The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
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.
SOURCE: bound manuscript from publisher for review
It has been a very long time since a book has so fully kept me on my toes and given me so many WHAT JUST HAPPENED?! moments. I have never been more intrigued and disturbed at the same time in my life. All of this and references to Lin-Manuel Miranda, Potter, and Gaiman? I’ve found my people.
How the world unfolds is truly magical to me. There are so many dark corners in this book that my brain was constantly trying to work out what was coming and failing. the characters were flawed, entertaining, and original. This is Ms Albert’s debut novel and I am both terrified and impatient to read more by her immediately. Who knows what she will write next? Seriously, do you know? Please let me know ASAP because I need it in my life.