Review: Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

From Hicklebee’s A stunning modern-day fairy tale from acclaimed author Anne Ursu.

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 Andersen’s “The Snow Queen,” Breadcrumbs is a story of the struggle to hold on, and the things we leave behind.

Breadcrumbs is heartbreakingly beautiful. Ursu took one of my most favorite fairy tales and made it her own by adding themes that a lot of today’s children deal with. Hazel is adopted, she has brown skin and her parents have white skin. Her father left, and now it is just her mom and her trying to survive. Hazel had to stop going to her private school and enroll in the local middle school where she is bullied for being entirely too different. Her only friend is Jack, when he changes and stops being nice to her Hazel is shattered, when he disappears completely Hazel is devastated. She does what any heroine would, she sets off to find Jack and set her whole world back to right, because with her dad leaving and not paying for her school or dance lessons and Jack not speaking to her nothing is right.

Jack has his reasons for leaving. His mother is severely depressed and it has been hard on him. Hazel moved to his school instead of going to her private one and now all the boys in his grade give him a hard time for being the friend of the weirdo. He is always walking on eggshells at home and in school. When a piece of an enchanted mirror flies into his eye and a beautiful woman in white offers to whisk him away he agrees to go. He is so over everything.

In the woods on her quest to find Jack, Hazel learns a lot about life, love, right and wrong. She learns that you can’t always trust the things you think you should, and sometimes you have to trust the things you shouldn’t. She learns that taking control of her own situation is empowering and she has to go for what she wants in life.

Hazel is a strong role model, a good girl and a fabulous protagonist. I loved every minute I spent reading Breadcrumbs and I can’t wait to see what Ursu does next.

Please be sure to check my guest post with Anne for original art and more, and also Walden Pond Press is letting me host a giveaway of Breadcrumbs as well.

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Review: Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber

Beware of a kiss under the full moon. It will change your life forever.

Celeste Parker is used to hearing scary stories about werewolves—Legend’s Run is famous for them. She’s used to everything in the small town until Brandon Maddox moves to Legend’s Run and Celeste finds herself immediately drawn to the handsome new student. But when, after an unnerving visit with a psychic, she encounters a pack of wolves and gorgeous, enigmatic Brandon, she must discover whether his transformation is more than legend or just a trick of the shadows in the moonlight.

Her best friends may never forgive her if she gives up her perfect boyfriend, Nash, for Brandon, who’s from the wrong side of town. But she can’t deny her attraction or the strong pull he has on her. Brandon may be Celeste’s hero, or he may be the most dangerous creature she could encounter in the woods of Legend’s Run.

Psychic predictions, generations-old secrets, a town divided, and the possibility of falling in love with a hot and heroic werewolf are the perfect formula for what happens . . . once in a full moon.

Possibly the most disappointing read I have ever had from my favorite imprint which is Harper Teen. Ellen Schreiber managed to illustrate possibly everything that is wrong in the YA market in the pages of this one book. The characters were neither well thought out or executed well, the ‘legend’ was generic and not interesting at all and the love triangle angle is getting a bit more than stale.

Spoilers be ahead:
Celeste is your average popular girl, dating the hot guy who pays her no attention, two besties and dreams of writing books, scribbling in a journal like all the cool characters need to do now. There is an East Side and West Side to the town and never the twain shall meet so when Celeste sees a hot West Sider she decides that she def. can’t risk her coolness factor on him.
She decides to do a school paper on werewolves and goes to a psychic in the West Side who gives her some boring doom prophecy about snow, wolves, and kissing under a full moon. Like all dumbass heroine’s she does all the things the prophecy says not to and turns poor West Side boy she is dating but not in front of her friends because that would be too embarrassing into a werewolf. So he has to be all ‘no don’t come near me I might hurt you” and she has to be all ‘but I haz to I lurve you but only when my friends aren’t looking’ through half of the damn book.
The prophecy comes to a head when Celeste who hangs out at the old folks home realizes that her wolf boy is actually a descendent of one of her old folks who’s grandpa was the first werewolf of the town and guess what!? The wolf gene runs in his veins DUN DUN DUN.
In the end she kisses him in the woods and super hot athlete boy sees it and runs away and she’s all like whatevs and I am guessing that will be setting up for the next book.
I have never read a book that had such a poor story line, sickening characters and such unbelievable teens. Oh wait I have it started with a T and ends in light…

FTC Disclosure: I downloaded this book from Netgalley.

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Review: Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin

Goodreads: Avery Hood is reeling from the loss of her parents–and the fact that she can’t remember what happened to them even though she was there.

She’s struggling to adjust to life without them, and to living with her grandmother, when she meets Ben, who isn’t like any guy she’s ever met before.

It turns out there’s a reason why, and Ben’s secret may hold the …more Avery Hood is reeling from the loss of her parents–and the fact that she can’t remember what happened to them even though she was there.

She’s struggling to adjust to life without them, and to living with her grandmother, when she meets Ben, who isn’t like any guy she’s ever met before.

It turns out there’s a reason why, and Ben’s secret may hold the key to Avery finding out what happened to her parents…

But what if that secret changes everything she knows about–and feels for–Ben?

I am a bit late with my review of Low Red Moon, I was supposed to have this up on the 13th so please do accept my apologies.

I read Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin in the space of a few hours. I was caught up in the story and Avery’s reactions to everything. I loved the fact that the heart of the forest chose to speak through Avery and she chose to allow it. Low Red Moon isn’t full of paranormal suspense. It is more like a diary of what Avery herself can see and understand.

Avery wakes up with a deputy in a pool of blood. It takes her a while to realize the blood is from her parents and they are dead. She is only seventeen so she has to move in with her Grandmother Renee while the murder is investigated. Avery doesn’t know her grandmother well, her dad was peeved at her a lot due to the fact that Renee wanted more for him than living in that town and writing at the Podunk paper.

Devlin paints a love story inside Low Red Moon and most of my reading focused on the story of Avery and Ben. When she finds out Ben is a wolf and could be a suspect for the murder of her parents she puts that past her and tries to trust and love him.

This book isn’t like your run of the mill paranormal. With the paranormal bits thrown few and far between on the pages it can seem a cross from para to contemp at any given page.

If you like Holly Black’s Modern Faerie series you will love Low Red Moon.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from the publisher.

Win Low Red Moon from the Publisher! (U.S. Only)

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