The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Why do Alice and Ella keep moving around? Unexpectedly leaving homes and cities in the middle of the night, sometimes because something has happened. Something weird. Then Ella's reclusive author-of-tales-of-the-weird mother dies, and perhaps everything will be alright. And it is... for a few months. It appears as though Althea (Ella's mother and Alice's grandmother) and her stories may be behind it all... That search for answers is really well done.
The questions of what a Story is, how they get transmitted and how they live in the world aren't new. This exploration of some of the answers is certainly creative and doesn't give us cute Disney stories but more gruesome Gimm-like ones (a huge plus!!). If only the world building had been a bit stronger, this could have been a solid five star. As it is, it's a shade over four but a highly recommended read for those who love their stories a bit on the dark side.
ARC provided by publisher.