Monday, March 28, 2011

And they lived happily ever after...?

I have some mixed feelings about Malinda Lo's Ash, the Cinderella-esque book I read this week.  I'm trying to convince myself that just because I don't like a book doesn't mean that it's not a good book.  I think perhaps if I were a 12 year old lesbian with an extreme interest in fairies and fairy lore, this book would be a must read.  But I'm not.

Ash is the story of Ash (go figure), an orphaned girl who is seduced by the fairy king and tempted to join his world, when she falls in love with a mortal woman, Kaisa, the king's huntress.  The story is loosely based on the Cinderella fairy tale.  And I do mean loosely, the major parallel being that both of Ash's parents have passed away leaving her to be raised by her stepmother who treats her as a servant.  I have two real qualms with this book, the first being the extraneous amount of original fairy tales that Lo has included.  The characters in this book are constantly sharing stories with each other about the fairy kingdom and different mortals who have been affected by it.  Again, if I was really interested in fairies maybe I would feel differently, but as it is I felt like all of these stories were unrelated and instead of adding to the richness of the story, I felt they just distracted from it.  My second qualm was with the book's ending.  Lo spends a decent amount of time building up the book's major conflict and I felt the way it was resolved at the end was a cop-out.

All of this being said, I think it is AWESOME that there exists some lesbian fiction for young adults.  I know that this book does not stand alone in this genre but I do think Lo has gone somewhere no one else has, drawing together both lesbian fiction and fantasy.  Though I mentioned this is not something that really strikes my fancy, I will bet money on the fact that many a young lesbian would indeed be very interested in the fairy/fantasy world that Lo has created here. 

Quick Facts
Pages: 272
Most quotable passage: "Ash felt her entire body move toward her, as if every aspect of her being was reorienting itself to this woman, and they could not be close enough."
Sexiness Factor (1-10): 2- It's for pre-teens!
Buy It or Borrow It: Unless you are that 12 year old fantasy lover I've been referring to, borrow it.

I'm hoping to review Lo's second book Huntress soonish while this one is still fresh in my mind!

1 comment:

  1. Hey I didn't read your blog yet but I'm super excited for you!!!

    p.s. this whole commenting thing is RIDICULOUS!