Disclaimer: This Ebook was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Parental neglect, rape, slut-shaming
Initially, I requested this ARC on NetGalley due to my misconception that it was a Hansel and Gretal retelling. While it certainly does contain some noticeable elements found in the classic fairy tale we all know and love, I definitely wouldn’t deem it a “retelling”.
Because it’s honestly so much more than that.
Trail of Crumbs follows young Greta and her twin brother, Ash, as they deal with the aftermath of their neglectful father and cruel step-mother leaving them. As they struggle to come up with the funds needed to provide for themselves, they find an unlikely companion in their eccentric landlord along with his strong-willed daughter. At the same time, Greta finds herself trying to come to terms with what actually happened during a party where she presumably “had sex” and blacked out… She wants the justice she deserves, but will anyone believe her when she reveals how that night really played out?
This beautiful book surpassed my expectations by a landslide.
I loved everything about it, starting with the characters. Greta was a likeable protagonist from the beginning, with her thoughtful narration and her relatable experiences. I loved how she had such a close-knit relationship with Ash, for most siblings in YA literature are portrayed as cold, distinct, and often cruel towards the main character. Ash and Greta were constantly helping, protecting, and looking out for each other. Their connection was so heartwarming to read about!
Additionally, I really enjoyed getting to see Greta’s character grow and develop as the novel progressed. Throughout the book, Greta is constantly thrown into tragic and heartbreaking situations that no teenage girl should have to endure… But, fortunately, because of these experiences, Greta becomes a stronger individual and proves that it is possible to recover and rebuild yourself after hardships.
Not only did I like the primary characters in this novel, but I also appreciated the supporting ones. Elgin, Alice, Noah, and Priya were all unique secondary characters that managed to be just as fleshed out as the main ones! Personally, as an avid reader, I believe that supporting characters should be just as interesting to read about as primary characters. Lisa J. Lawrence did an excellent job of creating a complex and diverse cast of characters, so kudos to her!
Moving on, might I just mention how much I love the author’s writing style? Ms. Lawrence has managed to weave a beautiful and lyrical story that will have you compelled until the very last page. Her writing is so unique and refreshing to see amongst many of the poorly paced, trope-filled novels you see on shelves today (No shade or anything)!
All in all, I really enjoyed Trail of Crumbs and would recommend it to anyone who appreciates a well-written contemporary read that tackles significant issues found in society today.
Thank you so much to NetGalley, Orca Publishers, and Lisa J. Lawrence for providing me with this book! It’s been a pleasure working with you!