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The Hazel Wood | May 23, 2018

By Melissa Albert (Macmillan Children's Books / Flatiron Books)

Do you want to be captivated by a world, confused by a past, and engulfed in beautiful writing?  Do you want to stop reading a book and think “WHOA! What just happened? That was INSANE!!!?”  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should read Melissa Albert’s THE HAZEL WOOD.

The writing is beautiful, truly beautiful.  It washes over you phrase after phrase until you don’t think the author could possibly keep it up anymore (but she does).  And it’s not just the primary tale that’s so artfully crafted, but also short stories taken from a fictional book within the larger tale.  Albert’s ability to switch between writing styles as she switches between tales—always keeping both elegant—to give her sub narratives a unique voice makes for a truly immersive read.  You fall deeper and deeper into the language, into the worlds she creates.

And then there’s the plot.  Get ready to have your mind blown.  Again and again I was left shocked, entirely unaware of what would happen next or how the book could possibly conclude.  This story burrows into your mind and then somehow burrows itself inside of the original burrow.  You’ll need all of your friends to read it with you, because this is a book to be talked about, to be in wonder of.  It’s a book that needs to be read!

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