Yay! It’s YA Day!
Welcome to Day’s YA, where I, Emily Day, share some of my thoughts on an upcoming title from Wednesday Books or Flatiron Books YA. If you’d like to learn a little more about me, check out this post, where I introduce myself and tell you all my deep, dark secrets (just kidding . . . or am I?)
What you are about to read is my very first Day’s YA review (which can also be found in the Books for Teens 2018 post), so dive in and enjoy!
Many fairy tales begin with “once upon a time” and end with “happily ever after.” Melissa Albert’s debut novel is not one of those fairy tales. Albert expertly weaves a story that is magically creepy and mesmerizing. THE HAZEL WOOD begins with Alice, a seventeen-year-old girl who, along with her mother, Ella, is constantly running from bad luck that seems to follow them wherever they go. Alice is the granddaughter of Althea Proserpine, the mysterious author of a beloved, but rare, book of fairy tales set in the sinister world of the Hinterland. When Althea dies suddenly Alice and her mother expect their luck to improve, but instead, their ill fortune takes a turn for the worse. Ella is taken away by someone who claims to be from the Hinterland, and Alice must find her way there, despite Ella’s one command that she stay away. Alice seeks out the Hinterland to find her mother, but she may uncover much more along the way.
Reminiscent of Emily Carroll’s THROUGH THE WOODS and Emma Donoghue’s KISSING THE WITCH, Melissa Albert has hit the nail on the head with this spooky homage to fairy tales. Though Albert’s novel is not a retelling of a classic fairy tale, she has managed to create a completely original narrative filled with riveting characters and a captivating plot that still retains some of the elements of more traditional tales. THE HAZEL WOOD is an obvious choice for lovers of fantasy novels and classic fairy tales, but it will also appeal to fans of YA mystery novels, such as E. Lockhart’s WE WERE LIARS, and stories about the discovery of deep, personal truths, such as Nicola Yoon’s EVERYTHING EVERYTHING. Albert’s enchanting debut novel is truly something special and will leave you with the lingering notion that our stories are all around us, influencing us and comprising our most inner beings.
THE HAZEL WOOD also already has FOUR starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Booklist!
That’s it for now. Until next time, have a YA-tastic Monday and happy reading!