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Publisher's Summary

"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...." (Booklist starred review)

From rising star Melissa Albert comes a fantastical story of mythic proportions.

Welcome to The Hazel Wood - a fiercely stunning contemporary fantasy audiobook.

This program includes a bonus novella, The Boy Who Didn't Come Home, set in the world of The Hazel Wood and narrated by James Fouhey.

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.

Praise for The Hazel Wood:

"The Hazel Wood starts out strange and gets stranger, in the best possible way...Albert seamlessly combines contemporary realism with fantasy, blurring the edges in a way that highlights that place where stories and real life convene...a captivating debut." (New York Times Book Review)

"The Hazel Wood will be your next obsession." (Stephanie Garber, author of Caraval)

"Thoroughly, creepily captivating." (Kristin Cashore, author of Graceling)

"This is one of the best books I've read in years." (Jennifer Niven, author of All the Bright Places)

"A dream of a book I cannot recommend highly enough." (Seanan McGuire, author of Every Heart a Doorway)

©2018 Melissa Albert (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Hazel Wood

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

dark and modern fairytale

I really enjoyed the descriptive language used by the author. A very unique and captivating story and I finished it one day. However, I was left unfulfilled with the ending. I hope there is a sequel to come that provides more resolution for the main character and another character. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes faiytales but it's definitely on the dark side. Think "Jenny Green Teeth and Black Alice" and I might go so far to say some parts really could be on the horror side of things. It's good. Definitely worth the time and money. Great narrator as well.

17 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolute Perfection.

The most beautiful, magical, and wondrous book I’ve read (listened to) in a very long time. Lovely, enchanting, and practically ethereal. I can’t stop thinking about it; and the narration was fantastic!

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

best book I've read this year

I finished The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert last night and really, really, really loved it. I will not give any spoilers in my review because I hope someone else on here reads it so I have someone to fan girl with. Plus I just found out it is going to be a movie! I bought the book based purely on its cover. It was beautiful and very Grimm Fairytale reminiscent. I didn't know much about it. It's about a vagabond mother/daughter duo who never settle in one place too long because bad luck seems to find them wherever they go. The main character Alice is 17 which would make you think it's a YA novel but the language in the book assures you that it's not. She is the granddaughter of an elusive author that wrote a book on fairytales but they have never met. She arrives home from school one day and realized her mother had been kidnapped by what appeared to be fans of the novel. They left a title page from the extremely hard to find book on her pillow as a clue. She enlisted the help of a school mate and a fellow fan of the book to track down her mother. This takes up about 2/3 of the book. The last 1/3 is amazing. It takes you on twists and turns you never even thought possible. I won't spoil it but it is a must read. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 5 out of 5 stars

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Halfway Okay

I wasn't impressed by Soler's narration of the book, dialogue was difficult to follow most of the time, as there was no difference in the sound of each character's voice. This annoyance however was made up for with the suspense and intrigue the story itself had. At least at first. I was sucked into the story and genuinely unnerved by the first half of Albert's story, but the second half of the book was weak. I didn't enjoy the resolution and it just felt like halfway through everyone gave up. I still enjoyed my experience listening, but I don't know if I would recommend the book to anyone else.

6 people found this helpful

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Dark and twisted, but very good.

This book was more than I expected. I got it because it looked liked something interesting to pass the time or listen to in my car on the way to work. I ended up with a book that I listened to in one day. I can honestly say that I don't think I've read anything like it before. Not the other fairy tale stories or anything that I can think of.

4 people found this helpful

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Was a 4 Star Until...

This would have been such a 4 stars for though I didn't really like Alice but enjoyed the secondary characters. Also though the story was a bit slow I still really enjoyed how the story went and seen the twist but could get behind it. Even all that it would still be a 4 stars read, until the ending.

The secondary characters are what makes this book, because Alice is annoying. How she was hot and cold so fast and was just a brat for the most part. Yes her mother was missing, yet don't be a bully to the person that is trying to help you. Flinch is the rich popular boy who isn't shown any attention at home, so the magically world of the Hinterland is such a wonderland for him. Which is why he started helping the granddaughter of his favorite book.

Again I don't want to spoil the ending, but I cannot get over how the author decided to write it. There was some build up and it just crashed and I couldn't help but be upset. Something I didn't realize is that this book is book one and I don't know how Melissa is going to continue on with this story. Just hoping that the next book isn't Alice, but maybe another of the characters of the Hinterland. That I would totally read.

Lastly the audiobook was really good and Rebecca Soler made the story very fairytale like which made the slow bits not that hard to get through. Which if you ever heard her do the Lunar Chronicles series know how smooth she makes story telling.

12 people found this helpful

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The Hazel Wood

I found this to be a very good book! I was surprised at how well this was read. The involvement and emotion in the narrator’s voice pulled me in and made it seem like I was living the same story as Alice! I absolutely love and recommend this book!

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Great Premise, Maddeningly Slow

This was my most anticipated book for the year. The creepy fairytale premise is exactly the kind of thing I should love. Unfortunately, this book is so overwritten that it became a chore to finish it. It feels like the author takes ages to say anything, because EVERYTHING is followed by a metaphor. "The trees were like Etsy jewelry on steroids." What?! There are tons of weird comparisons like that throughout the book. There are also constant smell comparisons, which I think is supposed to be a quirk of the MC's, but I just found it very annoying. There is also way too much time spent on elements that don't matter. We learn all about the MC's step family, her mom's relationship with her step-dad, her school, her work, etc, etc, and then she doesn't actually reach the Hazel Wood until near the end of the book. By the time we actually get to the good fairytale parts, I had that feeling you get when you're in a hurry to get somewhere and you're stuck behind someone walking as slowly as humanly possible. So, this book is getting two stars not because I didn't like the story itself, but because it kind of made me want to die. Side note: Rebecca Soler's performance is great, as always.

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyed

I saw a review of this book and thought it looked very interesting. I hadn’t read a fantasy book in ages, and this one is half modern half fantasy. I could not put this book down, and when I did it was painful having to wait to get back to the book. I wasn’t the least bit bored. I look forward to book #2.

2 people found this helpful

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  • DL
  • 09-22-19

Not bad...

So, I've got alot of mixed feelings about this book. The story itself was not bad. The main character is a bit hard to like or even tolerate at times at first, but she does grow on you a little towards the end as you cone to understand her more. I personally hated the narrator though. I think this book was meant for a younger audience though so, all in all it wasn't bad.

1 person found this helpful