Disclosure: I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program.
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
From the back of the book: 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 Andersons’ “The Snow Queen,” Breadcrumbs is the story of the struggle to hold on and the things we leave behind.
What I liked about the book: First I have to say that I just hate it when I read a book that everyone else just raves about and I’m left confused as to why they raved about it. I wanted to love this book, but I didn’t. I did like that it was based on a fairy tale. That is one of my favorite genres and my students like those stories as well. Ursu did an excellent job creating the cold world of the forest. I swear I was chilly while reading the book and it had nothing to do with living in Colorado at the beginning of winter.
What I didn’t like about the book: The pacing was too slow. Jack’s character was too flat and Hazel’s character was a little under done. I felt that Ursu was trying to deliver a message that ended up being hidden under all the half hearted references to famous fairy tales. Other reviewers who didn’t like this book justified their dislike by stating that they were not the intended audience. Some felt that the book was meant for teens others for middle grades. I can’t use that justification. I often read books that “are not intended” for me. I’m a school librarian – it’s part of my job to read books that were not intended for me. I’m not sure the intended audience for this book will enjoy it either. However, since I did purchase it for my school library I will have a chance to see what my students think.
The story does have potential and students who enjoy fairy tale references MIGHT find this book interesting. We’ll see.