Review: The Hazel Wood* | Melissa Albert

The Hazel Wood | Melissa Albert
Published: 8th February 2018 by Penguin
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book is spectacular. Strange spectacular. But spectacular nonetheless.

With unique characters and full of twists and turns, it's one of the best things I read in 2017 and I throughly recommend you pick it up. The book is atmospheric and mysterious and Melissa Albert's writing is just beautiful and poetic. The writing is detailed but not overly descriptive; everything is explained and described beautifully but only when necessary, there were no times when descriptions felt long and drawn out just for the sake of it.

Although I was drawn into this story from the start, I did find the pace a little slow in the first half which I know turns a lot of people off from continuing but trust me, just stick with the world building! It's in no way too slow and the second half is perfect but I did find my mind wandering at times.

I don't really want to say much about the actual story because this is definitely the sort of book that's better to go into blind, but I will say that it's mystical, magical and mysterious.

Our main character, Alice Proserpine is brave and complex but it's Finch who I fell in love with. At first he was sketchy and I didn't know what to make of him but I grew to love his quirky personality. He also brings diversity to the book as his mother is Ghanaian. Although this isn't a key part of the story at all, it's nice to see some diversity added in and it's brought up very well, especially in a passage when Finch talks about police reactions to people of colour.

The tales of the Hinterland are unique and intriguing- I'd love to read a full book of them! They're fairytales for sure, but not airy fairy ones, they're spooky... so be ready!

I'm not going to give anything else away but I really recommend this book. It's the perfect eerie read, especially during these cold January months, so pick up a copy and visit the Hinterland yourself!

I'd love to know what you thought if you've read it, so let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading,
Olivia x