The Hazel Wood, Book 1

Book review by Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
The Hazel Wood, Book 1 Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 13+

Captivating tale of teen thrust into the world of folklore.

Parents say

age 16+

Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 14+

Based on 10 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 18+

Look elsewhere for a protagonist to like.

Gave this book a try due to reviews bt to be honest. Never have I read a less likable protagonist. No redeemable qualities at all. I ended up hoping the Hinderlands would eat the lot of them and be done with it. Or just kick Alice out and go home. Just a horrible person Alice is.
age 13+

And it smelled of...

Melissa Albert must have one heck of a nose, because I have never read a book that so often described how things smell, most especially when the descriptive words used are items I’m fairly sure a large percentage of teens have never smelled, much less are aware they exist. Otherwise, I’m not a fan of Alice, I find her to be selfish rather than strong. Too hard nosed to be a positive role model. There is negative judgement placed on both poverty and wealth, which somewhat degrades the characters and makes nearly everyone in the book somewhat petty or shallow. Finch seemed to be the only one I cared to feel invested in. The story was interesting enough to keep reading, but stalled out occasionally on overly descriptive paragraphs that didn’t really move the story along, or matter that much to what you really needed to know. Tell your teen to keep google search ready for some of the items she mentions. Don’t get too caught up in the warnings of bad language, while it IS there- the uses are not glaring. I recommend this book if you just want your teen to read, but not if you are wanting them to gain real knowledge or a strong role model. (Great if you are wanting examples on how to use a smell as the best identifying trait for a particular character)

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