This time, let's talk about East by Edith Pattou (2003).
Rose has always been different.
Since the day she was born, it was clear she had a special fate. Her superstitious mother keeps the unusual circumstances of Rose's birth a secret, hoping to prevent her adventurous daughter from leaving home... but she can't suppress Rose's true nature forever.
So when an enormous white bear shows up one cold autumn evening and asks teenage Rose to come away with it-- in exchange for health and prosperity for her ailing family-- she readily agrees.
Rose travels on the bear's broad back to a distant and empty castle, where she is nightly joined by a mysterious stranger. In discovering his identity, she loses her heart-- and finds her purpose-- and realizes her journey has only just begun.
(taken from goodreads.com)
Okay, I'm going to be real honest here: I read this one in elementary school, and I'm definitely struggling to remember the actual premise. It would probably be good for me to re-read this one before speaking on it, but I do know that I enjoyed it immensely during my first reading.
There are so many novels that try to achieve the same thing as East. A girl, who doesn't know her true purpose/past, meets a mysterious creature who helps her to discover her heart and her identity. However, this one has always struck me as the most original and well-done version of this plot line. If you're into the Beauty and the Beast type story, then East definitely might be a good read for you.