August 12, 2019 by TinyNavajo
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
*Published January 30, 2018*
I just needed something to read when I was working a few days ago and I saw this on the shelf and knew it was on my to read list. So, I checked it out and it was FANTASTIC!
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.
Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while now that I absolutely LOVE f retellings. I love it when stories, any story for that matter, are retold. They take the basics of the story that you’ll recognize and throw it into a new story. They cover things up, move things around, but it is still the bones of the original story.
What I loved about this story is that the retelling is about Alice and a series of stories her grandmother wrote about. But she has never been able to read the stories; Alice has never been able to know her grandmother or find out what these stories are about. But when Ella (Alice’s mother) is stolen and all she leaves for Alice are the worlds, “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.” Alice does the exact opposites and strives to find the Hazel Wood and her mother.
Retellings show us what it is we are scared of in the world now. Retellings give shape to our fears, our insecurities, what we fear most about ourselves. This is why I think everyone needs to read, not just retellings, but all books created by those who are living now to see what it is we need to do to do better and be better in this world we have.
What do you think of retellings? What do you thing retellings can tell you about the world? Comment below and let me know!