Genre: YA, fantasy
Synopsis: Ivy Lune has lived in isolation the majority of her life. Imprisoned by her aunt and cousins, she longs to escape the shackles of her prison-like life. Unknown to her, there are dangerous forces at work; old blood ties and murderous plots threaten her chance at happiness beyond her current life.
Review: I’ll admit, I was let down by The Hazel Tree. I love fairytale retellings, and I was very hopeful that this werewolf twist on Cinderella would live up to my expectations. Unfortunately, that didn’t really happen.
I had a decent time reading this novel, and the rather unconventional formatting of the paperback copy actually grew on me as time went on, but I didn’t feel connected to the story or the characters. The plot was ever-so-slightly dull, and the only character I had any sort of emotion for was Rob, Ivy’s not-very-involved cousin who only makes an appearance in three or four chapters. In addition, the romance was very…odd. As in, there was no build-up. The two meet, go “omg you’re my soulmate”, and suddenly they’re thick as thieves and sleeping in the same bed. It was a bit bizarre to me, considering 90% of the plot is hinged on their deep, profound love for each other, yet it’s sort of glossed over. I felt a bit cheated.
With that being said, I did like the glimpse of the world Ms. Debski crafted, and the book certainly wasn’t torture to read. Minus the ending (cliffhangers are for chapter endings, not the actual ending of the book itself, that was just cruel) the novel had a good pace and nice writing and a few bits of humor tucked in. Overall, the story has a lot of potential, but it wasn’t what it could have been.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Recommend it? Meh. Maybe.