Summer 2019 Reading Group Indie Next List
“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
About the Author
Melissa Albert is the founding editor of the Barnes & Noble Teen Blog and the managing editor of BN.com. She has written for McSweeney’s, Time Out Chicago, MTV, and more. Melissa is from Illinois and lives in Brooklyn, New York. The Hazel Wood is her first novel.
Rebecca Soler is a film and voiceover actress who won a 2009 AudioFile Earphones Award for her narration of After by Amy Efaw. Her audiobook credits include work by authors such as Judy Blume, James Patterson and Sarah Dessen. Soler has also narrated the popular young adult series The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Her voice over credits include various video games, like Star Wars: The Old Republic and Red Dead Redemption and television shows such as Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She lives in New York City.
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