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Monday, March 1, 2010

Ash by Malinda Lo

Title: Ash
Author: Malinda Lo
ISBN: 9780316040099
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Summary:
"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, re-reading 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.

Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief."
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First Lines:

"Aisling's mother died at midsummer. She has fallen sick so suddenly that some of the villagers wondered if the fairies had come and taken her, for she was still young and beautiful."
Page 3
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Review:

I'm very much a sucker for the retold fairy tales. This one is no exception. It's always amazing to see how the stories are altered to the imagination of the author - they always seem to take twists and turns that I wouldn't have thought of (not that I'm an author by any stretch of the imagination). While many retold tales seem to take place in modern times or something completely different from the original story, this one seems to give you another take on a tale that could have been more accurate.

Cinderella is a story that pretty much everyone knows - I mean, are there people who really don't?! Anyway, this retelling takes the original and tosses it in a world where fairies are more reality than fiction. You would think that with the amount of fantasy in the original story (what with the fairy godmother and talking mice and all that), this wouldn't be much of a stretch. It really feels completely different. In a really good way.

I'm going to admit one thing: I had a hard time not picturing the 1998 movie Ever After while I was reading this book. There was just something similar about the way they were done - at least the home life and circumstances of "Cinderella." But I loved that movie, so I guess that's not a bad thing. Their house and such were exactly what I imagined her living in.

One thing that I found interesting in this story is the difference of the love interests from any version of cinderella I've ever read/watched. I really liked that Ash was not completely enthralled with royal life and dressing for balls and such. This Ash was a more realistic (to my mind) girl who just wanted to be away from where she ended up. I could identify a lot more with her than a girl who desired to be someone important. I hope that makes sense.

I really did enjoy this book and will be happy to give it to others to read. It's a great retelling of a classic story and I think it will find many, many fans. I know lots of bloggers have already read and written about this one and were impressed with the story. I want to add my name to that list. It's a great book - really well written.

Take a look at the author's website for a look at her blog and other info. Enjoy this one!
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Other Blog Reviews:

Bookworm Extraordinaire!
Steph Su Reads
Eva's Book Addiction
The Story Siren
Read This Book!
GAL Novelty
Even Meg Cabot reviewed this book!

2 comments:

Lindsey said...

I really enjoy your blog and love your focus on YA books.

I am passing an award along to you!

http://thebookgurugrl.blogspot.com/2010/03/bits-and-bobs-my-first-award.html

MissAttitude said...

I loved this book! It was so lovely and I adored the world Malinda Lo created and the way she had with words. The story does unravel a bit slowly but I liked that because it allowed me to savor the book :)

Great review.

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