Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ash by Malinda Lo + Contest!

Pub date - September, 2009

Pushed into indentured servitude for her stepmother in the City to pay off her father's debts, Ash is consumed with grief. She misses her family and her happy life at the edge of the Wood where old magic used to linger in the air like fairy breath. her only joy comes from the brief, stolen walks in the woods with the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean. Ash's single, unspoken hope is that someday he might steal her away, as fairies are said to do.

But on the day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, from Kaisa she learns the art of the hunt, how to ride and track. Their friendship is as delic
ate as a new bloom, but it grows and changes, and with it, Ash reawakens her capacity for love - and her desire to live. (book back blurb)

Yeah, you won't be seeing this version of Cinderella as a Disney cartoon anytime soon. That's for sure. Disney isn't quite there yet on the whole same-sex-relationships thing. Give them another 50 years or so and maybe.

This was an intense story and immediately, well, as soon as the evil step-mother takes control of Ash's life, you feel for her. You (well, I do) want her to just get back at that evil bitch for the way she treats Ash and her twisted logic on who owes who what for debts. Ana needs to be drowned in her own pomposity and Clara, with a little more backbone, can actually be a pretty cool person. I liked that little twist. Instead of making both step-sisters nasty, there's a glimmer of hope in one of them that Ash can gravitate to when the need calls for it. It's a nice, slim little bit of padding for her in her otherwise crappy life.

I was at the same time loving the language the book is written in and kind of irked by it. Of course, it's told in the way of older fairy tales. I have to say, Lo does a better job of it than Neil Gaiman with Stardust. It comes off much more naturally and fitting to the story. But at the same time the stilt in the dialogue had a tendency of blending the characters together at times. I understand it's the style but at the same time most people, especially "lower" people, talk using contractions. That kind of took the reality out of it a little bit for me.

I liked the way the book tied Ash's mother into the story even though the largest appearance she makes is when Ash visits her grave. The end ties everything together although I felt it was a little too easy and could have been a loophole in the "contract" that a fairy would have seen coming. They're too conniving to be had and while it makes sense, I think it's something the fairy should have spotted that. But, I guess, at that point, Ash had cleared enough hurdles and deserved it.

What I found really astounding was the way Ash stood up to her step-mother and sisters. When she gets caught coming back from the ball and her step-mother hacks off her hair, instead of weeping, Ash just says, "it suits me" and thanks her, only enraging her further. Granted there were times I wish Ash had just up and run away because the opportunity provided itself plenty of times, but everything happens for a reason and her persistence and will paid off.

The thing is, as much as I really liked this story, I wasn't too compelled to finish reading it. I don't know why. There's no good reason for it. I don't have many complaints about it at all. I really liked the story, I loved Ash and her relationship with Kaisa but . . . I don't know. It's just one of those books that I've read it once and I'm all set. I don't really need to read it again. This happens every once in a while. It didn't strike the right fangirl chord with me and I just can't explain why. It just didn't.

But that aside, I would definitely recommend this book to everyone to read. It's a touching and moving re-telling of Cinderella that, I think, puts the rest to shame. And for all of the "old tyme" style and world that it's told in, it's been updated for the modern era. It truly is awesome. The language sucks you in. Ash's story and plight and pain just puts you right into her shoes and you can't help but cry for her. Her step-mother and step-sister Ana will make you angry, without a doubt, but it'll all be worth it in the end. Even though the fairy world plays a decent enough part in the story to be entwined in nearly every aspect of Ash's, and the "low" people's lives, it still makes for a realistic story that, I'm sure, echoes across many cultures.

And I just have to say I love how the fairy world and its tales are still within Ash's society. They were once very real but slowly forgotten to nothing more than tales. It makes you think about our own lore and just what could be real with those fables we hear. It really makes you think.


You want my ARC of Ash? It could be yours, plus some BEA swag with it. Here's what you have to do--

Comment with your email (in a Blogger profile is fine) answering this question - What's your favorite fairy tale? If you don't answer this question, your entry won't count.

