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Heartless Lyn @ Great Imaginations

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost"


Breadcrumbs - With a cover that beautiful, I wasn't expecting the story hold this much beauty."Breadcrumbs" is a wonderful new telling of "The Snow Queen" by Hans Christian Andersen, peppered with other stories, such as "A Wrinkle in Time", "Harry Potter", "Alice in Wonderland", Tolkien, and a number of fairytale elements and other Andersen stories (The Little Match Girl, and, to my surprise, I was overjoyed to see the girl ask for kroners for payment).The first part of the book is a glimpse into the fractured life of the adopted Indian girl, Hazel Anderson. Her various relationships with her parents, her friends, and her school hint that Hazel has undergone some sudden hardships in her life. She is missing a parent, pulled out of her school and relocated to a public elementary school setting, where her talents begin to be seen as a hindrance. Her one beacon of hope is that her best friend, Jack, is a constant amongst the turmoil surrounding her and her life. However, Jack has his own plate full, dealing with a severely depressed mother and a distant father. The next part is a Labyrinth-type adventure into the land of fantasy when Hazel sets out to rescue Jack from the Snow Queen. It is shocking to see Hazel's adventures into the Woods. What might be seen as an adventure exploring the various elements of fantasy fiction is also a wonderful metaphor for the stages of grief (denial, guilt/anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance). Both of the main characters share the same aspect of tragedy, and Hazel's decent into the Woods (Grief) reflects the 5 stages. Throughout her journey, the reader watches as she travels through each stage, and finally, reaching her friend and saving him from the "winter of depression." It might sound cheesy, but after suffering a person loss in my own life, it was easy to see why the author divided her book into reality (part one) and then fantasy (part two). I wish the second part of the book was as thorough as the first part of the book. I felt that the fantasy world that Ursu created needed more attention, and the story felt rushed towards the end. I was also wishing for some epic battle at the end, but looking back over my comparison to grief, I can see why Hazel took the course she chose. I might need to research the book again, but I thought that someone had mentioned something about an "accident" in Jack's family, which never came to light. For some reason, I was also confused and thought that Hazel's father and Jack's mother had a connection, but that could have been my own delving.Overall, this fantasy book is a wonderful and colorful story about friendship and love, mixed with some wonderful elements of other classical tales and books.