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Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs

Scritto da Anne Ursu

Narrato da Kirby Heyborne


Breadcrumbs

Scritto da Anne Ursu

Narrato da Kirby Heyborne

valutazioni:
4/5 (46 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
7 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Sep 27, 2011
ISBN:
9780062128737
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descrizione

A stunning modern-day fairy tale from acclaimed author Anne Ursu

Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. But that was before he stopped talking to her and disappeared into a forest with a mysterious woman made of ice. Now it's up to Hazel to go in after him. 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.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Sep 27, 2011
ISBN:
9780062128737
Formato:
Audiolibro

Disponibile anche come...

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Informazioni sull'autore

Anne Ursu is the author of The Shadow Thieves, The Siren Song, and The Immortal Fire, all books in the Cronus Chronicles series. She has also written novels for adults. Anne teaches at Hamline University's Masters of Fine Arts in Writing for Children for Young Adults. She lives in Minneapolis with her son and cats.


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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    Beautifully written. I enjoyed the tie-ins to classic fairy tales and other stories. I loved finding references to books like A Wrinkle in Time and When You Reach Me. I am curious if most middle grade readers pick up on those clues, but that would be a great thing to discuss with them.
  • (5/5)
    Where do I begin? I feel as though anything I write about Breadcrumbs won't do it justice. That all the feelings that are wrapped up inside of me are entirely too large to fit into a review. Still, a review is the only way I know how to show my appreciation for this magical book, and so I'll do my best. I'll tell you now, if I could give this book a million star rating? I would. The entire time I was lost in Anne Ursu's brilliant story, I felt like I might be a bit enchanted myself. That feeling still hasn't gone away.

    The writing is exquisite. Ursu weaves her words into a world filled with crystalline white snow. A world filled with boring school days, vivid imaginations, rocky friendships and a web of magic that pulses underneath it all. I knew that this was a retelling of "The Snow Queen" from the synopsis. I thought I knew what to expect. I was wrong. This isn't just a retelling. Instead it is a gorgeous mesh of two parallel worlds. One is a world in which a little girl is looking for where she belongs. For how she is supposed to fit. Then there is another world where steeling yourself against the ice, where forging forward despite the odds, is the only way to survive. This story is many things, but most of all it's a story about growing up and trying to hang onto that piece of yourself that growing up threatens to take away.

    I cannot express enough how much I loved Hazel as a character. I've worked with kids for many years, and I know that it's tough to write a middle grade character who is as vibrant and layered as they are. Hazel is so very close to perfection in that respect. I believed I was in the mind of a fifth grader. I believed that Hazel was a real person with real thoughts and feelings. It's true that she is wise beyond her years, but I think I saw a little bit of myself in her. Reading and imagination go hand in hand. They take you magical places, and help you see the world in a new light. For Hazel, they show her that sometimes words are plastic flowers. That sometimes parents are just as lost as you are. Most of all, that sometimes the only thing you can do is push forward. Especially when your best friend needs you.

