Monday, July 3, 2017

Book Review: East

Growing up this book was always on the end caps at my library but I never wanted to pick it up because it didn't sound like a proper fantasy novel. Looking back I'm glad I didn't read it when I was younger because I don't think I would have been able to get through it, as it really is more of a historical fairy tale of sorts.

East is a retelling of the story East of the Sun, West of the Moon (which is one of stories that inspired ACOTAR) and that's the reason I picked it up this time around. This version is steeped in a world that once was and, as far as I can tell, is historically accurate (besides the fairy tale elements). It follows Rose, a young girl who agrees to go with a White Bear in order to save her family.

While this is a beautifully told story, and I really liked a lot of the latter parts of the book, it had too many issues for me to really enjoy it all the way. First, there were far too many perspectives and I often didn't care what some of them had to say. Near the end they do all start to have something interesting to say, but it took too long for them to all pay off as many early chapters just feel like padding. And each chapter was very quick, with the momentum stopping before anything really happened, especially within the first arc of the book. Again, this straightens up closer to the end, but it was aggravating and made it hard to connect with the characters. The other big thing that frustrated me was that there was a lot of telling and not very much showing. That was a convention of the book, which was staged to be somewhat of a found manuscript, but I feel like as a reader I missed out a lot of what could have been very beautiful imagery.

What I did like was that by the end Rose had completely grown on me and grown up herself. I also liked the White Bear once he regained a lot of his agency. Their relationship was also a high point. They're meant to be in love, sort of, but I like that it's not depicted as exactly love. In the end they do get their happy ending, and we miss a bit of this build up, but they do seem to reach that rather naturally. I also liked the characters Rose met as she traveled. They were all short appearances but I enjoyed these unique characters who didn't need much to connect with at all.

It is a fairytale, and the writing was accordingly beautiful. I've heard that the author is considering a sequel and I think I would pick it up. I didn't love this book as many people have, but I did enjoy it enough to recommend it if it sounds interesting to you.


  1. Huh, I can't say that I have ever heard of this one before. Good review!

    1. I think it was really popular like 10 years ago (at least at my school and library) or so and I haven't really seen it around since then. Thanks!


Thank you so much for commenting! I love to hear from you and try to respond to comments once or twice a week. Thank you for your patience :)