Tag Archives: fairy tales

The Hazel Wood

The Hazel Wood Book Cover The Hazel Wood
Melissa Albert
Young Adult Fiction
January 30, 2018

Welcome to the Hazel Wood—the fiercely stunning contemporary fantasy everyone is raving about: Four starred reviews! “Thoroughly, creepily captivating.” —Kristin Cashore, author of Graceling and Jane, Unlimited “Will be your next obsession.” —Stephanie Garber, author of Caraval “Destined to be a classic.” —Kami Garcia, author of The Lovely Reckless “Breathtaking.” —Seanan McGuire, author of Every Heart a Doorway “Mesmerizing.” —Karen McManus, author of One of Us Is Lying “One of the best books I’ve read in years.” —Jennifer Niven, author of All the Bright Places 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.



I’ve seen mixed reviews on “The Hazel Wood,” but I am in the loved it camp.

Don’t go into it expecting some happy fairytale retelling.  This is dark.  Original Grimm’s Fairy Tales dark.  Alice, the main character, is spunky and not always likable.  In this case it is a trait that works well.  The stories within the story are wonderful and creepy and vividly painted in words.  I’d love for there to be both a sequel and a companion book filled with only the stories.

Highly recommended for those who love the dark side of things!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.


Content Warning:

Language, Minor Sexual Situations, Violence, Disturbing Imagery


Nightbird Book Cover Nightbird
Alice Hoffman
Juvenile Fiction
Wendy Lamb Books

Twig, aged twelve, is practically ignored by classmates and other residents of Sidwell, Massachusetts, but gets along fine with just her mother and brother, whose presence must be kept secret, until descendants of the witch who cursed her family move in next door and want to be her friends.



Alice Hoffman has created a wonderful new fairy tale in “Nightbird” that is a delightful read for both the young and the young-at-heart.  For those to young to read on their own, it will make a great bedtime story to be read aloud over the course of a few nights.

All of the characters, especially Twig and James, are unique and relatable, even though they are abnormal to the eyes of those around them.  The world is filled with both the familiar and fantastical, sucking the reader in.  All of the classic parts of fairy tales are present: mystery, the unknown creatures of the dark, friendship, bravery, and a little romance.  I found myself smiling and feeling nostalgic for the books of my childhood the entire time I was reading it, and I sincerely hope the author creates more stories for children.

I recommend “Nightbird” for anyone and everyone.  Such fun!

This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Content Warning:

If you have a child who is afraid of classic fairy tales, this may be one to avoid.