Book Review: Breadcrumbs

Book Review: BreadcrumbsBreadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
Published by Walden Pond Press on September 27th 2011
Pages: 313

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.

Cover love. Period. End of story. Well, ok, the fact that it is based on The Snow Queen didn't hurt either.
Breadcrumbs… oh, how I wish I could write a song to your beauty. I have never really been a fan of middle grade type novels. The characters often are hard to relate to. Sometimes, they are annoying or not my cup of tea.
Anne Ursu, you have forever changed my opinion of middle grade books. Or at least spoiled me.
Hazel, our MC, was perfect. Not the perfect fit. Not the girl who just runs with the crowd. This girl dances to her own tune. And I loved her for it. For her awkwardness. Her imagination. For most of the novel, I just wanted to jump in and give her a hug. Tell her I understand what it means not to fit. It was like I was reading about my own childhood. Gosh, it was painful to read sometimes. But I loved it at the same time.
Breadcrumbs is like a cup of hot cocoa. It warms you body and soul. Making you want to believe in magic. Believe in the beauty of a snowy day. The snowflakes falling. Each with their own personality. Ursu gives you this imagery. Makes it come to life. Completely transporting me into this tale. Words cannot give justice to the amazement I felt after reading this book. I loved every moment of it. And will be looking forward to more from this gifted author.
Final Verdict:
Breadcrumbs has earned a special place on my bookcase and in my heart. Ursu completely left me speechless with the beauty of this book. It has been so long since a book has filled me with the amazement that Breadcrumbs did. It was like looking at the world in a totally different way. Bravo, Ursu!
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