The Hazel Wood

The Hazel Wood - Melissa Albert

This book has been reviewed many many times over, so I'll keep this short and sweet.


Albert's writing style is lush, evocative, and very metaphor/simile heavy. It doesn't have the same simplistic style of many teen reads, and I really appreciated the language. I also appreciated that while Alice is an angry teenage girl, her anger feel earned and consistent with her character rather than her being the typical haughty brat you find so common in the genre. I enjoyed the slow build of the story as the characters wandered New York, and how the Hinterlands began to blend in with the ordinary, defamiliarizing the setting and adding a dash of creepiness to every encounter. Once you do finally reach the Hinterlands the story takes on a dreamlike quality and a surrealness I associate with Lewis Carroll. I also enjoyed the Big Reveal, and found the ending satisfying enough this book completely stands on its own (in fact, I'm a little apprehensive about sequels). This book reminded me of a fairytale version of Night Film by Marisha Pessl, in the best way. Disconcerting and uncomfortable in the way real fairytales should be I quite enjoyed this foray into the Hinterlands and look forward to reading more books by Albert in the future.