Title: The Hazel Wood (The Hazel Wood #1)
Author: Melissa Albert
I guess the one word I would use to describe my experience reading this would be disappointed. The premise sounds really cool and intriguing, and I was totally digging on the vibe of the story which was eerie and dark, but the execution was done poorly.
A big issue was the pacing. For the majority of my reading, the story was very slow moving and I was completely bored. The plot and action didn’t start to pick up until the very end of the book and it almost felt like a whole different story at that point. I mean, if I could rate the first 75% of the book separately from the last quarter, I totally would. My other problem with The Hazel Wood was the main character, Alice. I’m not sure if it was the author’s intention, but she was an utterly unlikable character. I did not connect with her at all; her attitude and treatment towards others throughout the novel, especially towards Finch, rubbed me the wrong way. Alice comes off as rude, selfish, and pretentious.
“Some bitch? She was my girlfriend for eight months. It’s so ugly when girls call each other that word.”
“Oh, my god, Finch, go get a liberal arts degree.”
I’m sorry, but what in the hell is that supposed to mean?! And then again, with this quote:
“His name was Harold, he was rich as Croesus, and he thought Lorrie Moore was a line of house paint.”
Instead of endearing Alice to me, like I think it was aimed to do, it actually made me feel like Harold in this situation. I’m also so disappointed that we only got to read two of the stories from the Hinterland! They were totally creepy and I love dark fairytales, so I wished more had been revealed. I’m not sure if I will bother to read the sequel, but I would love to pick up Tales From the Hinterland when it’s released to read more of those fairytales! Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy The Hazel Wood as much as I was hoping I would, but that cover is still stunning!