February 28, 2012


By Anne Ursu
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

If you love fantasy and fairy tales, you will love this story.  Hazel is adopted and her parents have just split up.  She has always felt like she doesn't quite belong except when she is with her next door neighbor and best friend, Jack.  Jack understands her love of Narnia and Harry Potter and all things fantastical and plays along, although sometimes he does like to spend time with other boys instead of Hazel.  Then one day, out of the blue, Jack is horribly mean to Hazel and disappears.  His parents say he is visiting an elderly aunt, but Hazel knows differently.  When Tyler tells Hazel he saw Jack disappear into the woods with a mysterious white witch, Hazel knows she needs to go and rescue him.  He may not want her to come for him, but Hazel can't leave her best friend.  So she enters a magical wood and has to face not only her own fears, but Jack's, too.  Along the way, Hazel will see fairy tales and stories practically come to life around her--but in the most sinister of ways.  Experienced readers may see how it all might end...or perhaps not.  But all the same, a strong story  that readers will love.

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