and feel bad for her mother, Ella as they’re tangled into the throes of the Hinterland. I enjoyed the fairytales, dark as they were. These aren’t “and they all lived happily ever after” type fairytales. These are “I slit her throat and watched her bleed” type fairytales. While twisted, they were imaginative and fun to read.

The ending of the book was good and leaves itself open to the next book in the trilogy. I have no idea what’s going to happen next, which is both fun and nerve-wracking (I’m impatient!) Does Alice return to the Hinterland? What happens to Finch? Does Ella get to live a normal life? I want to know!

The characters in The Hazel Wood were thoughtfully constructed. Alice’s character is rich in detail and personality, as is Finch’s character. Some of the secondary and minor characters aren’t as clear or fleshed out, but I think that’s okay. I was pleased with the way Alice and Finch’s characters were shaped–I was the most emotionally invested in them.

I read this in two days! The book flies by quickly. It’s easy to read, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Don’t delay–this is a book worthy of your bookshelf!

Thank you to NetGalley for providing the Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review.



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21 thoughts on “ARC Book Review – The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

    1. I’ve seen a couple people not like it now, but I thought it was a really neat book! It’s intriguing, and I’m really excited for the next book in the series. I hope you enjoy it! Happy reading. 😊🎉

      Liked by 1 person

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