    If I don't stop here, I'll gush for ages. I really will. I loved everything about this book. I smiled, and I cried. I drank this down like a person who hasn't had anything to drink in years. There was something missing inside me, something that called me to read this book. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, this is the type of book that I want to read to my someday children. I would love to wrap myself up in its pages and live there forever. This book is pure magic, and it settles right into its rightful spot on my favorite books of all time.
  • (2/5)
    I was really disappointed with this book. When I picked it up I was expecting a modern retelling of "Hansel and Gretel," which I was looking forward to. Instead it was loosely based on "The Snow Queen" with references to a number of other Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, as well as books by Pullman and Rowling. This wasn't a bad thing, just not what I was expecting. What really annoyed me, however, was the heroine of the book, eleven year-old Hazel. In Part One, especially, I found her to be quite obnoxious. She was mopey, self-involved, obsessive and prone to too many fits of fantasy. To make matters worse, the plot was extremely sluggish in this part which made reading a burden. Part Two was a bit better, more excitement, but not enough to really keep me engaged. There were some beautifully written descriptions of the cold and snow throughout the book, but they didn't carry it, thus making it a real struggle to read. Aimed at middle and upper primary school students, I seriously doubt this book, with its 336 pages, will appeal to its intended audience.
  • (4/5)
    quick read for 8-12 yrs - lots of fairy tale themes in modern setting
  • (5/5)
    This was much more real than I was expecting - more brutal, and more like a real fairy tale. It's a children's book about suffering, and it's a fantasy story about friendship, and it's very, very good.
  • (5/5)
    This is Anne Ursu’s best book thus far!!! What a beautiful journey to the inner self of the two main characters and the fantastical world they have to overcome.
  • (5/5)
    As posted on Outside of a Dog:Snow fell to the ground outside while I read Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu. I took this to be a sign, a sign that something magical was happening. And it was. For books are magical things, good books, even more so. Books can take you away, move you to another planet, or another realm, or just across street…and into the woods. The woods are magical too, you see.Hazel and Jack have been friends since they were six years old. They shared their joy, the grief and their bountiful imaginations. Jack was Hazel’s lifeline in her new school, a school where imagination wasn’t appreciated and paying close attention was essential. With Jack, Hazel belonged. She fit in. Until one day, she didn’t. One day, after an accident on the playground, Jack stops wanting to hang around with Hazel, and she doesn’t know why. Then Jack does the worst thing of all. He disappears. He’s been taken by the white witch (which Narnia got from her, by the way), and it’s up to Hazel to get him back. This takes Hazel on a journey into the magical woods, which tests her heart and her head. Will she have the courage to do what is needed to get Jack back, and will Jack ever be the same best friend he was again?Ursu’s Breadcrumbs is based upon Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen”, but it owes a debt to many other works as well. Normally, I don’t like it when books are too referential to contemporary works (it can badly date them; see: The Princess Diaries), but in Ursu’s world, it only adds to the magic. Among the works referenced are the Harry Potter series, The Golden Compass, the aforementioned works of Narnia, Coraline, When You Reach Me, The Phantom Tollbooth and others. What this does is give credence to Hazel’s knowledge of how stories should go. When Jack’s friend says he saw Jack being taken away by a woman in white, Hazel knows what this means. Her knowledge of the tenets of fantasy saves her in the woods (as does some sheer dumb luck).As pointed out by Fuse 8’s Betsy Bird, “The Snow Queen” is a great metaphor for puberty. (Breadcrumbs is actually the second time I’ve seen this story used in such a capacity this past year, the first being Catherine Breillat’s film, The Sleeping Beauty). Boy and girl are friends, boy and girl grow up, and the friendship changes. Thankfully, Hazel is the kind of character who isn’t going to let this slide, isn’t going to let her best friend disappear without a fight. She’s a little bit lost and uncertain, but much stronger than she knows. She rightfully takes her place among the fantasy heroes and heroines she admires so much, just as Breadcrumbs should and will take its place among the books that inspired it.
  • (4/5)
    Interesting story about two friends who are separated and one's journey to save the other. The story combines elements of fairy tales with Narnia. I enjoyed the book and passed it on to my 13 year old who also like the book. Great for 5th grade and up (may be a bit scary for younger kids).
  • (4/5)
    Lovely and magical. Just added this to the school library; glad I did. It'll be the right book for thoughtful fantasy readers.

    It took me a little bit to realize all that lots of Andersen's fairy tales were making an appearance, not just The Snow Queen. I spotted The Red Shoes and The Little Match Girl, too. The ending I found to be a bit flat--the end of The Snow Queen is so lovely; I can't see what Ursu was rushing for. I was also a little wistful for the little Robber Girl and the talking reindeer!

    Hazel seems very grown up in her understanding of how emotions work--for example, she thinks to herself that the girl dancing in red shoes looks tired, and then wonders if she herself is "just projecting." Do fifth graders really think like that? Hazel also has a pretty deep knowledge of why her mother talks and acts as she does. And...have to say this, as a teacher...books which portray not a single adult in school scenes who is really a sympathetic character make me sad. It seems to hold out so little hope--I just don't believe the school exists where no one at all can make a connection with a needy child.

