Review: The Hazel Wood

Title: The Hazel Wood
Author: Melissa Albert
Genre: Young Adult-Fantasy
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Pages: 368
Buy This Book: Amazon/Audible (affiliate link)

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Once upon a time there was a beautiful queen who thought words were stronger than anything. She used them to win love and money and gifts. She used them to carry her across the world.

I’ve noticed that really hyped up books rarely live up to the expectations set for them. In this case, however, The Hazel Wood not only lived up to my expectations, but it exceeded them! It was an absolutely mesmerizing read. Haunting and chilling, full of beautiful magical realism and twisted, dark fairy tales. I found myself glued to my kindle, unable to put it down, and I finished it in one quick sitting. This is easily my top favorite book of the year so far and it will be a hard one to beat over the next 11 months!

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The Hazel Wood is not just another run-of-the-mill fantasy novel. In fact, most of the first half of the book is set in modern-day New York City and reads like a YA contemporary novel (with mysterious undertones). It’s the perfect blend of contemporary, urban fantasy, and old-fashioned gothic fairy tales. Almost like a modern-day Alice in Wonderland, except the Hinterland is more like the dark fairytale lands of the Brothers Grimm instead of the bizarre and nonsensical world of Lewis Carroll.

When Alice was born, her eyes were black from end to end, and the midwife didn’t stay long enough to wash her.

My favorite part of this book, by far, is the collection of fairy tales in it called the Tales from the Hinterland. I would LOVE to see Melissa Albert release the full collection of these fairy tales. The ones we get to read in The Hazel Wood are so perfect – deliciously dark and creepy, yet still beautifully written and timeless (like they’ve been passed down for centuries).

Look until the leaves turn red, sew the worlds up with thread. If your journey’s left undone, fear the rising of the sun.

The Hazel Wood will be hitting stores tomorrow, January 30th. I highly recommend picking up a copy! I’m giving it an easy 5/5 score.

Thank you to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

 

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