Release Date: September 27th, 2011
Source: ARC from Publisher
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.
Hazel Anderson is adopted from India and has moved to America. She doesn’t fit in at all in her new school, Lovelace Elementary. Her only best friend is a boy, Jack Campbell. But that all changes when he gets a shard of glass stuck in his eye. Now not only does he not talk to her he’s become meaner to her in the few words he says to her. When all of a sudden Jack disappears in the forest close by, with a mysterious woman made of ice, Hazel knows she has to go after them and rescue Jack, well that’s what she thinks.
So small and vulnerable Hazel with only a little but useful supplies ventures after him. Would you go into an enchanted forest to get your only best friend back? A must read novel filled with magic, adventure, and a strong friendship.
I love this book! It’s awesome. I never wanted the book to end. Anne Ursu takes you on a dangerous, daunting, and magnificent ride. I could feel the biting cold against my skin as if I was walking/running right by Hazel, from the wonderful description of the weather.
Ursu’s character, Hazel, is very brave and takes a lot of choices and chances. Venturing into an enchanted forest with many wicked people waiting to hurt you and a grandfather clock that ticks the minutes until your doom, that’s what it sounds like, is very frightening, especially when you’re by yourself.