    Some of the language made me smile--lots of Hazel's internal dialog, for example. And I laughed out loud at the description of Hazel's mother driving their little car "like it was an emotionally unstable bear" through the bad weather.
  • (3/5)
    I should not have checked this book out of the library at all because I never did like the Snow Queen story. The book did nothing to redeem the original. Everyone has so many problems that there's very little room left for fantasy. I'm guessing that this will appeal to kids who like their books to be quite realistic -- but isn't that kind of kid unlikely to pick up a fantasy?
  • (4/5)
    I greatly enjoyed this story to no end, but at a very whimsical level. I really liked how Ursu used the texturing of her descriptions. The part I didn't really care to much for was Hazel's school, and the racism that was portrayed. This a bothered me a bit, and I'm noticing a trend in newer books that are using fairy tale characters/retellings.
    I think personally what hit the most was Jack's mother, and her depression issues. Not very often have I come across such a raw and honest response of what you would tell your child when you're explaining mental issues about friends and loved ones.
    Characters that made this book were: the wolves, the Fates, Ben, and the Little Matchstick Girl.
    Would I read it again? Most definitely.
  • (5/5)
    A great retelling of the Snow Queen, with 21st century school drama and dysfunctional families galore. Hazel is a very "normal" girl, with normal worries and regular irritations in her daily life, with plenty of balancing between what she wants to do and what is expected of her. She is also a bit of a weirdo, with her obsession with monsters and dragons and robots and, well, her best friend, Jack.

    There are no surprises here: Jack leaves with the Snow Queen, she even offers him Turkish Delights, and of course, Hazel goes after him. But the surprise is in the way it is told and in the way it happens so outwardly uneventfully. There isn't a lot of action here, unless you consider slowly dragging oneself across the snow action packed. But there is a lot going on in the world of Hazel and the Snow Queen, and not all of it is on the outside.

