Review 227. Malinda Lo - Ash.

AshTitle: Ash.
Author: Malinda Lo. Pages: 291.
Publication date: March 4th 2010 by Hodder Children's.
Sort: Stand-alone.
In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted. The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love—and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love. 

Rating:

This is an example of an 'okay' book. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't fantastic or life-changing either. It's a solid retelling of Cinderella with an unique twist of LGBT love.

Ash's mother recently died and her father announces - after a couple of weeks traveling for his job - that he found a new wife with two kids. After a short sickbed, her father dies and Ash's world changes in a drastic way. She has to leave everything she knows behind to life with her new 'family.' In order to pay her father's debts, she has to work in their household as maid. Wandering around the forest, Ash meets the elf Sidhean and the Royal King's huntress Kaisa. She must keep her promise to Sidhean when he helps her, but she can't ignore her growing feelings for Kaisa. 

This is my first LGBT book, but unfortunately, the romance fell flat to me. I like that Malinda went there and how the romance is subtle. There is no focus on the fact that it's about two lesbian girls and I love that. It didn't  feel forced, because love is love, no matter the genders. The thing is, I didn't feel the chemistry between Kaisa and Ash. They spend some time together and I can understand their friendship, but love?

What I also appreciate is the appearance of Sidhean. It was interesting to find out why he is so interested in Ash, but the downside is, that there isn't enough depth in his story. I don't understand his role and the solution from Ash to pay her debt to him was awkward and strange. I actually felt sad for him, because Ash promised him things only to get better from it.

I'd say to try this book if you want to look for something else in the fairy tale genre, but don't expect too much from it.

24 comments

  1. It sounds like a unique take on Cinderella, certainly. But I don't think its originality is enough to woo me.

    Great review, Mel.

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  2. I remember hearing about this when it first came out, I was originally intrigued, but I think after reading your review I will only buy it if I find it somewhere SUPER cheap. Awesome review hun (:

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  3. An interesting LGBT twist on Cinderella, but hmm sounds like that romance didn't work out too much. Thanks for the lovely review Mel!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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  4. I'm actually quite excited to read this book, but it's a little disappointing that there wasn't much chemistry to the main couple, and that a character was interesting but didn't have enough depth. Great review, Mel! And I hope that your next LGBT book is a real treasure (there are some really great ones out there).

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  5. "solid retelling of Cinderella with an unique twist of LGBT love." ooh this line has me intrigued! I need to read this one now!

    Lovely review, Mel! <33

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  6. Too bad this one didn't wow you as much as your were hoping! It does sound like an interesting take on Cinderella though.

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  7. Its been a long time since I've read this but I remember enjoying it. Gaw and I looked back at my review (http://angelasanxiouslife.blogspot.com/2011/11/ash-by-malinda-lo-review.html) and whoa. It's from when I first started blogging so it's not the best. But the author did send me a signed copy which was my first so I have always loved it.

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    1. I can see how that makes it a special book for you :D

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  8. I felt pretty decent about this one, as well. I wasn't blown away, but I definitely enjoyed Ms. Lo's writing style. Wonderful balanced review, Mel :)

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  9. I see mostly mixed reactions to this book, which is why I haven't picked it up yet. I would mostly be reading it because I like the idea of a lesbian relationship in a non-"issue" book. (Funnily enough, we mentioned this very book briefly on today's post!) I'm sorry you were disappointed by it, though. I've had similarly mixed reactions to her Adaptation series--I liked them, but didn't quite love them.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. It was just 'okay' and that's a shame, because the whole idea of lesbian relationships in a fairytale is fantastic.

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  10. I've not heard of this book before, but I understand the book was 'okay'. I've had my fair share of those. Great review you have here :)

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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  11. Amazing review Mel. <3 Aw. I'm sorry you didn't feel the romance :\ but glad you kind of enjoyed the book, even so :) Thank you for sharing!

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  12. Wow. This the first fairy tale retelling that I've come across that has an LGBT twist to it. Hahahaha. I think it's really sad because you know, the central theme of fairy tales is supposed to be romance and yet this one didn't deliver.

    I suppose that the friendship compensated for that failure because you still managed to enjoy this one. Congratz to your first LGBT read!

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    1. I think that's why I was so disappointed by it!

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  13. I love the cover of this book.It's not unique, but it's beautiful.
    I don't go for LGBT normally. It's not like I am against the concept, but it makes me uncomfortable.
    But anyway, great review, Mel.

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  14. I was really curious about this book when I saw it in some WoW post, but haven't read a review until now.
    It sounds okay like you say. I hope I can get the chance to read it, but it isn't on the top of my tbr pile.
    Happy reading! :)
    Lis @ The reader lines

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  15. I felt pretty much the same about this one. It's funny because I picked this one up not knowing it was a LGBT at all so I was pretty surprised but ended up liking the book well enough.

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    1. I didn't know it if I hadn't seen some reviews about it.

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  16. I was a bit underwhelmed by this book as well. I appreciated the fact that it had a lesbian romance, but I just didn't care about any of the characters that much, which made the story overall seem less genuine than I wanted.

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  17. I've been sort of wary of this book for a while, because I'd heard mixed things about the romance, not even accounting for the LGBT themes. I might still wait a while before picking it up, because I am curious and it does seem like a worthwhile read!

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