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Faraway Collection #2

Hazel and Gray

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Two anxious young lovers lost in the woods. A beckoning mansion in a dark clearing. A short modern-day retelling of Hansel and Gretel by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin.

It’s bad enough that Hazel and Gray have defied the demands of Hazel’s foul stepfather. The Monster has forbidden their romance. Now they’ve awakened in the forest, phones dead, hours past curfew. But not far away is a grand estate in the middle of nowhere. The door is open. In this short story about choosing your own path, the fury of the Monster that awaits them back home may be nothing compared to what lies ahead.

30 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 15, 2020

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About the author

Nic Stone

35 books3,945 followers
Nic Stone was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, GA, and the only thing she loves more than an adventure is a good story about one. After graduating from Spelman College, she worked extensively in teen mentoring and lived in Israel for a few years before returning to the US to write full-time. Growing up with a wide range of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, Stone strives to bring these diverse voices and stories to her work.

Stone lives in Atlanta with her husband and two sons. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @getnicced or on her website nicstone.info.

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5 stars
1,354 (21%)
4 stars
1,970 (31%)
3 stars
1,872 (29%)
2 stars
770 (12%)
1 star
357 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 632 reviews
Profile Image for Bookishrealm.
1,778 reviews4,485 followers
January 2, 2021
This is clearly a retelling of Hansel and Gretel. Instead of the story focusing on a sister and brother duo that gets lost in the woods and end up at a witch's house, this story revolves around a gf/bf duo, Hazel and Gray, who get lost in the woods but end up at a mysterious house that appears to "sell" the services of young girls. Nic Stone is a gifted writer and this short story definitely explores the heart-breaking dynamics of sex-trafficking; however, I think that to cover such a dark topic you need a little more length in the book. This would be a great set-up for a future novel; however, it left much to be desired as a novella. As always, the writing was on point, but I think such heavy social commentary deserves more space. I would definitely be interested in seeing Nic Stone actually create a full-length novel from this. All of her books are hard hitting contemporaries so I think that she could handle this topic with a lot of care and grace. I did find the twist at the end to be relatively interesting, but it created some plot holes in the overall story.
April 5, 2021
As far as fairytale retellings go, this Hansel and Gretel retelling made for a rather dark, and really quite an odd experience. I knew from the very start, when our main guy "Gray" refers to Hazel as "Babe" that things were pretty bad. Oh, how I despise that pet name for women!

It gets better. After Hazel has let Gray have his way with her, he advises her that defecating in a bush, isn't really so bad. Really now?

This story was based around seduction of some sort, that didn't really lead anywhere, a poorly written sex scene, and simple dialogue. I normally enjoy a fairytale retelling or two, but this one was just ridiculous.
Profile Image for Melany.
396 reviews56 followers
February 7, 2022
Who knew this already twisted story could be rewritten to be even more twisted than before! Such an interesting take on the old classic. Kept me interested the whole time!
Profile Image for One chapter more.
757 reviews125 followers
December 25, 2020
I wanted to quickly read all these short novellas to chase my 2020 goal but I so dislike the style these are written in... I'll try to give it another go but the stories do not make sense to me whatsoever. Call me stupid..
Profile Image for Lizzie Stewart.
317 reviews182 followers
January 18, 2021
I absolutely did not expect this retelling of Hansel and Gretel to contain both pedophilia and sex trafficking.

This is a 2.5 star read for me, rounded down to 2 stars. It was easier to follow than The Prince and The Troll but managed to be disturbing while also not being overly memorable. I won't read it again and likely will not continue on with the series.
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
1,894 reviews3,113 followers
April 22, 2022
This was an interesting take on a Hansel and Gretel retelling. Hazel and Gray are boyfriend/girlfriend rather than siblings and the story is tackling the issue of sex trafficking. I really like the concept and basic approach to the story, but I also think this is too short to really do the topics included justice. Liked, but longer would have been better.
Profile Image for Emma.
893 reviews872 followers
January 13, 2021
Hazel and Gray are two teenagers that end up lost in the woods after a date together. What happens next while they try to look for some help is a retelling of sorts of the fairytale Hansel and Gretel. I appreciated how there was a clear plot in this story and also an evolution in the narrative, but in the end this novella didn't really meet my taste.
Profile Image for Becca.
290 reviews14 followers
January 5, 2021
Trigger WARNING (TW): creepy pedophile stepfather
Profile Image for Dhara.
73 reviews24 followers
December 9, 2021
4 stars

This is the first short story which has crossed 3 star rating for me(not that I've read many lol, but still!).

