“At some point in the last thirty-six hours, [Finch] joined the tiniest, saddest clique of people, of which Ella had previously been the only member: people I, Alice Crewe, didn’t want to see die.” –The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ A really captivating read that could definitely be read in one sitting! A little scary, but more fantasy than horror with a brilliant heroine.
First book review on the blog (eek!) and I wanted to start of with a bang. The Hazel Wood was one of my favourite reads of 2017 and I am buzzed to share it with you all. It contains fairy tale magic, a riveting plot, disappearing mothers and some amazing twists.
The main character in this novel, Alice, has previously lived the life of a fugitive, moving from state to state with only her mother for company until they decide to settle down in New York. Just as she starts to build herself a normal life with this new consistency her mother disappears with only a fairy tale story for a clue. The plot becomes even more sinister as her grandmother’s dark fairy tales come to life around her. Struggling to find her mother, Alice starts to follow the clues with only her grandmother’s biggest fan, Finch, to accompany her.
I’m a really big wuss when it comes to dark and creepy novels so I was a little nervous picking this one up, but it’s not too bad. The beginning is a bit scary but by the time Alice reaches the actual Hazel Wood, her grandmother’s mansion, it’s a lot more fantasy than horror.
The book is narrated from Alice’s point of view and, to me, she’s the perfect heroine. No love interest, brilliant wit and very realistic. She’s brave when she needs to be but relatable enough to give the book that creepy atmosphere which it’s going for. Oh and her big flaw- she’s got this awful temper that she just can’t control. It scares her as much as it scares other people I think.
And then there’s Finch, who makes a great sidekick. He reminds me a bit of Gansey from The Raven Boys, being rich but choosing to spend his efforts on unattainable magical things. Together he and Alice make some great protagonists.
So now you’re probably wondering about the quote at the top. The themes in this novel are all about character development and my favourite one was how much Finch’s friendship helped Alice. It’s probably her first real friendship and it really helps her grow throughout the novel. And then there’s the big, dramatic Hinterland ending which was great and obviously does quite a bit for Alice’s character too.
Overall I really love this novel and definitely would recommend it! But how about you? Have you read it? Or do you want to? The books only just been released and I’d love to hear your thoughts on my blog’s first ever book review post!