Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Review: Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

BreadcrumbsTitle: Breadcrumbs 
Author: Anne Ursu
 Walden Pond Press
Publishing Date: September 27th 2011
Pages: 312
Genre:  MG Fairytale Retelling
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Audio


Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. They had been best friends since they were six, spending hot Minneapolis summers and cold Minneapolis winters together, dreaming of Hogwarts and Oz, superheroes and baseball. Now that they were eleven, it was weird for a boy and a girl to be best friends. But they couldn't help it - Hazel and Jack fit, in that way you only read about in books. And they didn't fit anywhere else.

And then, one day, it was over. Jack just stopped talking to Hazel. And while her mom tried to tell her that this sometimes happens to boys and girls at this age, Hazel had read enough stories to know that it's never that simple. And it turns out, she was right. Jack's heart had been frozen, and he was taken into the woods by a woman dressed in white to live in a palace made of ice. Now, it's up to Hazel to venture into the woods after him. Hazel finds, however, that these woods are nothing like what she's read about, and the Jack that Hazel went in to save isn't the same Jack that will emerge. Or even the same Hazel.

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," Breadcrumbsis a story of the struggle to hold on, and the things we leave behind.

I discovered this book on Goodreads a while back and found it on audio at my library not too long ago. I was finally able to get to it and enjoyed it. It wasn't quite what I expected and disappointed just a bit but I still enjoyed the read. It was full of fairytales wrapped in loyalty and friendship. It had a very heartwarming end and I finished the book with a smile on my face. If anything could have been improved... the pacing was a bit slow for my liking. What made the book worth my time, the world building was very colorful and just amazing. 

Hazel has one friend, Jack. She is an outcast at the school, socially awkward, and the new girl on top of that. She has known Jack for most of her life and he is her best friend. The only one that makes her day at school end on a happy note. Jack comes from a hard home life and Hazel has been there with him, by his side through it all. She doesn't know where she ends and Jack begins. One day Jack stops talking to her, doesn't act like himself,and pushes Hazel away. Not long after that, Jack disappears. Hazel is determined to find Jack, save him, and bring him home.... she knows something is wrong and she won't stop until she figures it out and fixes it. 

The story really was amazing, the plot, the world building, and the characters, and they all mixed together so wonderfully. The writing was wonderful, but the pacing was a little off for me. Sometimes it was just right and then sometimes it dragged. I found myself losing focus at times but it wasn't hard to be turned back around and fully into the story again. 

I loved the world that the author created. The story was inspired by The Snow Queen. I must admit this is one fairytale I am not real familiar with, but it didn't make a difference. I loved the alternate world Jack and Hazel discovered and the way that many different fairytales were weaved into the story. As Hazel journeyed to find Jack, she came across many known characters from some very loved fairytales and dragged into those fairytales. I was completed wrapped up in these moments. 

I really liked Hazel. She has it tough but she was determined not to let her life at school drag her down. The time she would get with Jack is what kept her going and when that part of her life fell apart, she was determined to get it back. She loved Jack completely and unconditionally. She was grateful for his friendship and loyal to the end. 

I think that was the most loved for me. The story of friendship and loyalty and determination. The end was a happy ending and I did get some warm fuzzies when I finished the book. I love stories with such a heartwarming subject as friendship....especially when the friendship is fought for. 

A very good story, enjoyable read, and worth the journey.

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