I found it to be quite up to par!

The writing style was good, quick but comprehensive. Covered various realms like romance, fear, steam, despondence and vice, all very well.
The book took nefarious turns giving sinister vibes. Gray and Hazel's bravery is admirable.
It was one hell of a short read.
Profile Image for rose ✨.
166 reviews89 followers
January 17, 2021
“the thing about people who are perceived to be unexceptional is that they are frequently underestimated.”

this one actually frustrated me because it’s potentially such an interesting interpretation of the hansel and gretel story, but the juvenile writing style and the characters themselves were so irritating.

rating: 1/5 stars
Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,676 reviews919 followers
December 15, 2020
Great retelling of Hansel and Gretel with a very nice twist. This was more of what I expected when I started the collection.

"Hazel and Gray" follows teens Hazel and Gray. Boyfriend and girlfriend who flee after the "Monster" enters Hazel's life and wishes her harm. I liked how Stone played around with the original fairy tale and modernize it for us.

I loved Hazel's story, but we also get some development of Gray that I wished we had gotten into more. Both of them being raised by black mothers who chose people in their lives that mean their children harm. But we get a really nasty twist and I have to say that I did not see it coming!

Profile Image for Dawn Michelle.
2,250 reviews
January 5, 2021
W T HECK did I just listen to?? I was so not into this short story and then all of the sudden it got good and then WHAM, that twist. WHAT THE HECK!!!!
I will say, even with that twist, it is only 3 stars for me. I really didn't like it up to the last 10 minutes of the audiobook [and I was NOT a fan of the narrator] and the really crazy ending just cannot make up for that for me.
Profile Image for bookishly_sweety.
131 reviews17 followers
December 30, 2020
Having read Faraway#1 by Rainbow Rowell, I didn’t expect such a jump to a lot of adult content in this short twisted story.
TW - sex trafficking, pedophilia
Profile Image for Freda Mans-Labianca.
1,257 reviews103 followers
September 11, 2021
I loved Dear Martin, so when I saw this short story retelling on Amazon Prime Reads I had to have it.
This story is so far up my alley that I feel like it was kismet! My favorite thing to read is fairytales and fairytale retellings, and that's what this is!! A retelling of Hansel And Gretel. Oh, how groovy it was though and so different from the original.I definitely like the twist in this one!
I wasn't crazy about the ending though. I wish after all that goodness in the tale, that it would just pack a bigger punch. It actually felt rushed.
If you like twisted little stories, read this one! I've got the whole collection of this series, and am off to read another one now!
Profile Image for Jacquie Stewart.
1,949 reviews35 followers
April 17, 2021
More please

Wow that ending! It left me wanting more of Hazel and Gray. This short showed that you don't need a lot of pages to tell a story well
Profile Image for Debby *BabyDee*.
1,121 reviews57 followers
December 19, 2020
Having never read anything by Nic Stone, Hazel and Gray (mature re-write of Hansel and Gretal) and the second book in the Faraway Collection of Amazon Originals is well-written and provides an all too real view of what could happen/sometimes happen to children when "Monsters" in sheeps clothing catapults them into a world that holds a much more dangerous one than that which they left behind.

Hazel and Gray are two kids who are being raised by single mothers. Along comes the "Monster" who sweeps these mothers off their feet because they are probably hoping for something better for themsleves as well as their children. Unfortunately, they are unaware of the predators they've invited into their lives that want to devour what they hold dear to them. Hazel and Gray in their quest to escape their troubles, come upon a house that seems perfect on the outside but lures them into dangerous waters...sex, prostitution, and drugs all disguised in the form of fairies, wizardry and magic. Although the house may suit its inhabitants, Haze and Gray must find a way to escape the entrapments before they become permanent residents of the house.

Yes, this story touches on the areas of pedophilia, drugs, human trafficking and under age prostitution, however this is not uncommon in today's society. Although the author uses Hansel and Gretal as a backdrop to tell the story of Hazel and Gray, I enjoyed the story and the enlightenment it brings to these subjects. Although there is no true HEA for H & G, it was nice to see them escape, however they are but a hand full of individuals in the real world that make it out situations such as these.