    Beautifully written and well-executed, the plots moves along well and the story captures the imagination. It is rare to find a retelling that is so well adapted.
  • (4/5)
    Hazel and her best friend Jack live in a world of fantasy and story-telling. After her father leaves, Hazel and her mother move to a new town where Hazel is finding it hard to make friends, except for her best friend and neighbour Jack. When Jack injures his eye in a snowball fight a drastic change takes place in their relationship. Concerned that Jack is no longer talking to her, Hazel sets out on a quest to save Jack from a mysterious women who kidnaps him and takes him into the forest. A found this story to be captivating enough to hold my attention but a bit disjointed in that you were bounced between the fantasy and reality aspects of the tale.
  • (3/5)
    This was not my thing. It was a depressing fantasy that was clearly an allegory for growing up, and I just felt bummed pretty much the whole time I was reading it.
  • (5/5)
    Hazel is having a difficult year. Her father has left their family, and now there is not enough money for Hazel to go to the private school where her creativity was valued and nurtured. Now, Hazel is in a different school, where there are many more rules and lines and tests and busywork and bullies, and all of a sudden she is not special and creative, she is a problem student, troubled and difficult. But at least Hazel has Jack, her best friend and next-door neighbor. Then, in the space of one day, Hazel's friendship with Jack changes. Suddenly he is mean to her, acting as if she doesn't exist, or worse, as if he sees her as just a pest and a bother. Everyone tells Hazel that these things happen as people grow up, but she can't accept it. Not in regards to her friendship with Jack. And then Jack disappears completely. One of his friends admits to Hazel that he saw Jack go into the forest with a mysterious woman in white, in a sleigh pulled by snow-white wolves -- a story completely at odds with Jack's parents' vague report that Jack went to visit a relative. When Hazel ventures into the woods herself, she finds that she is on a quest in a place that is somehow not just a patch of woods near the suburbs. The forest is populated by fairy tale creatures, woodsmen and wolves and all sorts of magic. And to the north there is a witch in a palace of ice -- but she only takes those who go with her willingly. Jack would never do that, Hazel argues . . . but how well does she know this new, cold-hearted Jack? Can she save him? Does Jack even want to be saved?I'm a sucker for fairy tale retellings, and this one combines so many lovely stories, both the familiar and the less-familiar, that I couldn't help but adore it. The basic framework is The Snow Queen, of course, but there are lots of other elements of both Grimm and Andersen mixed in, and Hazel frequently references herr own favorite books, so there are glimmers of Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter and Narnia and even a nod to When You Reach Me, among many others. Hazel is a character who really touched my heart; her troubles at school mirrored some of my own experience, and I wish I could have read this book when I was Hazel's age. The writing is lovely, the pacing and plotting is excellent, and all in all, I think I can count this as one of my new favorites, a book I will return to again and again.
  • (3/5)
    While this type of story does not fall within my usual interests, I read it because it was recommended by a friend, and because my daughter read it in 4th grade and really liked it. The author expertly interweaves many traditional fairy tales with the story of Hazel and her best friend Jack. The story is of Hazel's journey into a dark and mysterious wood to rescue Jack from the White Witch (yes, directly from Narnia). SPOILER ALERT: What I like about this book is Hazel's ability to stand strong against temptation (unlike the traditional characters in the many fairy tales represented in this book), persevere in the face of defeat, and be the girl who rescues the prince. I also appreciate that, although the story has a successful ending (rescue accomplished), it does not necessarily imply a "happily ever after ending," because Hazel and Jack live in a real world, not a fairy tale land. My one complaint about the book is a subplot that is never resolved; Jack's mother is depressed, but the author never reveals why. This may leave some children wondering what's wrong with her. Despite this, I would highly recommend this book to all young girls (regardless of whether they know their fairy tales) and their parents and teachers. It's still not my type of story, but its value extends well beyond my personal tastes.
  • (4/5)
    This story for young readers was inspired by Hans Christian Anderson's "The Snow Queen." It tells the tale of two best friends, Hazel and Jack, who spend most of their time together. Then one day, Jack accidentally acquired a shard of glass from a magical mirror when it fell into his eye. Suddenly, Jack stops talking to Hazel and refuses to spend time with her. Later, as Jack is sledding, he is greeted by the white witch who sweet talks him into coming with her into the woods. Hazel becomes concerned when Jack doesn't show up to school. She is told by one of Jack's friends who oversaw what happened to him, that he went into the woods with some snow woman and hasn't returned. It is then that Hazel decides to go into the woods by herself to save Jack from the white witch. Along the way she runs into many mystical creatures and trials that she must overcome. In the end, she finds Jack and they both return home as friends. Personal Reflection: I enjoyed this book. It's more for young experienced readers since it's a chapter book with mostly words. I particularly like how the plot balances the real world with a fantasy world. This makes the story more interesting and believable. I can see many children relating to the friendship in this story. Extensions: 1. In the book, there is a section where the teacher asks the students to draw/paint a made up place of their own. For an activity, hand out paper and color utensils, then allow the children to create a made up place of their own. Have them describe what their place is, where it's located and any other interesting things about it. 2. This book's setting takes place during winter. Consider reading this book during winter and discussing winter activities that happen in the book, such as sledding and snow ball fights. 3. Have a 'friend day' where friends get to do activities together throughout the day.
  • (5/5)
    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.
  • (4/5)
    In Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu, ten year old fifth graders Hazel and Jack are best friends, they live next door to each other and spend a lot of their time playing games of make-believe and magic. Hazel feels that Jack is the only one who truly understands her, most everyone else wants her to grow up, be mature and act a certain way. But this is a world where magic can be all-too real and when Jack gets a piece of a magic mirror in his eye, he turns away from Hazel. Then Jack gets spirited away by an icy lady in a sled pulled by white wolves and Hazel knows it’s up to her to find him and bring him home.This children’s story is about using one’s imagination, the power of fantasy and how growing up and fitting it is as much a choice as it is something that just happens. The story is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen but set in modern day Minneapolis. Aimed at children in the 9 to 12 age group, Breadcrumbs does have a depth to it that appeals to adults. Both Hazel and Jack have real life problems, Hazel with coming to terms with her parents’ divorce and fitting in at a new school while Jack is dealing with his Mother’s depression. By adding magic and adventure to her story the author brings danger, fear and wonder into the story.Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu is definitely a children’s story, but it is lyrically written and full of imagery that an adult will appreciate. I did, however, find it a little strange at how the novel was divided into two quite different parts, one very contemporary while the second half was much more magical.
  • (3/5)
    Hazel and Jack have been best friends forever. When others didn’t understand or accept Hazel, Jack was always there for her. They just fit. That was until one day, without warning, when Jack seems to suddenly change over night.

    Hazel’s mom tries to convince her that this is normal for kids their age. By fifth grade, boys and girls sometimes find that it’s hard to remain friends. Her mom encourages her to make a new friend, but Hazel knows that whatever is wrong with Jack, it isn’t that simple.

    As it turns out, Jack’s heart has been frozen by a shard of magical glass and he has been taken into the woods by the White Witch. But is he being kept against his will, or is he there by choice? Hazel knows that she has to go after Jack.

