You'd have to have, like, a lentil for a soul to hate wiener dogs. ~Zuzana from The Daughter of Smoke & Bones by Laini Taylor

Monday, February 28, 2011

REVIEW: Ash by Malinda Lo


An ALA Best Book for Young Adults * A Kirkus Best Book for Young Adults * A William C. Morris Award YA Debut Award Finalist


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 begins to believe that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King's royal 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 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.

From the Author

"An unexpected reimagining of the Cinderella tale, exquisite and pristine, unfolding deliberately. ... Beautiful language magically wrought; beautiful storytelling magically told." -- Kirkus, starred review --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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.


  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031604010X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316040105


This is truly a different version of Cinderella that is told with beautiful writing and distinctive dialogue. There is a definite twist to this story, as Aisling (ASH) has a fairy god father who is actually cursed to love her and Ash uses this fact to get what she wants. All of the other elements of the classic Cinderella story will be found here except that instead Ash doesn't get the guy, but ends up with someone in the end after all. You will need to read the story to find out who she ends up with though.
I fell in love with the cover as it really shows how isolated Ash is and leads you to the story itself. There is a minimal sexual theme, but parents might need to have a frank discussion about where this books leads. I can't imagine in this day and age anyone would have any problems with an alternative version of this classic tale.


  1. Well said - this has been on my reading list for a while, but hasn't quite shuffled to the top. Definitely need to get to it soon.

  2. Love the sound of this book, and I hadn't heard of it before! Very nice review!

    -Linds, bibliophile brouhaha

  3. I've got this one in my tbr pile and can't wait for it. I love the fact that her fairy godfather is forced to love her. Really great twist! Thanks for the wonderful review.

  4. wow this sounds really good I love books that take a classic fairytale and add a twist to it. I have added this to my ever growing TBR.

  5. *adds to my TBR pile*

    Love the review! I really want to read this for myself now. :)


  6. I love this cover. It's almost haunting.

  7. This book has a beautiful cover and a beautiful story! Actually, the writing was the most beautiful part. So rich and lyrical.

  8. Good review! Thanks for not spilling all the beans. I wrote a book with a similar romantic element and I honestly think (sadly) people expect it to be exploitative, so I have stopped even mentioning it. People are weird.



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