Hello and happy Thursday! I’m back with another recommendation post – and possibly the most exciting to date……. in a weird way lol. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of The Hazel Wood a few months back and I was a little nervous going into it. Early reviews weren’t as positive as I thought they would be and people were saying that the story went in the opposite direction of where they were expecting it to go. So I went into it with a clear mind and I loved it! It started off with a bit of magical realism (which I normally can’t get into AT ALL) and it was really well done. I’ll explain that in a minute. But, literally the whole time I was reading it, I kept thinking “This feels familiar”. It took me 50% of the book before I realized what I was getting vibes of. And that is City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare! The two aren’t similar at all in the plot/subject matter, but there are a few things that were present that made me think that if you liked one, then you’ll really like the other!!
CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare
First we have a book that I rarely ever get the chance to talk about – and that’s why this post is so exciting. This is a series that kind of got me back into reading. When I had my kids I stopped reading entirely. I was just too busy. But it was hard not to notice the buzz about these books! I picked it up on a whim and ended up reading all of the available books that year – which was more than I’d read in a long time! This series also helped me realize that I wasn’t too old for YA. AND this series brought me back into my curiosity for fantasy….. It’s not my favourite series ever but it has so much significance in my reading life. Not to mention, the premise was unlike anything I had read to that point. I would explain what this series is about but I bet that you already know from the books, the movie, or the TV show….. I mean it’s everywhere!!
THE HAZEL WOOD by Melissa Albert
Next, we have recently released The Hazel Wood. This book has been getting SO MUCH buzz for months and I’ve heard it also got optioned for a movie! The similarities begin lol. This is about a young girl named Alice who is always on the move with her mother. Just as they begin to settle, their bad luck catches up, and they’re on the move yet again. But when they receive word that Alice’s grandmother, author of the cult classic book of fairy tales, passes away, they seem to be able to take it easy….. wrong. Alice’s mother vanishes and she’s forced to follow clues and look to the forbidden life of her grandmother for answers. I know it doesn’t really sound like City of Bones, but I promise that the story structure and the themes are what will make you love this!
HERE’S WHAT THE TWO BOOKS HAVE IN COMMON:
- Magical realism – We have a modern/current setting and then something happens to combine this world with a magical one. These two worlds coexist with one side not realizing the other and things remain as normal for humans. But for those who are a part of this magical world, reality is warped and telling what’s humanly possible is impossible. I’m the first to admit that magical realism is not my favourite, but in both of these books it was so well done. Lines were blurred perfectly and made the combination of the worlds so interesting!
- Missing mothers – Why the hell is it always mom?!?!? As a mother I always read books and wonder what I did to deserve such a high percentage of bad happenings. I need to stop taking this so personal lol. But in these two books we have young girls who are dependant on their mothers as they’re the only family they have. When the mom goes missing, the girl is forced to find her own way to the truth of her past that will hopefully lead her to finding her mother.
- Lies about where they came from – This is a very strong theme between both books. Both of these characters have only their mother as family and both mothers weren’t entirely honest and forthcoming about their past. Both girls wonder where, why, how, and so much more. Each character needs to uncover their past all on their own.
- Actually being evil – but not really – This is a strange but true similarity. Both girls, when they uncovered the truth about their past, realized that they came from something not entirely happy and positive. This in turn forces each girl to consider what makes them who they are – their upbringing, their choices, or true nature.
These two books don’t seem similar in the beginning. Their plots are very different. But the themes and elements of each of these, the characters, and the story structure, make these two books so similar. I have complete faith that if you liked one then you’ll like the other!
Until next time, happy reading!