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Publisher's Summary

Puffin presents the audiobook edition of The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert.

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice's life on the road, always a step ahead of the strange 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 learns 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'. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began....

©2018 Melissa Albert (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

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  • Suswati
  • 02-20-18

A little too over the top

I think I completely lost the plot trying to follow this fairytale within a fairytale. A modern day version of a Brothers Grimm-style folklore, the story follows Alice, who is trying to find her missing mother, and discovers that all is not what it seems.

The main thrust of the novel asks whether Alice is a character in a tale herself? And if she can escape her fate by running away from her story. And while I can appreciate the author's creativity, there's very little character development and there appears to be a fair few loose ends. The prose is heavy in metaphors to the point that the first half seemed far too long.

While many have described the book as a dark and creepy fantasy, I think it may have been a little overhyped - it's more of a weird version of Alice in Wonderland. Interesting, but not for me.