After Hazel's friend is kidnapped by an evil witch, Hazel must travel into a dark fairy tale forest in order to save him.
Sarah Teenlibrarian Says: I thought I would really like this book. It was getting lots of Newbery buzz and I really enjoy fairy tale retellings. But sadly, this book was not for me. I felt it started off very slowly and I don't know how many times the author repeated that Hazel felt like she didn't belong, she was alone, she was different, she was an outcast, she was odd-OK we get it!!
I did like the way the author mixed various fairy tales-there were hints of all sorts of tales-The Red Shoes, The Snow Queen, Hansel and Gretel, as well as hints of Narnia. I also really liked that Hazel was a big reader and mentioned books a lot. She does it in such a way that the reader would need to have a prior knowledge about the books, otherwise they might be a bit lost, so I wonder if that would alienate readers or if they would seek the books out.
This was an OK read and I would give it to readers who enjoy ABC's Once Upon A Time series.