Friday, November 30, 2012

Book review: Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews. Linking up with Blonde... Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday.

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.

I didn't love this book. And here's why:

1. It took way too long to get interesting. If I didn't have it on audio (and if it wasn't the only one that had been loaded onto my phone) I probably would have put it down with a bookmark and not reopened it and then realized it was due and said oh well. Seriously, I didn't really get interested until Chapter 15. Fifteen! Out of 25! That's way too late. Especially since it's billed as a fairy tale, but all those fifteen chapters mostly focus on Hazel's life at home.

2. The best characters in the whole book only have one scene, maybe two. And there's a few other things like this -- things that could have been so much more if the author had pushed a little. Instead, she mentioned them and moved on.

3. Hazel was too thick headed, I think. There were a few times she walked into something, even having been warned, and I was like, what are you doing?

I think those are the top three. I didn't hate the book. It was just all right, though.

Although you all know I love books written for a younger audience, it's possible I was just too old for this and/or too much of a writer myself to enjoy it. (Sometimes I get too wrapped up in the mechanics of the story -- the writer makes me see what's supposed to be happening backstage, makes me look up -- any other writers get that?)

Anyway. It's all right. But certainly not my favorite read of the year.

Anyone read Breadcrumbs? I'd love to hear what you think!


Katrin said...

Hmm, I haven't read it. The story sounds interesting but it seems like it is not that great. Might check it out someday. Thanks for the review!

Mrs. K said...

I typically like stories for the younger audience, too but I hate a book I can't get into. It's no fun making yourself read or finish something that doesn't interest you. Thanks for sharing!

Amy said...

I'm glad to hear your review, because the good reads description sounds really interesting, but knowing that it isn't that good...definitely won't waste my time! :)


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