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The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert {Goodreads}
Published by Flatiron Books in 2018
Hardback edition; 368 pages

The Hazel Wood tells the story of Alice, a 17-year-old girl who has always been on the run alongside her mother never staying too long anywhere because when they do, bad things happen. One day she's told her grandmother -- the author of very dark and famous fairy-tales -- is dead and Alice's mother, Ella, believes their bad luck is over. They settle in New York. Little did they know bad things will never end and when Ella is kidnapped by someone who claims to come from the supernatural world Alice's grandmother created, she must try and find The Hazel Wood to bring her mother back.

I was so excited to get my hands on this book. It sounded amazing and it many ways it was, but it was also a disappointment. I'm gonna divide this review in two to explain the things I did enjoy and the things -- or rather thing -- I didn't.
For me the best things about this novel is the writing style. It is magical and lyrical and beautiful and one of the things that kept me reading. I love fairy-tales and The Hazel Wood is filled with them. The fantasy world Albert created is fantastic and captivating.

Then how did I end up being disappointed? Well, let me tell you all about Alice. She's probably one of the most annoying and insufferable characters I've ever read about. I will say that in the last third of the novel she finally stops being a dickhead and I could sit back and relax. But during the first two thirds? I just wanted to strangled her. The story is written under her POV so that didn't help me at all.

So, as a whole, do I think this is a story worth reading? Absolutely. Did the main character hinder my enjoyment of the first two thirds of the story? Absolutely. Make of that what you will.


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RESEÑA EN ESPAÑOL

The Hazel Wood nos cuenta la historia de Alice, una chica de 17 años, que lleva toda su vida huyendo junto con su madre Ella. No pueden permanecer en el mismo lugar durante mucho tiempo porque entonces empiezan a pasar cosas malas. Un día descubren que la abuela de Alice -- un escritora de cuentos de hadas muy oscuros -- ha muerto y Ella cree por fin que su mala suerte ha acabado y se asientan en Nueva York. Sin embargo, Ella acaba siendo secuestrada por una persona que dice pertenecer al mundo sobrenatural creado por la abuela de Alice. Esta debe entonces ir al Hazel Wood a rescatar a su madre.

Llevaba queriendo leer este libro desde hace bastante y aunque me gustó también me decepcionó. Vayamos por partes.
Lo que más me gustó fue la narración. Es mágica y maravillosa. La historia está entrelazada con cuentas de hadas y a mí esas cosas me encantan. El mundo de fantasía creado por la autora me fascinó y cautivó.
Entonces, ¿por qué me decepcionó? Dejadme que os hable de Alice. Es posiblemente una de las protagonistas más insufribles que haya leído jamás. Es cierto que durante el último tercio de la novela deja de comportarse como una imbécil y se gana un poco mi afecto pero ¿durante los dos primeros tercios? Yo es que quería matarla. 

En general, ¿creo que esta historia merece la pena? Sí. ¿Es cierto que la prota hizo que me resultara a veces disfrutar del relato? También. Saquen sus propias conclusiones.

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