This is the first book I have read by Jessica Day George. Overall I really enjoyed this book. This was a quick read, written in a classic fairy tale style.
The main character was never named by her mother, but her siblings called her pika. She has numerous brothers and sisters, and they all live on the brink of starvation in a small cottage. Two things happen to change pika's life forever. The first happens when she stumbles upon, and rescues, a white deer. The deer offers to grant her one wish, and pika wishes for a name, which the deer whispers to her. Then later a great white bear shows up on pika's doorstep and demands that she come and live with him in a castle made of ice for one year and one day.
This was a very entertaining story. Pika was a great character; she is accepting of things, and very caring, but deep down has a strength and toughness to her. Her older brother is also an interesting an mysterious character. Of course, the giant white bear, is another fascinating character. The book is beautifully written and gracefully moves through the plot. I had a lot of trouble tearing myself away from this book. In fact I read it all over the course of one day. There isn't a ton of action, but the mystery surrounding the palace of ice really pulled me in and kept me guessing.
If you like fairy tales; you will love this one. It is a easy read, the character never ends up in too much trouble. This is a softer fairy tale but creative and fascinating all the same. At times it reminded me a bit of "Beauty and the Beast"; I know it is based on an old folk tale, so that may be why it evokes that image for me.
While I probably won't re-read this story; but it was a wonderful and pleasant read and made me interested in reading more of Jessica Day George's books.