Review: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Series: The Hazel Wood #1
Author: Melissa Albert
Released: January 30th, 2018
Received: Library

4 kitties

The Hazel Wood is the start to a new (to me) series by Melissa Albert. It’s one that has been talked about so highly, and now I can understand why.

When all else failed, Alice always had her mother. In fact, that was about all she had. She was constantly having her life picked up and packed up, shipped here and there and everywhere. The only constant in her life was her mother.

She had no other family to talk with, though she knew that there was a grandmother out there somewhere in the world. One day, Alice watched as her mother was kidnapped by something that was not human, forcing her to go on a new series of adventures.

All of which forced an understanding of who she is, and what her grandmother had done, and the price she was paying for her mother’s choices. It’s a series of events that changed her life forever, and there are those that know that better than she.

“She talked like a woman who knew more books than people.”

In many ways, The Hazel Wood truly reads like a story that popped straight out of a fairytale. Not one of the pretty and bubbly fairytales, mind you. But the raw and terrifying fairytales, as they were originally meant to be told.

That made for a thrilling and compelling read, as poor Alice tried to find a way to navigate to and through this world. All in the hopes of bringing her mother back by her side. It’s a harrowing story, but it also felt like a coming of age story, in certain ways.

By Alice’s side was a quirky young man by the name of Finch. If I’m going to be completely honest here (and I do try to always be just that), I adored Finch. I don’t think I would have loved the novel nearly so much without his inclusion. In fact, I sincerely hope that the next novel, The Night Country, is all about him (I haven’t checked yet, as I wanted to avoid spoilers).

I think this is a story that many who adore twisted and fractured fairytales will enjoy. At least, I certainly know that this was the case for me, and I simply can’t get enough of those broken tales. Here’s looking forward to my next adventure!

The Boy Who Didn’t Come Home

The Boy Who Didn’t Come Home, by Melissa Albert, is a short story found at the end of The Hazel Wood.

Ellery Finch, aka Finch, was always a boy fascinated by an imaginary world. By a fairyland spoken on in one exclusive and hard to find collection of short stories. The Hinterland. One day, Finch learned that the world was more real than he could ever have imagined.

In that moment, he knew that he was never going to go home. He had found his place in the world, and it wasn’t in his world at all. But rather, another world full of fairytales, folklore, and so much more.

As somebody who really enjoyed Finch’s plot arc in The Hazel Wood, I was so thrilled by the inclusion of The Boy Who Didn’t Come Home. This story is short and sweet, and simply allows for a stronger feeling of closure about Finch and the decisions he made.

Bonus points for providing more insight on the world he chose, and for making me all the more excited to read The Night Country.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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