This is book number 1 in the The Hazel Wood series.
The Hazel Wood is totally captivating. This modern day fairy tale is smart, funny, and clever. Alice Proserpine is a heroine I'd like to buy a cup of coffee. Highly recommend and would be an ideal vacation read.— Rachel Watkins
Melissa Albert’s debut novel, THE HAZEL WOOD, is entirely captivating, filled to the brim with chilling fairytales come to life, mysterious disappearances, strange creatures…
Alice Proserpine lives in the dark shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. Her grandmother, Althea Proserpine, was a talented writer of dark fairy tales who gained a cult following before her work, TALES FROM THE HINTERLAND, fell on hard times. One mysterious accident after another has now wiped nearly every trace of her book, and its movie adaptation, off the face of the earth. The stories live on through their fans, though, and, after her mother is kidnapped, Alice quickly discovers that the tales might be more alive than one would hope. In a quest to rescue her mother, Alice tumbles into a darker, more bizarre Wonderland than Carroll himself could have dreamed up: The Hinterland.
An extraordinary master of the craft of writing, Albert’s prose is sharp and lyrical, and her dark imagination knows no bounds. Some of the most mesmerizing pages of the novel are those in which she pays bone-chilling tribute to the classic fairy tale by including a few of Proserpine’s tales in their entirety. As an extra treat for the nerds among us, the novel gives an appreciative nod not just to fairytales, but to a vast array of books, as it leaves a breadcrumb trail of literary references from Vonnegut to Okorafor to Oyeyemi. THE HAZEL WOOD is an intelligent, original, feminist fairy tale unlike any other, with an ending to match. Steeped in both the shining promise and alienating garbage smell of New York City, this book is a Polaroid snapped unawares, and discovered between the pages of a deadly book. It is a crow slamming itself bloody against a window in order to deliver a letter. It is sharp thorns and demented woods, waiting to draw you in and never let you go.— Elizabeth Willis
“If you like your fairy tales dark and spooky, you will love The Hazel Wood. It is brilliantly twisty, with a not-always-likable main character named Alice whose whole life has been one bit of bad luck followed by another. Now her mother is missing, and the disappearance may have something to do with Alice’s estranged grandmother, the author of a collection of creepy short stories with a cult following. Joined by her classmate Ellery Finch, a boy with questionable motives, Alice sets off for her grandmother’s estate, the Hazel Wood, to confront her and to find her mom. But the Hazel Wood has other plans for Alice, and only by facing her destiny can she rewrite her own fate.”
— Jenny Chou, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
"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.
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
2019 YALSA Amazing Audiobook
“The Hazel Wood is thoroughly, creepily captivating, with surprises I never saw coming! Such a refreshing and beautifully written inversion of the classic fairy tale-inspired story.”
—Kristin Cashore, award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the Graceling Realm series
“This book will be your next obsession. Welcome to the Hazel Wood, where bad luck is a living thing, princesses are doomed, and every page contains a wondrously terrible adventure—it’s not safe inside these pages, but once you enter, you may never want to leave. The Hazel Wood is pure imagination candy.”
—Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval