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East

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4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  30,556 Ratings  ·  1,835 Reviews
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, sh ...more
ebook, 512 pages
Published March 16th 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published September 1st 2003)
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Popular Answered Questions

Kate The author wrote on her website under her FAQs that she was planning to write a sequel set 9 years after the first book.
Rachel I think so. It has the same cover and plot. I believe they just decided to republish the book.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Camille
Mar 04, 2010 Camille rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. I've read it so many times and never has it grown old. I love how it shifts views and tells you what other people are doing and how it has many plots that all tie together in the book. I love the White Bear and I love reading what he has to say and the riddles and poems he speaks in. The chapters weren't long so you could just fly through the book with no trouble. I fell inlove with Rose and her personality from the beginning, the first few pages a a little slow, bu ...more
Lacey Louwagie
This novel is a retelling of "East of the Sun and West of the Moon" which is probably one of the most underappreciated fairy tales out there. Unfortunately, this retelling doesn't quite do it justice. The author chose to use multiple viewpoints, which felt more like a gimmick and less like the best way to tell the story (especially since I was only really interested in the stories from two of the five narrators). Also, no one ever seems to have given Edith that all important advice to "show and ...more
Jubilation Lee
East of the Sun, West of the Moon seems to be retold (or sort of revised) on a fairly regular basis, which is unfortunate for me, since my first experience with the story was in an incredibly trashy BuffyxSpike fanfic, where Buffy wakes up every night to realize the lights are out and there’s a silent and unknown vampire in bed with her, and so she’s silently battling him but also becoming silently attracted to him and also not so silently coming to terms with her mother’s death, and eventually ...more
Heather
Jan 23, 2009 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a GREAT young adult fantasy! I loved everything about this book! Although it is almost 500 pages, it is a quick read. (Short chapters, larger print.) The story is based on the Norwegian fairytale "East of the Sun and West of the Moon" which I didn't know until I read the author's notes at the end. I liked that even though it was a fantasy, it took place in a real time and place-16th Century Norway. (Read the glossery in the very back for modern names) I loved the mother's superstition, her ...more
Keertana
Oct 16, 2013 Keertana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Ever since I read the tale of "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," I've longed to give one of its numerous re-tellings a try. Edith Pattou's version, East, practically fell into my lap when I discovered it in the hidden recess of my Kindle and within moments, I was sucked into the tale. For those of you who don't know, "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" is similar to "Beauty and the Beast," only instead of a beast, we have a polar bear, and instead of a wicked witch, there is a
...more
Morgan F
East was written when fantasy could still be fantasy. When young adult books weren't required to have a love triangle, a sexy love interest, and a heroine with low self-esteem. Rose, this novel's main character, is intelligent, resourceful, and courageous. She has a strong drive and a true moral compass. The plot reminds me of more classical fantasy that involves epic journeys over several countries over the course of years. The book is chaste and simple, which makes me think its more suited to ...more
Ronyell
4.5 stars

I never would have thought that there could be a whole chapter book retelling of a classic fairy tale other than Shannon Hale’s “The Goose Girl.” Well, I have just recently stumbled upon this book called “East” that happens to be a great retelling of a classic fairy tale! “East” is a retelling of a classic Scandinavian folktale called “East of the Sun West of the Moon” by Edith Pattou and anyone who is a huge fan of fairy tales will definitely get a kick out of this book!

Rose is the you
...more
Mike
I'm going to replace that old, shitty review now, because that was enormously embarrassing to read back over. SORRY, EVERYONE WHO READ IT! I APOLOGIZE PROFUSELY!

Anyway, my opinion hasn't changed, just my method of delivering it. I still think that this was a horrendous novel, badly plotted with shoddy characters.

In fact, I think the lack of development from the characters was the novel's biggest downfall. Rose is such a blank protagonist. I spent 200 pages with her (before I gave up), and throug
...more
Steph Su
EAST is the tale of Rose, who sacrifices her freedom to save her sister, grows to care for the cursed white bear who is her “captor,” unwittingly betrays him, then goes beyond the ends of the earth to make things right. It’s a classic folktale that never fails to move me, but Edith Pattou’s retelling of “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” went above and beyond, astounding me with its magical rendering of a traditional story and simple literary elements.