Extra Entries--

+ 1 for new followers
+ 2 for current followers (meaning you're a follower prior to reading this post)
+ 2 for linking to this contest anywhere (+1 for each subsequent link, up to 5 additional points), provide a link for proof otherwise it won't count

Total potential entry points - 6
Ends July 19th.

Good luck!


Shooting Stars Mag said...

+2 for being a current follower

I'm sorry it didn't hit you that much, but that's great it was a good book nonetheless. I really really want to read this, and I LOVE the cover.

As for your question...does Beauty and the Beast count? Because I really love Belle...

If not, the original Cinderella is pretty good! :)

lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

Jess (The Cozy Reader) said...

Fav is Beauty and the Beast. It's just dear. And I love the whole getting over obstacles and the heroine that doesn't squee and run away from the beast because she knows deep inside he's just a kind, loving man. Awww.

Already a follower! +2

Posted on my sidebar! +2

Melanie said...

My fav tale is the Little Mermaid. It's so sweet!

Jenna said...

Ash! Man, I want to read this one badly. It sounds amazing, and so unique.

My favorite fairy tale would have to be..Hmm..I guess Cinderella. It just gives people hope that things can get better, even in the worst of times.

I'm a current follower.


Anna said...

I can't wait to read Ash! Wow, I really love all fairy tales. This is hard. I'm going to have to say Beauty and the Beast. I think it has one of the greatest morals to it, to love people for who they are in the inside.

+2 for following

The Lovely Reader said...

+2 for following

I can't wait to read ASH, the cover looks amazing and I love retelling stories. My favorite fairy tale would have to be Beauty and the Beast, without a doubt. It's classic, the whole looking deeper into someone to see their inside beauty. I'm surprised at how many people are posting about it, but I LOVE IT.

Lilixtreme said...

Favorite fairy tale would have to be Snow White because who wouldn't want seven dwarves...I know I would, lol.

+2 current follower
+1 posted on my sidebar

Lilixtreme said...

I meant +2 on the link, my bad

Steph Su said...

Whaaaattt you're giving away Ash?!? Jealous! Favorite fairy tale is difficult to say, as it's been about a decade or so since I've read my copy of the Complete Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales. I think I like any fairy tale that contains multiple princesses, though. So, like the, uh, swan one, and the... argh, I'm just going to give up and hope you count it.

+2 old follower
+1 linked to my sidebar!

stephxsu at gmail dot com

Brooke Reviews said...

Favorite fairy a kid it was Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Now, Rumplestiltskin :D


+2 I'm already a follower!

Debbie's World of Books said...

I've been wanting to read this one. I've been following you in Google Reader for awhile but I just signed up as Google Connect Friend as well.

BN Book Blog said...

Our favorite fairy tales are: The 12 Dancing Princesses and Nathan really isn't a big fan of traditional fairy tales if they aren't redone(I think it has to do with being male), but if he had to choose his favorite would be Sleeping Beauty (very butch).

We're following.

Beth & Nathan

Readingjunky said...

My favorite fairy tale is THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA. I don't know of any retellings of that one so there's a challenge for all you authors out there.

I'm already a follower.

Llehn said...

My favorite fairy tale is The Little Mermaid.

+1 I am a new follower.


Faye( Ramblings of a Teenage Bookworm) said...

Fav fairy tale is Snow white.

+ 2 current follower
+ 2 for linking to this contest anywhere +1
for each subsequent link:

blog sidebar:



Unknown said...

Hansel and Gretel.

This looks like a good book, please enter me into this drawing.

+2 For being a follower.

Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

Unknown said...

I've also blogged about this giveaway here.


Flip The Page! Book Reviews said...

Enter Me in!

My favorite Fairy Tale has to be Beauty and the Beast!I just love Belle and all the characters in the stories. Even though the beast is a bog burly monster I love how Belle can just see past all his asshole-ness!

+2 for current follower
+2 for linking it on my page!

Riva said...

This sounds like a really neat book. Please enter me in the contest.

My favorite fairy tale is Little Red Riding Hood.

+2 for being a current follower (on Google reader).

dulcibelle [at] earthlink [dot] net

Cindy said...

