Cover image for The Hazel Wood : a novel
Title:
The Hazel Wood : a novel
Title:
The Hazel Wood : a novel
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publisher Info:
New York, N.Y. : Flatiron Books, 2018.
Physical Description:
359 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Abstract:
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.
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YA ALB New or Popular Book YA Fiction
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YA F ALBERT New or Popular Book YA Fiction
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Summary

Summary

Welcome to Melissa Albert's The Hazel Wood -- the fiercely stunning New York Times bestseller with seven starred reviews everyone is raving about!

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.


Author Notes

Melissa Albert is the founding editor of the Barnes & Noble Teen Blog and the managing editor of BN.com. She has written for McSweeney's , Time Out Chicago, MTV, and more. Melissa is from Illinois and lives in Brooklyn. The Hazel Wood is her first novel.


Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Alice Proserpine's mother Ella was raised on fairy tales amid the cultlike fandom surrounding the release of Tales from the Hinterland, a collection of grim fairy tales that, in the 1980s, briefly made Alice's grandmother Althea Proserpine a celebrity. Instead of fairy tales, Alice has highways as she and her mother constantly move around hoping to outrun their eerie bad luck-something that seems much more likely when they learn that Althea has died alone on her estate known as The Hazel Wood. Everything isn't as it seems, and soon after, Alice's mother is kidnapped, leaving nothing except a warning for Alice to stay away from The Hazel Wood. The teen reluctantly enlists her classmate and not-so-secret Hinterland fan Ellery Finch, who may or may not have ulterior motives for helping, to share his expertise on the fairy tales. The path to the Hazel Wood leads Alice straight into the story of her family's mysterious past. Albert's standalone fantasy debut has a narration in the vein of a world-weary noir detective who happens to be a teenage girl. Resourceful, whip-smart, and incredibly impulsive, Alice also struggles with her barely contained rage as circumstances spiral out of her control. Her singular personality largely excuses the lack of context for much of her knowledge and cultural references that hearken more to a jaded adult than a modern teen. The lilting structure and deliberate tone bring to mind fairy tales both new and retold while also hinting at the teeth this story will bear in the form of murder, mayhem, and violence both in the Hinterland tales and in Alice's reality. VERDICT An aggressive lack of romance and characters transcending their plots make this story an empowering read that will be especially popular with fans of fairy-tale retellings.-Emma Carbone, Brooklyn Public Library © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Alice Proserpine has grown up on the run, haunted by a book her mother, Ella, has forbidden her from reading: Tales from the Hinterland. It's a collection of unsettling fairy tales written by a grandmother Alice has never met, a recluse with an obsessive fandom. Then Althea, the grandmother, dies, and Ella cryptically declares them free. Alice is focused on how they can turn their straw existence into a brick one after so many peripatetic years, and she's bitterly disappointed with Ella's solution: marry up. Shortly after, Ella goes missing, sending Alice and classmate Ellery Finch directly to the place Ella warned Alice to avoid: the Hazel Wood, Althea's estate, where Alice painfully unravels the mystery of her childhood. Albert's debut is rich with references to classic children's literature; Alice's sharp-edged narration and Althea's terrifying fairy tales, interspersed throughout, build a tantalizing tale of secret histories and magic that carries costs and consequences. There is no happily-ever-after resolution except this: Alice's hard-won right to be in charge of her own story. Ages 12-up. Agent: Faye Bender, Book Group. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Some fairy tales ask to be lived in. They involve enchanted forests and handsome princes, talking animals, kind maidens, and wishes come true. Others are darker. Others have teeth. The Hinterland is one such savage place, not that Alice would know she hasn't read Tales from the Hinterland, the book penned by a grandmother she's never met. They aren't children's stories, her mother, Ella, says, and besides, the book itself is infamously elusive. Alice, quick to anger with a heart of ice, has spent her 17 years in constant motion; trailed by bad luck, she and Ella move from place to place, never staying anywhere long enough to put down roots. But when Ella is taken suddenly, the lines between the real world and the Hinterland start to blur. Faced with the loss of the only person she's ever loved, Alice must rely on Ellery Finch, the kind of Tales from the Hinterland superfan she's always avoided, to help her track down the world she thought existed only in her grandmother's imagination. In this unsettling debut, Albert takes familiar stories and carefully pulls them apart; the end result is a sort of deconstructed fairy tale that, despite its familiarity, gets under the skin. Highly literary, occasionally surreal, and grounded by Alice's clipped, matter-of-fact voice, it's a dark story that readers will have trouble leaving behind. HIGH-DEMAND: The buzz for this debut is deafening, and the fact that the film adaption is already in the works doesn't hurt.--Reagan, Maggie Copyright 2017 Booklist