The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
What I drank prior:
Well, I did a bar crawl so a variety of beer, cider, and mixed drink with the ocassional water in between because occasionally I can be an adult and remember to take care of future me (past me doesn’t always care about future me’s problems)
Holy shit guys, just holy shit. This is a book taht we got from NetGalley (which means that Sam, wonderful woman that she is, did the research to find awesome books and I lucked into reading it) and I went in without a summary and with no idea what to expect and this book blew me away. Our main character Alice lives with her mom, and they travel around the country escaping the misfortune that seems to befall them. It has something to do with a grandmother who disappeared for a few years before returning and getting famous for writing wonderfully creepy fairytales. Except she’s sequestered herself in her home (Hazel Wood – like, the name of the book! I’m the weirdo who gets unnecessarily excited about the title showing up in things. I find it charming). Ella, the mom, settles down and gets married, and Alice is starting to live a normal life with her first kind-of-friend, when her grandmother dies and her mom gets kidnapped. From there the book veers of into a wildly creepy adventure.Which I will talk about below.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: I freaking loved this book. This book was written to be a fairytale, and it hits the eerie note that old fashioned fairy-tales thrived in. Honestly, I think this was the kind of book Miss Peregrine was trying to be, but failed at. The most important thing is that I felt this book was unique in a way that many books in similar genres aren’t.
Characters: Alice was a character who was clearly flawed (and I wouldn’t have minded a few more examples of her major flaw) but I enjoyed so many of the characters that showed up. In one portion of the book, a number of characters were introduced and every single one felt unique and I could have read a story about any number of them
Plot: This book happens in three distinct parts. There’s the set up that’s mostly about setting up our story, making sure that Alice is and understood character, and setting up a number of names we would see later. The second half of the book is a mystery, Alice searching for answers. The third part of this book could get a little bit spoiler-y so I’m going to speak in vague terms, but it’s incredibly creative in a way that reminded me of Seanan McGuire novels… This book follows a lot of the beats that a traditional bildungsroman follows.
Writing Style: Honestly this is the kind of thing I don’t really pay attention to so I’m not sure how to explain this. I felt like this book flowed fairly well, and at times had scenes that almost felt like poetry? Keep in mind I say that as a person who doesn’t necessarily get poetry… so…
What to pair it with: Honestly, this one kind of has me stumped. I’ve thought through a bunch of options, and ended up with a Tom Collins. There’s something about the juniper flavor of gin that feels right. So no real scientific reasoning, just that juniper feels right.
Rating: 5/5 Stars
We’d like to thank Netgalley for the opportunity to review this early in exchange for an honest review. This book comes out on Jan 30, 2018!!
COMMENT DOWN BELOW: I know this hasn’t come out yet, but I would highly suggest this book to pretyt much anyone. Seriously, read it and let me know what you think.
Enjoy a drink and Enjoy a book,