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The Hazel Wood
Cover of The Hazel Wood
The Hazel Wood
The Hazel Wood Series, Book 1
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Welcome to Melissa Albert's The Hazel Wood—the fiercely stunning New York Times bestseller everyone is raving about!Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice's life on the...
Welcome to Melissa Albert's The Hazel Wood—the fiercely stunning New York Times bestseller everyone is raving about!Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice's life on the...
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Description-

  • Welcome to Melissa Albert's The Hazel Woodthe fiercely stunning New York Times bestseller everyone is raving about!

    Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice's life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice's grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away—by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: "Stay away from the Hazel Wood."

    Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother's cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began—and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Melissa Albert is the author of the Hazel Wood series and a former bookseller and YA lit blogger. Her work has been translated into over twenty languages. She's from Illinois and lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from October 1, 2017

    Gr 9 Up-Alice Proserpine's mother Ella was raised on fairy tales amid the cultlike fandom surrounding the release of Tales from the Hinterland, a collection of grim fairy tales that, in the 1980s, briefly made Alice's grandmother Althea Proserpine a celebrity. Instead of fairy tales, Alice has highways as she and her mother constantly move around hoping to outrun their eerie bad luck-something that seems much more likely when they learn that Althea has died alone on her estate known as The Hazel Wood. Everything isn't as it seems, and soon after, Alice's mother is kidnapped, leaving nothing except a warning for Alice to stay away from The Hazel Wood. The teen reluctantly enlists her classmate and not-so-secret Hinterland fan Ellery Finch, who may or may not have ulterior motives for helping, to share his expertise on the fairy tales. The path to the Hazel Wood leads Alice straight into the story of her family's mysterious past. Albert's standalone fantasy debut has a narration in the vein of a world-weary noir detective who happens to be a teenage girl. Resourceful, whip-smart, and incredibly impulsive, Alice also struggles with her barely contained rage as circumstances spiral out of her control. Her singular personality largely excuses the lack of context for much of her knowledge and cultural references that hearken more to a jaded adult than a modern teen. The lilting structure and deliberate tone bring to mind fairy tales both new and retold while also hinting at the teeth this story will bear in the form of murder, mayhem, and violence both in the Hinterland tales and in Alice's reality. VERDICT An aggressive lack of romance and characters transcending their plots make this story an empowering read that will be especially popular with fans of fairy-tale retellings.-Emma Carbone, Brooklyn Public Library

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from October 15, 2017
    A ferocious young woman is drawn into her grandmother's sinister fairy-tale realm in this pitch-black fantasy debut. Once upon a time, Althea Proserpine achieved a cult celebrity with Tales from the Hinterland, a slim volume of dark, feminist fairy tales, but Alice has never met her reclusive grandmother nor visited her eponymous estate. Instead, she has spent her entire 17 years on the run from persistent bad luck, relying only on her mother, Ella. Now Althea is dead and Ella has been kidnapped, and the Hinterland seems determined to claim Alice as well. The Hinterland--and the Stories that animate it--appear as simultaneously wondrous and horrific, dreamlike and bloody, lyrical and creepy, exquisitely haunting and casually, brutally cruel. White, petite, and princess-pretty Alice is a difficult heroine to like in her stormy (and frequently profane) narration, larded with pop-culture and children's-literature references and sprinkled with wry humor; her deceptive fragility conceals a scary toughness, icy hostility, and simmering rage. Despite her tentative friendship (and maybe more) with Ellery Finch, a wealthy biracial, brown-skinned geek for all things Althea Proserpine, any hints of romance are negligible compared to the powerful relationships among women: mothers and daughters, sisters and strangers, spinner and stories; ties of support and exploitation and love and liberation. Not everybody lives, and certainly not "happily ever after"--but within all the grisly darkness, Alice's fierce integrity and hard-won self-knowledge shine unquenched. (Fantasy. 16-adult)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 13, 2017
    Alice Proserpine has grown up on the run, haunted by a book her mother, Ella, has forbidden her from reading: Tales from the Hinterland. It’s a collection of unsettling fairy tales written by a grandmother Alice has never met, a recluse with an obsessive fandom. Then Althea, the grandmother, dies, and Ella cryptically declares them free. Alice is focused on how they can turn their straw existence into a brick one after so many peripatetic years, and she’s bitterly disappointed with Ella’s solution: marry up. Shortly after, Ella goes missing, sending Alice and classmate Ellery Finch directly to the place Ella warned Alice to avoid: the Hazel Wood, Althea’s estate, where Alice painfully unravels the mystery of her childhood. Albert’s debut is rich with references to classic children’s literature; Alice’s sharp-edged narration and Althea’s terrifying fairy tales, interspersed throughout, build a tantalizing tale of secret histories and magic that carries costs and consequences. There is no happily-ever-after resolution except this: Alice’s hard-won right to be in charge of her own story. Ages 12–up. Agent: Faye Bender, Book Group.

  • DOGO Books Ari Ryan - This was over all a very interesting read. It broke the mold in not giving everyone (I will not say who) a happy ending. This book did contain a non-graphic homosexual relationship, some cursing, a highly dysfunctional family, and very dark themes. Because of this, I would not recommend The Hazel Wood to anyone under 13. The book could have done without homosexuality, but it would not have been the same without the other "Adult aspects".
  • The New York Times Book Review (Notable Children's Book)

    New York Times bestseller
    Seven starred reviews
    #1 Indie Next Pick
    Junior Library Guild Selection
    ALA's Best Fiction for Young Adults List
    Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year
    Publishers Weekly Flying Start

    "Albert seamlessly combines contemporary realism with fantasy, blurring the edges in a way that highlights that place where stories and real life convene, where magic contains truth, and the world as it appears is false, where just about anything can happen, particularly in the pages of a good book. It's a captivating debut."

  • Shelf Awareness, starred review "An original and imaginative fairy tale: thrilling, fascinating, and poignant in equal measure." --Entertainment Weekly (Best YA Book of the Year)

    "Insidiously beautiful, this is the opposite of escapist fantasy; it is a story about the imagination's power to loose atrocity into the (mostly) law-abiding confines of the real." --The Guardian (Best Children's Book of the Year)

    "A darkly brilliant story of literary obsession, fairy-tale malignancy, and the measures a mother will take to spare her child." --The Wall Street Journal (Best Children's Book of the Year)

    "A contemporary fantasy that dwells in an atmospheric, intertwining world of terrifying circumstances; a breathtaking dive into the magic and importance of story in one's identity. 'Story is the fabric of the Hinterland,' one of the residents tells Alice. Another says, stories 'create the energy that makes this world go. They keep our...

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