Current Reads | The Hazel Wood
Title: The Hazel Wood
Author: Melissa Albert
Rating (my system): I gave my copy away because I will never read it again, and I wouldn't openly recommend it to anyone.
Woah, mama, I'm a bit afraid of writing about this book because SO many people love it. The premise is awesome: a girl who has been traveling with her mom all her life, running away from an unknown 'darkness', finds herself in New York City when her mom is kidnapped. On top of this, the girl has a famous grandma who created a fairy tale book called the Hinterland, but the book is extremely rare, and the girl is unsure of whether the fairy tales are true or not.
This sounds SO cool, the fairy tale portions of The Hazel Wood are brilliant. HOWEVER, while the books starts out really strong, full of great imagery, good set up, strong character development, and tense conflict, it quickly dissolves about half way through the book. I won't give away what exactly happens mid-way through the book, but from that point on, the timing is ALL off, the development disappears, and in the last fourth of the book we meet the REAL antagonist, even though the author tries to convince us of a different antagonist from the beginning. What could have actually been a REALLY strong series, becomes a weak stand-alone. Also (SPOILER), the only black character dies. Like, really? Anyone who reads this book will feel the shift when things start to go wrong. My recommendation is that whoever edited this book takes a look at themselves and does a reevaluation because they messed up.
This is the harshest I've ever been on a book, because usually when I don't like something, I don't finish it. This booked tricked me into finishing it and I was left feeling angry and incomplete. But, you know, see for yourselves and let me know what you think.