I really liked this book about an adopted girl from India who can't seem to adjust to her new school without her best friend, Jack. It stays true to the story of the Snow Queen while adding elements of more modern fairy tales, particularly aspects of Coraline and wanting a complete family. The parents in this book are not missing, but they might as well be in certain ways, and they depict uncertain families that do not merely dismiss parents as "missing, so probably they would be awesome if they were around." But it doesn't mean that they don't care.
I liked the story, I liked the prose, unfortunately there were some issues of me being more frustrated at Hazel than anyone else. For the most part I was frustrated as
Hazel, but there were some parts where her self-obsession and "no one else reads HARRY POTTER" that got to me. Particularly the latter. The way the book is split up between the people with imagination (her and Jack) and the people who lack it (everyone else) is irritating and self-centered, though whether that just means the author got that aspect of fifth graders spot on or is genuinely annoying I couldn't decide.
There are some real gems of prose in the book, and overall the book doesn't talk down to its reader, though references to other books was a little heavy handed when the book in my own hand could have just spoken for itself.
I appreciated that it showed a friendship between a boy and a girl (BECAUSE IT HAPPENS) that was changing, that it depicted broken families with holes and dysfunctions (Jack's mother is suffering depression) and doesn't leave unsaid the immediate visual disconnect between Hazel and her mother that must always be mentioned by strangers and Hazel's reaction to it. Not to mention that Hazel's father appears to have left her mother and getting remarried. There are a lot of things that are not the focus of this book that are written well enough to be admirable.
I'll just say it: it's what Frozen could have been. Faithful to the original story with enough added to be its own story.