    I’m not sure what to think of Breadcrumbs. I have to say it wasn’t really a favorite of mine, but I seem to be in the minority. Most every review I read of this book was positive…even glowing. So if you like books that are part coming-of-age story, part fairy tale and part adventure, give Anne Ursu’s version of The Snow Queen a try and let me know what you think.
  • (4/5)
    Breadcrumbs is a charming and enchanting new novel by Anne Ursu. Billed as Middle Grade fiction, the lyrical writing and interesting mix of fantasy and reality will appeal to Young Adult and Adult readers alike.

    Breadcrumbs is an emotional journey that follows Hazel as she navigates a dangerously magical forest on her quest to reach the Snow Queen's lair and rescue her best friend Jack. One of the many things I enjoyed about Breadcrumbs is that it evoked such nostalgic memories of my own childhood. There is an almost natural separation that happens in boy/girl friendships at a certain age and Ursu highlights this with such poignancy that it is beautiful to read.

    Hazel shone as the main character and her courage, loyalty, and fortitude were inspiring. I loved her whimsical nature, her willingness to trust her intuition as she faced some terrifying challenges and persevered through seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The way her character evolved throughout the story was wonderful. The quest that Hazel undertook was as much about self discovery as it was about the strength of friendship and Hazel learned something valuable with each step of the journey.

    Within the story, there were nods to many other popular children’s tales such as Harry Potter and Narnia and of course, the Snow Queen which inspired this novel. These mentions made sense in the context of the story and I don't feel that they were overused at all.

    This was an emotional and whimsical modern fairy tale with overtones of melancholy and nostalgia. This is one of those reads that stays with you long after turning the last page, a modern day classic. I would recommend this to readers of all ages and would go so far as to say that you will be missing out if you don’t have a copy of this on your shelf.
  • (4/5)
    ‘There are things you do not notice until they are gone. Like the certainty that your body is a single whole, that there’s something keeping you from breaking into pieces and scattering with the winds.’In this modern-day version of The Snow Queen, Hazel undergoes a journey in hopes of finding her best friend Jack after he disappeared when a mysterious piece of glass falls into his eye. Hazel has always felt like an outcast because she’s adopted and her parents recent split up causes her to have to attend a new school. The only upside of this new school is Jack, the only one that ever seems to truly understand Hazel and when he’s last seen walking into the woods with a woman dressed in white, his absence is palpable.In The Snow Queen, there is a woman dressed in white that rides a sled which is clearly the inspiration behind Jadis, the White Witch from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The cultural references don’t stop there though seeing as Hazel is such an avid reader and their stories have become etched into her mind. Hogwarts is referenced as well as The Wizard of Oz, The Golden Compass, A Wrinkle in Time, Coraline, Alice in Wonderland, The Phantom Tollbooth and more than likely a few others I didn’t catch. The first few were fun little additions but as they continued they really managed to divert my attention away from the magic of the actual story.Hazel is still at the age where she views the world through the lens of her imagination, a time when life was much simpler. Narnia and Hogwarts are as real to her as anything else, unfortunately everyone around her seems to be growing up and leaving her alone within her imagination. Hazel was such a kind-hearted soul that had difficulty understanding how she could be so different and why that was necessarily such a bad thing. It’s impossible not to have the utmost sympathy for this poor girl. This self-exploratory adventure, that muddies the difference between fantasy and reality, in finding her inner strength to be happy and content with who she is was an adventure you felt you were personally undertaking right along with her.
  • (5/5)
    "What if I told you that there was a place where there are extraordinary things, things with great power, things that would give you your heart's desire, things much bigger than this small, small world?" What an exceptionally endearing and heartfelt story that teaches people of all ages that the choices we make are ours alone and the value of friendship and doing what we know is and feels right. It takes us on an abiding journey of losing oneself and having people who truly care and love you, flaws and all, and are willing to go to the end of the earth and back to keep you planted.If you have been looking for that one special book to share with your child, or just curl up on the couch with, let this be the one. Your children will learn some of life's hardest lessons through this magical world and want to share it with others.“Breadcrumbs” would make a great gift for a classroom, for a friend needing a pick-me-up, or just as an addition to your own personal library. You'll love it as much as I did. I promise.
  • (5/5)
    Such a beautiful story. I know others have commented that they thought the action dragged a bit in the middle, but I found the pacing spot-on. Hazel is one of my favorite new protagonists-- dreamy and vulnerable and prickly. When her best friend Jack goes off with the white witch after a shard of magic mirror lands in his eye and travels to his heart, Hazel knows she must go after him. Hazel is a well-read heroine, but finds that trying to figure out what the characters in A Wrinkle in Time, Narnia, and other favorites would do in her place doesn't really work, and she has to rescue her friend in her own determined and imperfect way. Ursu's use of language and her gift for dialogue are truly magical things.
  • (4/5)
    Wendy recommended this one to me, and it's rare that a Wendy recommendation doesn't knock me out with either its goodness or its awfulness. This one, though, this one crawled into parts of me my conscious mind has no access to and stirred. I was entirely uncomfortable, scratchy and thick the whole time I was reading it. There were echoes and reverberations. I mostly think I hated it except it won't leave me alone, so I guess I didn't hate it exactly.

