Ash

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Ash

by Malinda Lo

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | October 5, 2010 | Trade Paperback

Ash is rated 4 out of 5 by 5.
Cinderella retold

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.

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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 272 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.75 in

Published: October 5, 2010

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 031604010X

ISBN - 13: 9780316040105

Found in: Fiction and Literature
Appropriate for ages: 15

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Beautiful, buuuut... The best part of Ash is the beautiful, incredible writing. It's mesmerizing and magical and so amazingly powerful. A retelling of Cinderella, it is a darker side of the well known fairy tale and conveys so much emotion. I absolutely love how dark the fairies are, how there's always a price to pay, and the relationship between Ash and her stepsisters are great, too - Malinda Lo does a great job of keeping main elements of the classic fairly tale but adding her own interpretations, telling a deeper and darker story, but not a horrifying, depressing one, just a strong, darker one. The lesbian relationship is told so well and I LOVE how it's not "oh, Cinderella [Ash], you look so beautiful in your gown, marry me!" No. Ash actually knows Kaisa before falling in love with her, thank god. I hate love at first sight. Another thing I never liked about the classic Cinderella story: how weak Cinderella is. Everyone tells me i'm stupid and that she goes through so much, but she is just so pathetic and seems almost happy with her life. "But she's been basically a slave her whole life!" No. Cinderella had always gotten on my nerves and rubbed me the wrong way, but Ash is determined and strong and a lot more likeable - which also means she's a lot more open for hatred and sometimes annoying. But with this story, there are real, hardcore, good life lessons - Cinderella also teaches people that it'll be alright in the end, that you should expect good things to be handed to you. The morals in Ash are great. The ending is good, I like how everything turned out, but it was waaaaaaay too rushed. Like, wow. That's what dropped my rating down. If Malinda Lo took her time and didn't just, like, end it, it would've been a lot more enjoyable. Also, with beautiful writing comes slow, almost disengaging pace. I read this book fast, there's no doubt about it, but I often felt my eyes just kind of skipping and skimming, only for me to force myself to actually read it, which is great, because it's worth it. The characters are great but I feel they have no real, strong defining qualities, especially Kaisa, and the fairy who kinda owns Ash should be more haunting and leave more of an impression. But, honestly, Ash is great and super powerful and extremely beautiful, dark and deep without it being overly haunting. Totally worth a read, especially if you're like me and hate fairy tales.
Date published: 2014-04-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Quick to read and enjoyable 3.5 stars This is a retelling of Cinderella, but add in a fairy and a huntress. Aislin (a.k.a. Ash) is treated as a servant by her stepmother and two stepsisters after her father dies, only a short time after he married her stepmother. Lucky for Ash, her stepmother and stepsisters go into the city often, to try to secure the prince as a husband for the older stepsister. While they are away, it gives Ash a chance to escape into the Woods, where she can meet up with a fairy who knew her mother, or the king's huntress, who Ash has become friends with. It was good. Quick to read and enjoyable. There is a sequel, but I'm not sure if I liked it enough to continue with it. Ash ended with a twist on the end of the original Cinderella story, so the sequel shouldn't have anything to do with the fairy tale (I don't think).
Date published: 2013-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful A beautiful retelling of the classic Cinderella story. This novel has you at the first chapter. Once you start reading you just don't want to put it down.It is a wonderful debut novel for Malinda Lo.
Date published: 2011-07-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worth a read This book is basically an untraditional retelling of the Cinderella story. It was quite an enjoyable read and was entertaining. The part that I enjoyed the most was that it is full of little Fairie-tales. So you get little stories within the stories. The story begins with Ash's mother dying, then her father remarries and then he dies so that she is stuck with her stepmother and two stepsisters. Ash is made to become a maid in her stepfamilies house. She escapes into the woods and comes into contact with Sidhean who she feels a pull towards. This is where the story really takes off and we get a sence of what makes this story different from most others. I would recomend this book as i really enjoyed it. It has a new times twist on a traditional tale and it is an easy read. Most of the book was just casual reading but the second third of the book i was actually really into it. Give it a try, never know if you will like it or not.
Date published: 2009-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Beautiful Fairy Tale Malinda Lo's Ash is a stunning debut! The story, the characters, the world comes alive like Lo has sprinkled it with fairy dust. It's pretty safe to judge Ash by its cover; the beautiful cover is fairly indicative of the interior. With Ash, Lo has taken the basic threads that comprise the timeless tale of Cinderella, rewoven them, and like the fairy godmother, waved her magic pen and transformed a pumpkin into a magnificent coach. One of the things that stands out the most is definitely Lo's writing style. The diction choice, the phrasing, the tone... there's something especially melodic about her descriptions, almost achingly beautiful in places. "The rhythm was echoed in the sound of her mother's fingers on the fabric of her dress, a subtle swoosh in the dark, up and down, up and down, the friction like a rope binding them together" (Lo 74). Through the ethereal descriptions, the setting really comes alive, immersing the audience in Ash's world. Something about the voice - Lo has captured the fairy tale tone almost perfectly. There are moments where the language does seem a little reminiscent of the present, but that also draws the reader closer into the alternate realm. Over the years, various retellings of Cinderella have cropped up (e.g. Ella Enchanted, Just Ella, etc.), but there have been none like this. Ash is something else entirely; Lo has practically created a whole new fairy tale. And throughout the course of Ash, there are various fairy tales that are part of Ash's world. These I found to be a very nice touch, and added realism, but also irony. They were very enjoyable mini-stories to explore. At 264 pages, Ash could have seen a little more character development with addition of a couple extra pages, but then again, some removal from the audience may be needed to maintain the fairy tale aura. In any case - Ash, Kaisa, Sidhean, the stepsisters... all very intriguing and well-written characters. Not only that, but the relationships between the characters were conveyed very nicely as well. Ash is quoted as being "a lesbian retelling of Cinderella", but it's also so much more than that. It's a new sort of fairy tale (that could potentially spark a revival?), a story of loss, love, and life. The relationship that forms between Ash and Kaisa is very pure, very beautiful. The situation between Ash and Sidhean and the surrounding circumstances were a very nice - albeit sad and ironic - twist. It seems the fairies must've aided with casting spells, because Ash is a spellbinding debut. Lo has created a truly remarkable story here - a real fairy tale.
Date published: 2009-07-29

– More About This Product –

Ash

by Malinda Lo

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 272 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.75 in

Published: October 5, 2010

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 031604010X

ISBN - 13: 9780316040105

About the Book

Entrancing and romantic, "Ash" is an empowering retelling of Cinderella about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief. An ALA Best Book for Young Adults and "Kirkus Reviews" Best YA Book of 2009.

From the Publisher

Cinderella retold

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.

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.

About the Author

Malinda Lo was born in China and moved to the United States as a child. She grew up in Colorado and has since lived in Boston, New York, London, Beijing, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. She is the former managing editor of AfterEllen.com, the largest entertainment news website for lesbians and bisexual women. In 2006, Malinda was awarded the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Journalism by the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and has master''s degrees from Harvard and Stanford universities.

Malinda now lives in Northern California with her partner and their dog. Ash is her first novel. Her website is www.malindalo.com.

Editorial Reviews

" This lyrically retold Cinderella tale is not just a beautifully updated fable, but an ode to the transformative power of love."-Cassandra Clare, bestselling author of The Mortal Instruments series

Appropriate for ages: 15