Updated: Jul 30, 2021
Age Range: 13/14 and up
The Shadow of the Bear is a fanciful contemporary retelling of the Grimm Snow White and Rose Red fairytale. In modern-day New York City, two sisters, Blanche and Rose, help an unexpected guest when he saves their mother from an almost car crash. The sisters don't know what to make of the young mysterious tough-looking man who calls himself Bear. Rose wants to become friends and is surprised and intrigued when she learns of his love of literature, music, and poetry. Blanche is as sacred as can be and wants nothing more to do with the young man who hangs out with the drug dealers at school. As the two sisters learn to trust Bear, circumstances occur that make the sisters wonder about all of their friend Bear's secrets and mysteries.
The Shadow of the Bear is a unique book that is, at times, confusing. When I first started reading, I couldn't tell if this book was supposed to be contemporary or historical fiction, but the longer I read, the more I realized it was supposed to be a modern-day retelling. Besides the very beginning, I felt like the entire story was rushed and a little hard to follow. I mostly thought that the ending should have been more extended with more details. Blanche and Rose, I think, would have been better in different centuries. Those two characters didn't feel like they belong in modern-day New York. The story was fascinating, but it was very different from any fairy tale retelling I have ever read. Regina Doman based her novel on Grimm fairy tales, which seems to be like a fairytale retelling itself. I did enjoy The Shadow of the Bear, and I was glad that it had a religious element, but the things that were happening at their Catholic high school, I hope never happens. There looks like a lot in my things to mention, but I thought it was pretty clean when I read the book compared to others. I try to have only pure and good books on my blog, so there's nothing on here that I thought was bad enough not to read. If you are looking for a new and engaging Fairy Tale, read The Shadow of the Bear!
I would also like to say that I read two more books in this series but they were not as appropriate as the first book so I would recommend them to 14/15 year olds. I haven't read the other books in the series but I heard that they are not very appropriate at all so The Shadow of the Bear will be the only book I review from that series.
Things to mention: Bear and his brother were in juvenile detention for supposedly being in position of drugs. Bear hangs out at the school sometimes with the drug dealers. There is some violence including: a kidnapping, a bad guy trying to kill some of the main characters, they talk about a priest who was murdered and some other minor things. Some of Blanches' classmates smoke cigarettes, buy drugs and make fun of Blanche. Rose and Bear talk about some disturbing dreams that they had.
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If you have read The Shadow of the Bear, let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear your thoughts! Do you have a book you want to be reviewed? Let me know, and I'll add it to my list! Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you're here.