Saturday, October 08, 2011

Review: Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

Title: Breadcrumbs
Author: Anne Ursu
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers/Walden Pond Press
Source: Publisher

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," Breadcrumbs is a story of the struggle to hold on, and the things we leave behind.
Review: What a delightful middle grade book. I personally hadn’t read a lot about The Snow Queen (the fairy tale this book is re told on) so I was eager to see how I would like this book. Besides the fact that this was a middle grade book and I love middle grade books, it’s got a great cover. I would LOVE to have a poster for this book to hang on my wall, wouldn’t it be so pretty?

The plot was, from what I know very much similar to original fairy tale for as far as re telling go. I did feel that the beginning was rather slow and could have been fast forwarded. But, it also worked by letting the reader know what kind of person Hazel was. I just love the way Ursu structured this story and how she brings in all the characters!

I loved Hazel. Maybe it was Ursu’s writing (okay, yes it was her writing) that brought out Hazel’s character to me. I could see this girl and all the creatures and people she met on her journey. I could see myself as Hazel at her age and all the awkwardness and horribleness of school. Ursu had such a vast number of characters who really stood out on their own and that’s something I loved about this book. One character didn’t have to be completely dependent on the actions of another character for their personality to shine.

Ursu has some of the best wiring I’ve seen for a re-telling. It’s a re-telling of a fairy tale so you expect it to have some sort of that mystical, lyrical writing prose to it and Ursu does it perfectly. I could see the setting through Hazel’s eyes with the RIGHT amount of descriptions. Ursu didn’t hoard me down with long descriptions that become confusing. She went straight to the point in a nice, flowing way.

Mystical, lyrical, and just beautiful, I loved Breadcrumbs and hope that you will give this fantastic middle grade a chance!

Overall: 5/5
Cover Comments: 5/5—LOOK AT IT GUYS!!! It’s so pretty and colorful and mystical. I would love to have the cover the size of the poster to hang in my room. AND it goes with the book!

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