Audiobook CD - 2011 | [Library ed.]
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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, Jack just stopped talking to Hazel. And while her mom tried to tell her that this sometimes happens to friends at this age, Hazel has read enough stories to know that it's never that simple. And it turns out she was right. Jack's heart has 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.
Publisher: [New York] : Books on Tape/Listening Library, p2011.
Edition: [Library ed.]
ISBN: 9780449014004
Branch Call Number: URSU
Characteristics: 7 sound discs (7 hr., 47 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.


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Feb 01, 2018

I agree with the previous reviewer. This is definitely a fairytale for middle-schoolers, teens, and adults. It is beautifully written with lovely turns of phrase and wry winks to both classic and modern fairytales as well as pop culture.
I found Hazel to be a captivating protagonist and thought the author did an excellent job of portraying the social dynamics of middle-school-aged children.
The blending of reality and fantasy was just right and believable. I have but two complaints that I will try to give without spoilers:
1) There is a plot device (and maybe two) that to me is left too open-ended. I would have liked to have had it woven back into the story. Perhaps there will be a sequel that does this.
2) I felt the ending was abrupt. I would have liked another short chapter or an epilogue, but again, perhaps there will be a second book that picks up where this one ends. The ending is satisfying enough that it does not disappoint. The book does stand alone and is not an obvious "you now must buy the next book" tease.
If you are an adult who still loves fairytales, but does not want gore/graphic violence or sex, this book is for you. I will definitely read more from this author.

Jun 23, 2015

As a rabid fan of the fairytale The Snow Queen, Breadcrumbs has been on my TBR list since Fairytale Fortnight 2014. And I am so, so glad I finally got around to reading it!

Breadcrumbs is probably marketed to the middle grade or YA genre, because the narrator is 12-year-old Hazel, and it deals with friendship. But believe me when I say, this is an adult book as much as a kid's book- not because it deals with adult themes, but because it's so very poignant for anyone who has been through childhood. We grow up and go on, but this reminder about childhood belief, best friendship, and self-identity is bittersweet (from an adult perspective).

The story itself is very much The Snow Queen, set in contemporary times but with magical realism. It references an amazingly large amount of other fairytales, without losing the thread of the story at all. And I don't just mean somebody shows up with magical shoes- Hazel sees that dark underbelly of fairytales, and she gets it (without rationalizing it) and comes to her own conclusions.

I loved the utter focus on friendship (and, consequently, Hazel discovering her own strengths, even though she doesn't yet realize it, and growing away from her dreamy youth into the reality of a pre-teen). There is no romance in this book: it's friendship. And that made me so sad, because it reminded me keenly about that age, and having a male best friend, and the social pressures that tore us apart (that tear all kid friendships apart, to a point). You don't get a happily-ever-after, either. You get a conclusion, and a bit of hope, but the story pulls zero punches about the sad reality that you can't make things the way they used to can only make them different than how they are now.

If you couldn't tell already, I loved everything about this story. I highly recommend it, especially to fans of respectfully-told, poignant growing up stories; fairytales and fairytale retellings; honest remembrances of childhood; strong female protagonists; anyone that enjoys YA in general.

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