The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

This book is beautiful. I mean the dust cover is stunning and the end papers are amazing. But here is the kicker, the inside of the book is just as wonderful. Fairytales are woven into the fabric of our society. They play a large part in growing up whether it is being a princess or learning about the three little pigs. What would happen if there was a rip in the fabric between our world and the world that stories inhabit.

Summary: A girl who has spent her life on the road with her mother finds out the truth about who she is.

What I liked: I loved the premise of this story. I truly enjoyed the characters…Albert was very clever about letting the story unfold organically. Leaving breadcrumbs of hints through the story that were subtle..(breadcrumbs did ya see what I did there). Enough of my cleverness back to Albert’s. The pacing through the first 3/4s of the book was perfect it moved quickly and kept me engaged. I wanted to know what happened next. I enjoyed the stories that were written in the book. They reminded me of the true Grimm fairytales. No Disney Princesses there. I enjoyed the darkness that was always on the periphery of the story just beyond reach until you understood what the darkness was from. Albert’s writing was enjoyable and I found that it was easy and fun to read.

What I didn’t like: I felt the portion of the book spent in the Hinterland was rushed. I really wanted more time with the cast of characters that resided there. I also would have like to know more about the stories and how Althea fit into this whole scenario, I felt like it warranted more then a couple of pages. Just my opinion.

Star Rating: 4.5

My Thoughts: I loved the idea and I loved where Albert took this story. I just had a problem with the pacing in the last probably quarter of the book. It was too fast through the Hinterland part and I feel like maybe there was more story that could have been there. I guess part of what I am saying is I wanted more. More, about the Hinterland and the refugees. More about the stories.  Wanting more is a good thing. It means the world was engaging. I read this as a buddy read with a couple friends of mine and we all had the same thoughts about the story and the pacing. We all rated it pretty much the same.  I truly enjoyed Albert’s writing and I am very looking forward to reading more from her.