The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Rating: 4.5/5

 

Genre: YA Fantasy

 

Recommended Age: 16+ (violence, blood, some language)

 

Pages: 368

 

Author: Melissa Albert

 

Amazon

 

I received a free copy of this book on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Flatiron Books!

 

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. – Amazon.com

 

 

 

I love fairy tales and I’m sure almost everyone in the world has heard the phrase “once upon a time” uttered once in their lifetime. But what if there were tales that were dark, like darker than the Grimms Brothers fairytales? Enter Tales From The Hinterland! A book about those very dark, violent, and haunting tales. And enter Alice, a girl who is trying to figure out who she is, why her and her mother keep having to leave their homes, and who kidnapped her mother. She, along with superfan Ellery, travel to find her grandmother, the author of Tales From The Hinterland, to discover the answer to those questions. So, let’s start off by saying that this book was actually really great! I thought the characters were all very well developed, the plot was intriguing and very well developed, and the world building was fairly well done as well. I thought that I could see these fantastical places pretty clearly in my mind.

 

 

 

However, I did feel that the pacing was a bit off in some spots. The book definitely has its high and lows in terms of action, but for the most part it’s mostly action. I managed to read the book in a day. That’s how fast of a read it was for me. On the subject of action, I did think that the action bits (like fighting and high stakes scenes) were a bit muddied. They weren’t that clear to me as a reader and I felt that if those scenes were expanded a bit more then they could have made a bit more sense. The language is also flowery in places and while it didn’t bug me I know it does some people which is why I mention it.

 

 

Verdict: If you’re looking for a dark and action-y read this February I’d definitely choose this one! It was one of my favorite reads so far this January and I think that this will be a favorite read for a lot of other people too this year. Definitely one of the most anticipated reads that is worth the hype in my opinion.

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July 2017 – Enchanted Book Box


Rating: 5/5

Price: $38.00 USD/month plus shipping and handling. You can purchase a one-time box to test out the company to see if it is the right fit for you. There are sometimes half-boxes available for cheaper and you do save some money with subscribing. Sometimes the company also offers limited edition boxes. The one they just offered was a Sarah J. Maas box called A Court of Thrones for $65.00 USD. You can save 10% by using any codes from the reps for this company! There are only 17 boxes left for the July Grimmly Ever After box so get yours NOW!

Products: 1 YA book along with 5-7 bookish items. The company tries to use handmade products from Etsy or other shops you see on bookstagram. For the limited edition boxes there are more items.

Ships: USA and most countries.


July is a time for the end of summer, but for me it was a time to celebrate the creation of some of the most beloved fairytales. So I celebrated it with Enchanted Book Box’s Grimmly Ever After box! This card was obviously the first item I grabbed from the box and the artwork is to DIE for! I LOVE how great these turned out! The info card artwork was done by @johnyfoxart. The artist has other art pieces for sale on the society6 page for $15 USD


The first items I grabbed from the box were the bathbombs from @genevachicmermaid titled Dance All Night, which is a reference to the story The 12 Dancing Princesses. The other item was a candle from @hollowcandleco! The candle was called Granny’s Basket, an obvious reference to Little Red Riding Hood. The candle smells absolutely delicious that even my husband wanted to get up and start baking some cookies! The bath bombs retail for about $5.95. The candle shop mainly has 4 ounce candles for sale for about $8 USD, but since the candle is a 2 ounce one, then I estimate the price to be $4 USD.


The next items in the box were a bookmark from @inapaperforest, which I was SUPER EXCITED to receive because I’ve always wanted a bookmark from this company! The bookmark references Cinderella and the quote is so sinister it fits this dark theme perfectly. The other item was a golden bird feather pen, which symbolizes how the Grimm brothers wrote the original book. The bookmark is worth about $2.87 and the pen is about $1.60 USD.


The next items in this box were the most beautiful items I had seen! The first was the Snow White and Red Rose key necklace crafted by @aspiring.artista! Just look at it!! How gorgeous is it!? You could receive one of three different types of these key necklaces. The others were a Hansel and Gretal themed one and a Rapunzel themed one. The other item was a Grimm themed pocket mirror made by PrettyPicturesGiftsCo from Etsy! The artwork was so beautiful and the detail on such a small surface was AMAZING. The key necklace retails between $10USD to $25USD depending on the style of key necklace you desire and the pocket mirror retails for $4USD.


The last item before I found the book was this simple yet stunning hook bookmark with a Cinderella show charm on it. Enchanted Book Box has decided to test out the idea of a monthly bookmark hook charm and I think the idea is amazing. Usually boxes do buttons and while buttons are cool decoration pieces they have no functionality outside of that. With this item you can accessorize it and put it to use marking your spot in the book! If you loved the item and/or the idea of it, then please contact Kailey (@enchantedbookbox) to let her know!


The last item in the box was the book which was… surprise!… The Brother’s Grimm Fairytales! The book is bounded leather with classic illustrations and it contains a ribbon marker. I simply love the cover art on the book and I loved that the item was wrapped by Kailey herself. I love how she single-handedly makes sure each box is packed with love and how she manages to do this herself! She’s a one-woman team who is kicking ass and taking names! Book is worth about 15USD. I had to estimate the price between different books because the version in the box is sold out at the moment.


 

Verdict: Another hit for Enchanted Book Box! I loved every item in the box and I felt that the theme was very appropriate nothing felt out of place. I also loved the monthly charm idea and the beautiful artwork on the info card! The only issue I had with the box was that my charm latch came broken, but it won’t be a hard fix. It’ll take me 30 seconds to fix the item when I find extra latches.
Overall, I enjoyed yet another Enchanted Book Box, the price of the box without including the artwork on the info card and the monthly charm is over $40USD, and I can’t wait for the Women In Comics August box! This box is always a great deal on bookish items I can  actually use! I also can’t wait for the photo challenge beginning August 7th! Are you going to participate? Leave me a comment below!