Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm still in the magical glow that is the aftermath of this book ... however I think the five stars is well deserved here.
In this book Meyer weaves an intricate retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon, a Norwegian fairytale with similar roots of Beauty and the Beast. Know how much I love a Beauty and the Beast retelling (did I read four or five last year?) I thought this was going to be right up my alley.
The beginning FEELS like Beauty and the Beast, but a little darker with Echo having not the charmed childhood Belle has. The story itself dives into the dark woods and in immersed in dark magic.
The book could have ended in "part one" and I would have thought the story was glorious. Up to that point it was filled with rich details, a complex and mysterious plot, and a delicious narrative I couldn't put down. However, that last line in part one nearly blew my mind and left me eagerly reading more (good thing it was a little bit of a quiet day in the bookstore).
If part one was good, part two was amazing, incredible, and mesmerizing. It's been awhile since I read a book that was this concise, but still so intricately woven and complex. It is rare to find a YA book, especially a fairy tale retelling, that keeps me on my toes as much as this one.
If you like a fairy tale retelling, Beauty and the Beast, a delightful twist on a library, or just a good book with an intricate plot, you have to pick this one up.
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