Book: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
Rating: 1 star
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.
This took so long for me to get into, and even then I was never fully invested? I loved the stories woven in between and Alice’s love for her mother but yeah.
I felt that this was an extremely lengthy book. Choppy as well, because while it all felt very slow some things that happened were way too abrupt? I guess the writing was supposed to be all whimsical but this just didn’t work for me. Normally I quite enjoy that type of writing so I’m sad I didn’t enjoy this. However, there were some sections that I breezed through and it actually felt that it did flow and those were enjoyable.
I will only be discussing Alice because I really need to.
oh HOLY HECK. I really really didn’t like her. She was selfish, obnoxious and seemed self-righteous to me. There’s this one scene where Finch explains how he’s uncomfortable around police (oh and by the way he’s the only POC in this book) because of how they view him and his race and she starts yelling at him and calling him a spoiled rich brat. Something about how he thought rules were above him? Like yes she might have grown up poorer but she just disregarded his feelings and used him being rich as an ugh honestly?
There are so many times in this book where Alice won’t let Finch talk, thinks Finch is unattractive + calls him a ”waste of wealth”. There was also very little development for Finch and we only see what Alice sees. So there’s no real discussion around whether her feelings stemmed from him being black or her just not liking him, but either way it’s not okay at all.
Alice is physically abusive at times? Like she got mad at Finch and basically forcibly reached over and veered their car off the road like WHO DOES THAT
Also Alice is kidnapped as a kid and she isn’t at all horrified/traumatised by this? So that made me heaps uncomfortable and I really just think HOW BOUT WE NOT DO THAT
I’ve disliked a few characters from time to time, but Alice I feel like I hate and shes’s not even a villain? + I’m pretty sure I’ve like villains more then her