EAST is not extraordinarily sophisticated i
...more
Jo
Since I read this back when I was first becoming interested in YA, I was worried that a second reading would prove to be less enjoyable. I am happy to say that the book is still deserving of 5 stars in my opinion. The multiple POVs are so seamless and well done. And I dare you not to like Rose. She is a great heroine! I think when it's time for Christmas, a lot of people are going to find this book in their stocking.

July 6, 2010
This is by far one of the best children's books ever written. The a
...more
Chris
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carla *Jen7waters*
I--I...

...LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH!! D:
What were the odds anyway? It’s a Beauty & the Beast type of story with a polar bear! :3

Actually East is a fairytale retelling of the Norwegian folk tale ‘East of the Sun and West of the Moon’, which is about this girl who is taken by a white bear as part of a deal, and everyone is horrified by this, but turns out she becomes the bear’s knight in shining armor when she has to save him from this dreadful troll queen. How awesome is that??

The writing in
...more
Mary-Beth
For a re-telling this was very good. In many ways, other than just expanding on the original, this version seemed to try to add some realism to the tale. Fortunately it wasn't realism at the cost of magic. There was still plenty of magic. Don't look for anything staggeringly innovative here and the writing isn't perfect, but this is very readable.

The novel delineated an ordinary world from a magical world by making Rose's home life somewhat more mundane as well as keeping from her many of the ma
...more
Clara Biesel
A nostalgic, emotional five for this book. I really, really, liked it. The fable of east of the sun and west of the moon told in a novel form, it reminds me of fairytale retellings I read as a young teen, (Robin McKinley and such), and it was very easy to submerge myself in the story. I found it... cozy. Reading it at a bus stop in the freezing rain was comforting, and reading it cozied up with blankets and tea was exactly what I wanted. If you had mixed feelings about His Dark Materials, but st ...more
Arielle Walker
It's been quite a while since I read this, so I will leave a proper review until my eventual re-reading but I will say that as it is based on my favourite fairytale, I can remember being particularly harsh on this retelling. I recall it being good but not quite living up to my memories of the original tale, and as I don't know if anything really will live up to those memories it may be wise to add a star in your mind to whatever review I finally do give.
Yati
Multiple first person POVs always throw me off. Always. This wasn't an exception, though I really liked the narrators, so it didn't distract me as much as if could have.

I'm a bit disappointed that the more fantastic aspects of the original folk tale were not included, but if I had never read the original story, I wouldn't have noticed they were missing.
Dani
Sep 14, 2007 Dani rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-like
This book will waste your time. The story is entirely unbelievable and hard to relate to.
Dani
Aug 19, 2016 Dani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, retellings
It's funny how we always gripe on this site about not getting to have half-star ratings, because it just occurred to me that even if we did get them(and we definitely should), some of us would probably then just start asking for quarter-star ratings. Why do say this? Well, I could have used a quarter star rating for this book. If I had my way I would give it 4.25 stars. The first half was amazing. I haven't actually read the original fairy tale "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," so it's diffic ...more
Kim Ammons (youthbookreview)
4 out of 5 stars

I added this book to my to-read list way back when, after I read and loved Jessica Day George’s Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow (which introduced me to this fairy tale). It’s a Beauty-and-the-Beast-like Norwegian fairy tale (to make a broad comparison) called East of the Sun and West of the Moon, with a polar bear instead of a beast. And Rose can’t communicate very well with the guy in polar bear form, because he’s, well, a polar bear. If you are a fan of fairy tales, then I think you
...more
Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
This book has everything a fantasy fan could want! Even just reading the back of the book before I bought it gave me tingles of anticipation! A white bear comes to Rose's door and asks if she will accompany him on a long journey? Hell yes, I'm in! *laughs* This book has a little bit of everything; romance, drama, mystery, and magic. Plus, I seem to be a sucker for the heroine falling in love with the 'man-turned-beast' character. I usually have read stories where the said character is a wolf, so ...more
Elysha
Sep 10, 2012 Elysha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first discovered this book about six years ago. I had run across it in my local library, opened the cover and began to read. It reminded me of one of my childhood pleasures of the movie "The Polar Bear King." I picked it up, checked it out and headed home. From the moment I started reading the book I was hooked. I had it for three weeks, and I read it at least four times.
The characters come alive before yours, there is intrigue, passion, adventure, and self-discovery. Pain, heartbreak, and th
...more
Mark
Feb 28, 2010 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This child's story reads like a fairy tale. A magical story of a young girl sacrificed to a mysterious bear, who becomes her love and is of course, somehow cursed. Like the frog prince, eh? Only way better.

