Seventeen-year-old Alice Proserpine and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always one step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice discovers how bad her luck can really get. Her mother is stolen away by a figure who claims to come from 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 her classmate and fairy-tale superfan Ellery Finch, who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To rescue her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood and then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began – and where she might discover why her own story went so wrong.

All of the five-star reviews about this book were right. The Hazel Wood is amazing. I couldn’t put it down. I wish I had picked it up sooner, but I was feeling stubborn and had so many other books to read. The characters were very in-depth and I loved discovering the Hinterland with Alice.

The writing style was very concise, especially when you think about how this is Melissa’s first novel. She described everything in vivid detail, which kept me hooked onto the story. The pacing was a little bit confusing at times, but it was not terrible. I really enjoyed when Alice was in the Hinterland and learning everything, as it was the perfect way to tell all of the readers about the Hinterland as well.

Alice was such a great character. She was relatable and I enjoyed listening to her POV. Melissa did a great job with her inner thoughts and how she reacted once she entered the Hinterland. I also was really impressed with how much Alice’s character developed. She turned from being a fairly angry girl who turned away from others to a girl who put her boundaries first and was in control of her story. Alice may not be the best role model, but she is a really good character.

The supporting characters were also very good. I really liked how in-depth they were and that they also developed. I loved how realistic they were and how !last of them were filed by ambition and greed. These are normal human reasons for doing things. The characters from the Hinterland had a different set of motives, but getting into those would spoil the story. Alice’s trust in some of the side characters was a driving plot point. It is not normally what happens in fantasy. And I like how invested Alive and some of the side characters were in each other, it made for some very touching bonds.

The plot was very detailed and gripping. I really liked how Melissa incorporated some of the tales from Alice’s grandmother’s book into The Hazel Wood. I think that the plot was very clear and concise, which is good when you’ve been reading vague books for the past several weeks. This book was not predictable at all. I had some guesses on how the story would end, and none of them were even close to right. I got the paperback edition of this, which means I got two stories from Alice’s grandmother. They were just as well written as the rest of the book and I wish there were more of them back there.

I think that Melissa did a very good job on this book and I can’t wait to read The Night Country. I got the summary from the back of the book. Once again, I am very sorry for not having posted for several months and I can’t wait to get back on track. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!!

XOXO

Annalee