    There's not much about this book I can talk about coherently. I can say that I loved the literary allusions throughout. And the snow was done very well. The uncle, I liked the uncle. The rest of it? The rest of it is stomping around in my subconscious, doing god only knows what.

    Stars? What have stars to do with this? Oh, hell, I dunno. 4? Okay. 4.

  • (3/5)
    This seemed paced a little weirdly to me. I loved all the allusions to other works of literature. I thought the language was strong in places but some of the similes pulled me out of the story - comparing driving their old car to "driving an emotionally unstable bear" really didn't work for me, but I loved the description of cars inching along after a blizzard as "[creeping] along like scared animals." The fact that Hazel is both adopted and of Middle Eastern/Indian descent informs her identity, but I thought it was nice that the plot wasn't particularly informed by that except for adding to Hazel's feelings of being outside of the norm. While this is a solid book and one I would recommend to kids (at least those who don't need their books to be particularly fast-paced), I think the uneveness keeps it from achieving excellence. Still, I'm glad I read it and definitely enjoyed it.
  • (5/5)
    The quick way to describe [Breadcrumbs], by [Anne Ursa], is to say it is a retelling of the Snow Queen fairy tale set in contemporary times. But it’s also a book about loss, about how things change and something we took for granted is gone for good and how that affects us. Hazel and Jack live next door and have been best friends for a long time. Due to her parents separation & the resulting financial strain, Hazel now attends the same school as Jack, where conformity rather than creativity is valued, and Hazel is having trouble adjusting. Jack’s family too has its problems. Jack’s father is doing it all since, although she’s still physically living with them, his mother is absent. This affects Jack more than I as a reader realized at first. It is what makes him susceptible to an accidental injury Hazel inflicts on him on the playground, and makes the Snow Queen’s invitation attractive.That’s the first half of the book. The second half is Hazel’s discovery that things are not as simple and clear cut as they seem, since it’s one of Jack’s despised-by-Hazel male friends who recognizes Jack is missing & approaches Hazel with information about where he went. This discovery continues as Hazel travels into the woods in search of her friend. While there she encounters other people (and creatures) and learns, among other hard things, that the people who go to live with the Snow Queen go because they want to, and that the queen holds no one prisoner. Hazel also has to listen and pay attention, because no one she meets in the wood is as they seem (or as they present themselves). This experience teaches her to look at herself and her relationships with others more closely as well. I won’t tell you what happens when Hazel finally makes her way to the Snow Queen’s palace and finds Jack, but I will say that I found the ending satisfying.
  • (3/5)
    Not one of my favorite stories as friends Hazel and Jack since childhood start to drift apart.
  • (3/5)
    Very strange book. I liked the overall plot well enough, but it's a plot as old as time, which is sort of what the book was about if that makes any sense whatsoever. The main character, Hazel, is a reader and makes SO many allusions to other stories (from Narnia and Wrinkle in Time to Coraline and The Wizard of Oz) which is sometimes fun but other times very distracting. If you haven't read every book she has read you'll just be left in the dust. I understand the idea of retelling fairy tales, but the author takes SO many different tales and throws them all together that there's not much to discover in this book. There was one touching moment near the end, but it was brief. I liked the characters, but that just wasn't enough to carry this book for me.
  • (5/5)
    An extraordinary story, exquisitely told. A wondrous re-imagining of Andersen's Snow Queen that is both worthy of the original and a completely unique offering. Richly rewarding on many levels: as fairy tale, as bildungsroman, as literary guide to many classic works. The most perfect book I've read in a very, very long time.