I've always been that girl who has loved fairy tales and princesses and happy endings. So when I stumbled across East, which is a retelling of a fairy tale, I couldn't help myself. I just had to read a book about a polar bear and an explorer. But I didn't regret it! 4.5 out of 5 stars.
East by Edith Pattou
4.5 out of 5 stars
Published, Out, Buy it
Summary from Goodreads: Rose has always been different.
Since the day she was born, it was clear she had a special fate. Her superstitious mother keeps the unusual circumstances of Rose's birth a secret, hoping to prevent her adventurous daughter from leaving home... but she can't suppress Rose's true nature forever.
So when an enormous white bear shows up one cold autumn evening and asks teenage Rose to come away with it-- in exchange for health and prosperity for her ailing family-- she readily agrees.
Rose travels on the bear's broad back to a distant and empty castle, where she is nightly joined by a mysterious stranger. In discovering his identity, she loses her heart-- and finds her purpose-- and realizes her journey has only just begun.
To begin, I absolutely loved Rose. She's strong, beautiful, kind-hearted, smart, daring, couragous and anything you'd expect in a hero. I love how she has the heart of an explorer and knows it. I love how she tries anything and everything. She is truly an awesome main character, and she's definitely on my list for admired characters. I liked her bravery the most. It definitely affects a lot of people, especially me.
Then there was the writing. I loved how it was first-person, but it went from Rose to Neddy to White Bear to Rose's father. I experienced the thoughts of tons of people, so I got to know what everyone was thinking as I got through the book. It was nice to know how the Troll Queen felt at the same time Rose went through it. And very interesting as well...
Not only that, but it flowed really really well. I thought it would be choppy to have so many narrators, but it was the exact opposite. The writing was smooth, beckoning and wonderfully marvelous.
I can't say much about the plot because it's a retelling, but I still thought it was really cool. I loved the idea of a polar bear asking for a girl to journey with. When you find out the reason why, you literally will have a dropped jaw, with drool and all. Well maybe not...
I loved the settings! They all made me want to visit them, even though they probably don't exist. I loved the whole idea with the castle and the beautiful loom, the ice village with all its awesome food, and the Troll Queen's domain. (Okay the Troll Queen's domain was cruelly beautiful, but that's beyond the point. I still want to visit it!)
I had a problem with the insta-love though. I absolutely did not get it. For me, I did not see why you fall in love with a stranger at night, if you don't even meet them. What's the point? Or rather, why bother? It makes no sense how someone can fall in love if you only hear the rise and fall of their body. What's the reasoning behind it all?
Still, I absolutely loved this book! It's even better than another one of my favorite retellings, Ella Enchanted. You absolutely must read it. Even if you have to go to the extremes to get it, just read this book! I guarantee it's worth the effort!