Although a short read/listen in this series, it is a poignant story. This story is not recommended for those who feel squirmish about these subject matters.
Profile Image for Tish Burley.
382 reviews6 followers
December 23, 2020
This is exactly what I want in a twisted retelling, darkness, an adult version of a children's classic which really, is a dark tale in itself. You read it and can see where it will go and just will it to not happen and then it all ties up neatly in the end, a perfect retelling of a classic tale
Profile Image for Rebekah Crain.
641 reviews22 followers
December 16, 2020
Ooooh Hazel and Gray is a really trippy, non-pg rated, modern reimagining of Hansel and Gretel. Equally disturbing and really absorbing. I've never read anything by Nic Stone before, but I'm thinking I'll need to look into changing that.
Profile Image for lea | lea's literary life.
27 reviews1 follower
December 20, 2020

So many trigger warnings for this short. I'm not even sure who this would be aimed at, it's definitely upper ya at least.

Anyway, this is my second of the Faraway series and I'm still not sure what to think of them. Really both of them so far haven't been great, or particularly enjoyable. This one was probably worse just because of all the triggering things included. It's definitely very dark.
Profile Image for Shannon .
1,846 reviews131 followers
January 12, 2021
Faraway Series

The Prince and the Troll - Faraway, Book 1 - Rainbow Rowell - 3 Stars - Adam, Unnamed Troll? - An unlikely friendship between a man and a creature who helped him save his phone from under a bridge. It's a strange modern fairy tale world and I’m not sure I understood all that was going on but I enjoyed it.

Hazel and Gray - Faraway, Book 2 - Nic Stone - 3.5 Stars - Hazel, Gray - The most messed up version of Hansel and Gretel I’ve ever read…. Well, the original was pretty jacked too. There were some crazy twists in this story but I liked that. The end felt kind of unfinished.

The Princess Game - Faraway, Book 3 - Soman Chainani- 3.5 Stars - too many to list - Girls in Chaminade High School are being murdered and the “Princes'' a.k.a. popular boys are suspects. Two local police officers go undercover to try and catch the perps but blow their cover and it all goes sideways. I think I was most interested in this story. Probably because it has been the most straightforward and I knew exactly who the killer was. That did not diminish my pleasure in listening to the book. I’m glad they went for a full cast of narrators as there were a lot of characters. Even with the multiple cast I still didn’t know who was talking sometimes.

The Cleaners - Faraway, Book 4 - Ken Liu - 3 Stars - Clara, Beatrice, Gui - I have no idea what fairy tale this was supposed to be but that’s not the first with this series. The sister’s story was kinda interesting and so was Gui’s however I’m not sure how they connect and I left the story just feeling confused.

The Wickeds - Faraway, Book 5 - Gail Forman - 3.5 Stars - Elsinora, Gwendolyn, and Marguerite - The real story of Cinderella, Snow White and Repunzel’s mothers. This was a story I could get behind. I was still left with a sense of being confused but I loved the takes on what “really” happened as opposed to the highly exaggerated stories we know.
Profile Image for Hannah.
321 reviews49 followers
January 7, 2021
Aside from a little coarse language in the beginning of the story, I really liked this one. Hazel and Gray is a new take on Hansel and Gretel in which the two main characters know about the story of Hansel and Gretel! This story has a fae vibe, a creepy stepdad, family trauma, and young love. Things felt a bit rushed, but for a short story, I think Nic Stone does the job they set out to do. Overall, a solid new take on Hansel and Gretel.
Profile Image for Izzy.
964 reviews432 followers
December 26, 2020
CW: pedophile

This was a really interesting set up for a retelling
Profile Image for Deb✨.
290 reviews3 followers
November 3, 2021
A modern day take on Hansel and Gretel, involving a sex-trafficking ring. I really disliked Hazel's new creepy step-father. The story was actually told well, but the idea behind it was icky.
Profile Image for scl.ashx.
197 reviews145 followers
February 18, 2022
So, I guess the whole series is going to be an uncanny one. Even though this one was weird, it felt weird in a good way I guess and it a quick read so it was worth the time.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 632 reviews

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