Time to start keeping my eyes on Melissa Albert! She’s building a wonderful world in this book!

So this is a new debut book for Melissa that came out this year in January and I admit I was a little cautious. The initial reactions to the book seemed to like or really ‘no like’ for it. So I decided I had to give it a go myself.

The Hazel Wood follows the story of Alice. Alice is not your typical girl, she has a temper…OH and she moves very often due to strange occurrences in her life. Her mother, Ella, is shown as protective but also slightly detached. One day, the ‘strange’ occurrences in her life come to a head and her mother is kidnapped. Thus begins our journey with Alice and a really well presented mystery.

“Life never turns out how you imagine it will when you’re young. Everything is smaller than you think, or too big. It all smells a little funny and fits like somebody else’s shirt.”
― Melissa Albert, The Hazel Wood

From a majority of reviews I heard this book was slow but I didn’t find it that way. It read like an internal analysis of a complex situation. I found Alice to be very interesting and the mystery she encountered was gripping. ALSO, this world building to me was WONDERFUL. Three claps real loud for the detail and awesome that went into this!

Usually I’m not a huge fan of re-telling, but this coming off as an ‘old hat’ Alice story was NOT the case at all. The theory behind the plot was very unique and it gave me more of a Matrix feel than it did anything so specific as Alice in Wonderland. I was also a fan of the fact that yes there was a little romance, but it wasn’t the focus. Not only that, it left me hoping for more in later books!

“Look until the leaves turn red, sew the worlds up with thread. If your journey’s left undone, fear the rising of the sun.”
― Melissa Albert, The Hazel Wood

The CHARACTERS! I love side characters, you all know this from past posts, and this world had a lot and some to spare! <3  It was wonderful and intriguing! How things all connect and the mysteries behind each story. I’m all in.

An intriguing aspect of the book brings to light the old discussion of Nature vs Nurture. Melissa Albert does an excellent job of weaving all these subplots, changes, and developments together. I can only hope the second book is as consuming and provides more insight to other characters.

Overall, if you like a slower plot build with gripping mystery. I’d recommend this for you! If you like YA and fantasy~ this can also be fore you. It’s not action packed, but it is full of psychological puzzles.

  • Overall Rating: 4 Stars
  • Plot: 5 Stars
  • Character Development: 4 Stars
  • Dialogue: 3 Stars
  • Writing: 4 Stars

This book is the first in a series~ book two is expected sometime in 2019 but it’s not listed when quite yet. So if you do want to grab this a little closer to next release, by all means do. This DOES end on a slight cliff hanger but it’s worth every moment.

See you in the Hazel Wood~


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