Review: East

January 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm (5 stars, review) (, )

East by Edith Pattou
Pages: 516, paperback
ISBN: 9780152052218
Publisher: Magic Carpet Books / Harcourt
Date released: May 1st, 2003
Genre: Fantasy/fairy-tale retelling/romance
Where I got it from: bought

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)

So, what can I say about this book? For one, it is one of the best fairytale retellings I have ever read. It kept me on my toes, it made me emotional and wanting more.

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.

Cover: 4
Plot: 5
Writing: 3
Level of Interest: 5

Total Rating: 5/5



  1. priscillashay said,

    sounds interesting =) Do you think Sarah (J. Mass) has read it??

    By the way, you said “the writing was very simplistic, what one would expect from a YA novel” …is that a good thing or a bad thing?

    • nlmars said,

      I’m not sure, but if she hasn’t then she should!! She’d love it for sure.

      It would depend. If you’re looking for something with the typical writing that allows for quick reading, then it’s good. But if you’re looking for something that can be devoured and savoured, then not so much. It all depends on one’s tastes for the typical YA prose.

      • Krystle said,

        Sarah did read it and she hated it. Said she’s not a fan of the changing viewpoints.

      • nlmars said,

        Yeah, the changing view points were pretty annoying, so I can see why she hated that.

    • priscillashay said,

      oh, because a while back I was talking with someone about the way YA novels are written and how authors tend to simplify their writing making it “easier” for teens to understand, rather than writing at a higher level that 1) tells a story 2) and allows the reader to gain something from the reading itself

  2. Jenny said,

    I started reading this book for a YA class I took, but then had to put it down for various reasons. Your review makes me really want to pick it up again. I’ll have to pick it up again sometime soon!

    • nlmars said,

      I promise you’ll like it! (Unless you find multiple POV’s annoying) 😛
      It’s such a wonderful fairytale retelling 🙂

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