Back with another review of a lovely book....
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
Okay, so you guys know how much I LOVE fairytale re-tellings, right? Because I do. SO MUCH. And recently I've been hearing about Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen", thanks to Jackson Pearce. Sounded pretty awesome to me, so when I saw this book on the tour site, I signed up IMMEDIATELY. Also: how GORGEOUS is that cover? I absolutely love it.
Anyway, I was eagerly awaiting my turn in the tour. When I got it, I was looking through it and realized...it's a middle grade book. I had no idea. Maybe if I took a closer look at the cover, instead of being blinded by its gorgeousness, I would have realized. I was expecting it to be a young adult book, and since middle grade books haven't been too good to me lately, I was disappointed.
Then I read it.
I fell in love with this book, as soon as I started reading it. The writing is clever and funny, and so, so honest. Also, incredibly creative! I can't even describe it better than that. You just have to read it. Also, I loved how it was very modern--references to stories like Harry Potter, Narnia, and Coraline made me grin.
Hazel is a fantastic main character. I absolutely loved her. She was brave, funny, honest and, at the same time, just a regular kid. She was in command of this story--it was told like she was telling it, though it's third-person. Just a few chapters into the book, and I felt like I'd known her forever. The innocent way she thought about being adopted and her parents being divorced, et cetera, was incredibly touching. Yet, some of the best parts of the book were when we took the spotlight off of Hazel. The parts with Jack and the Queen...the stories of the people Hazel met on her journey to save her best friend...they were all so incredible. I actually read parts aloud to my older sister, and she agreed.
Speaking of, Breadcrumbs is the perfect read-aloud story. Honestly, if I am ever able to grab a final copy of this book, I will actually read it aloud to my little brothers and sister before bed. It's that kind of story. The only thing is that there are quite a few SAT level words that even I barely knew, LOL. I think the eleven or ten year-olds might need to keep a dictionary handy...Other than that, this book is wonderful for all ages.
The only problem I had with Breadcrumbs was that for a fairytale re-telling, it felt like the actually fairytale part didn't start until the last half of the book. Not that I minded, because even though the first half of the book focused on Hazel and her relationship with Jack and her mother, I really loved reading it. Still, it was sort of weird.
Overall, this book was fantastic. A great story to read to your siblings or kids, with a brave main character and a sweet ending. (It sort of reminded me of the May Bird and the Everafter series by Jodi Lynn Anderson....) It was beautiful, incredible and everything in between. I'm not sure how similar this book is to the original fairy-tale, but clearly, I need to read it. Highly recommended.
Breadcrumbs is out now.