Pages: 516, paperback
Publisher: Magic Carpet Books / Harcourt
Date released: May 1st, 2003
Genre: Fantasy/fairy-tale retelling/romance
Rose has always felt out of place in her family, a wanderer in a bunch of homebodies. So when an enormous white bear mysteriously shows up and asks her to come away with him—in exchange for health and prosperity for her ailing family—she readily agrees. The bear takes Rose to a distant castle, where each night she is confronted with a mystery. In solving that mystery, she loses her heart, discovers her purpose, and realizes her travels have only just begun.
As familiar and moving as "Beauty and the Beast" and yet as fresh and original as only the best fantasy can be, East is a novel retelling of the classic tale "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," a sweeping romantic epic in the tradition of Robin McKinley and Gail Carson Levine. (Taken from Goodreads)
The story is broken up, told in the view points of 5 characters: the father, Neddy, Rose, the Troll Queen and the White Bear. At times, I thought that the extra point of views were unnessecary and confusing, mostly the random excerpts by Neddy and the father, and they slowed the pace of the story, especially near the end when Rose was travelling towards Niflheim. It just hindered the flow of the story, ruining exciting and fast-paced moments.
The writing was very simplistic, what one would expect from a YA novel, and often, I found that the language flowed wonderfully, and was different in tone for each character. On that note, I LOVED the White Bear's POVs before he turned back into a human. They were short, poetic and very jumbled, perfect for the lonely bear that can barely manage a sentence.
The story was brilliant, a wonderful mix of East of the Sun, West of the Moon, and Beauty and the Beast, and the heroine was loveable and independant, the kind of person I would like to read about. One issue with Rose was her eye colour. It wasn't actually relevant to the story AT ALL. It would actually be more fitting if she had dark brown eyes. I just don't understand why she needed purple eyes, other than the fact that she's special and whatnot.
Overall, a quick and easy read. Something I'd read if I don't want to spend too much time thinking about it, and just get on with it.
Level of Interest: 5
Total Rating: 5/5