In the book world, there are always books that get more hyped than others. Sometimes that’s because prominent members of the bookish community share their excitement about a particular upcoming release, or popular authors speak highly of the book before it’s out. In most cases, I’ve found that the majority of books are hyped for good reason — and I don’t let the hype put me off reading them for fear that I won’t enjoy them as much as other people have.
A little while ago I wrote a post about the dangers of hype, but today I want to discuss one particular hyped book that I recently read and loved, as well as some other hyped novels I adore!While it’s not uncommon for some people to not want to read hyped novels because they know they won’t love them now that everyone else has built up the novel to some unattainable standard, I usually make sure I check out reviews from bloggers who usually tend to have the same opinion about books as I do.
Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the strange bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a 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 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.
To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began . . .
What I loved most about The Hazel Wood was how delightfully creepy it was. I do get very creeped out easily in books, but that made this reading experience even more enjoyable because yes, I’m that weird person that loves scary things. I love films or books that make me frightened enough not want to go out into the dark kitchen at night. I love things that make me believe that maybe the world isn’t quite what it seems, and maybe there really are ghastly horrors lurking just outside our window. The Hazel Wood made me feel and think all these things, and I loved it for that.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a fairytale-esque novel, and while some of them have been really disappointing in the past, I loved how mysterious and atmospheric The Hazel Wood was. It was dark and twisted, and I just devoured this book in one sitting because I was desperate to know how it was going to end. I loved the way it kept me on the edge of my seat and how slowly it revealed information, like a trail of candy into a dark forest. I definitely wouldn’t recommend reading this late at night—it was really creepy at times.
The only aspect of this novel that I felt brought it down from the perfect five-star rating was how unlikeable I found the protagonist. And I know there’s been a lot of discussion about unlikeable characters recently and why they shouldn’t be seen to bring a novel down, but I didn’t feel this character was meant to be so unlikeable. She just got on my nerves and at times she had absolutely no common sense, which I guess is realistic, I just didn’t care about her.
Ultimately, The Hazel Wood absolutely lived up to the hype for me—I was promised a delightfully creepy story that would keep me awake at night, and that’s exactly what I got. I loved how beautifully written it was as well, and the writing drew me in and captivated me until the very last page. If you’re a fan of mysterious and creepy YA, then I definitely recommend picking up a copy of The Hazel Wood.
My Favourite Hyped Books of 2017
Hyped Releases of 2018 That Are On My TBR
Have you read The Hazel Wood, or any of the other hyped books I’ve mentioned? Do you usually find that the hype affects you? Which “hyped” novels are on your TBR this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks to Penguin Australia for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!