Also, there's Slank!
Others have tried to own this word before now. You'll recall the Grinch "slink, slank, slunk" up a chimney in Whoville on Christmas eve, Cormac McCarthy's dogs slank around the periphery of a smoky campfire, the urban dictionary offers various unappealing definitions, but P
...more
Margaret
East is a YA retelling of the fairy tale "East of the Sun and West of the Moon", a lesser-known but interesting variant on the "Beauty and the Beast" and "Eros and Psyche" tales. Rose lives in Norway with her family; when one of her sisters becomes dangerously ill and the family is about to be evicted from their farm, a white bear appears at the door and tells the family that if Rose will come with him, their troubles will end. Of course she goes with him and becomes entangled in the enchantment ...more
Elevetha
Dec 23, 2012 Elevetha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of fairytales retold, reimagined, or twisted on it's side


I liked this book better than Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow in a few aspects. I liked the portrayal of the trolls and how you get into the mind of the Troll Queen and see some of her motivations better. I enjoyed the alternating POV. The friendship between Rose and Thor.

But it was slow. I felt that the relationship between Rose and the bear was not as well done as it was in Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. The bear's character was rather weak and the alternating POV was not utilized to the book's advan
...more
Laura Navello
I have a confession to make. I had never heard of the “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” fairytale until I read the synopsis of this book. It took me by surprise because it has similar elements to “The Beauty and the Beast” (my favorite fairytale), the ones which I love.

The book can be divided in two.

In the first part, more character driven, we get to know Rose’s family, and her childhood. We learn that a lie was told regarding her birth and that, although they had once been a thriving fam
...more
oliviasbooks
I hope I'll carve out some time to review, but I have to say this is how a fairytale retelling should be in my opnion. Thank you so much, Teccc, for parting with your copy. It would have taken ages - or maybe forever - until I decided to finally buy it.
Rebecca
Jan 09, 2009 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this new and interesting fairy tale. Pattou's style was fresh and easily drew me in.
Valerie
This is the first retelling of the ballad ‘east of the sun and west of the moon’. Basically it’s about a girl whose family is having a hard time. Then a polar bear walks in (well it’s more like barging in but he’s a bear so it’s excusable) and says that if the girl, Rose, will come with him then things will improve for the family. If you don't know how the rest of it goes than I'm sure not going to spoil it. It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out that this was not a retelling of Be ...more
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gricel
Feb 11, 2010 Gricel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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The Sloan Squad S...: Not so Intrested anymore 2 3 Feb 06, 2016 05:04AM  
The Sloan Squad S...: Intersecting 1 3 Jan 25, 2016 10:45AM  
this is an awsome book 33 141 Sep 21, 2015 02:08PM  
Did anyone hear the author said she will write a sequel to East! 6 58 Aug 08, 2015 05:29PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Deleting taking awhile? 3 25 Feb 14, 2014 02:38PM  
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Edith Pattou is the author of several fantasy novels, including East, an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults. She is a graduate of the Francis W. Parker School, Scripps College (B.A., English), Claremont Graduate School (M.A., English) and UCLA (M.L.I.S.). She is married to Charles Emery, a professor of psychology at The Ohio State University. They have one child, a daughter.

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“That's the trouble with loving a wild thing: You're always left watching the door.” 121 likes
“East of the sun and west of the moon.' As unfathomable as the words were, I realized I must figure them out, reason it through. For I would go to this impossible land that lay east of the sun and west of the moon. From the moment the sleigh had vanished from sight and I could no longer hear the silver bells I knew that I would go after the stranger that had been the white bear to make right the terrible wrong I had done him.... All that mattered was to make things right. And I would do whatever it took, journey to wherever I must, to reach that goal.” 50 likes
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