Hmmm, my favorite fairy tale?
Beauty and the Beast definitely :)

+2 already a follower


Anonymous said...

please enter me in the giveaway.
favorite fairy tale would be Cinderella.

Sonja said...

Ooo my first contest thing!

My email is polemicallyinclined at gmail dot com

My favorite fairy tale is probably Rumpelstiltskin or the one where the princess's brothers were turned into swans and she had to knit them clothes out of nettles.

+1 for being a new follower.
+2 for linking ( and on my LJ side bar (

DeNiSe said...

Cinderella I love it since I first read the book :)

+2 Im A Follower

Kristen said...

+1 new follower
+ My favorite fairy tale is Blackbeard or the many versions of it - I love it when the heroine wins by cleverness and keeping her wits about her.

+2 linked on sidebar of blog

+1 tweeted about it

Sylvia said...

Wonderful review! It makes me want to read it more!! I would love to be entered, I really really hope I win:)... and I know this might sound quite cliche but Cinderella is my favorite fairy tale, I love "and they lived happily ever after" endings:)

Book Butterfly (Kim) said...

Thanks for doing this giveaway, I want to read this so bad. I really enjoyed your review too.

+1 I'm a new follower
+2 I blogged about this at


Anonymous said...

My favorite fairytale is actually Cinderella. I used to stay up a lot when I was little and when I wasn't watching ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING or Disney's SLEEPING BEAUTY, I would watch the Disney version of Cinderella until I nearly wore out the VHS tape (oh yeah, I'm getting old). I also enjoyed Drew Barrymore's take on the fairytale in EVER AFTER.

This is my first time entering an ARC contest. If you remind me, I'll post a link in my next blog.


Anonymous said...

my fav fairy tale is cinderella. i lik it how an average girl lives happily ever after with her prince charming. it gives every girl the chance of finding the perfect one. :)


Unknown said...

I've been wanting to read this book since first hearing about it a few months ago. The cover looks beautiful!

My favorite fairy tale is Penelope. :)

I've been a follower of your blog for some time now.

Eleni said...

Nice contest! My favorite fairytale would have to be Beauty and the Beast..

+2 I am a follower already
+2 I've added to my blog on the sidebar here:
+1 I twitted about it here:


amanda said...

My favorite fairy tale is beauty and the beast.
oheeyore at hotmail dot com

amanda said...

Already a follower.
oheeyore at hotmail dot com

amanda said...

Already a follower.
oheeyore at hotmail dot com

RagDollVampGirl said...

Awesome Contest

+2 Already A Follower
+2 Posted On My Blog
+2 Tweeted About This On Twitter My Name IS @YABOOKRELEASES



Anonymous said...

So I want to know how do you get an ARC of a book??

Sab H. said...

My favorite fairy tale would be Little Mermaid, so many other have said it but its the best!

I just became a follower, and added your contest to my sidebar.

& I tweetwed about it @sabrihorande

Book Sp(l)ot said...

+2 current follower
+2 linked on my sidebar-

and Cinderella is my favorite... which is part of why I'm interested in this book :)


Brittany said...

My favorite fairy tale has to be Cinderella The Grimm Brothers version. I like it because it's lovely and gruesome and wierd and sane all rolled into one.

+ 2 already a follower
+ 2 linked on side bar



I love the Princess Bride, Ever After, and Enchanted.

+2 current follower.

Good luck all, and thanks for the review!

Misusedinnocence said...

My favorite fairy tale is Sleeping Beauty. :)

Misusedinnocence said...

I follow!

Lost in a Book said...

My favorite fairytale is Bluebeard, especially the retelling Angela Carter wrote. It's SO wonderful!
+1 for following you!
+2 it's on my sidebar at

Sandy said...

My favorite fairy tale has always been Beauty & The Beast. It's about looking beneath the surface and best of all, Belle saves the Beast. :)

+ 2 I just found this post!
+ 2 linking the contest to my sidebar located at

Sandy said...

oops! frgot my e-mail:

Lizzy said...

My favorite fairy tale is definitely Beauty & The Beast, and retellings of it...I think it has something to do with how she teaches the beast to love.

I became a follower (+1)

my email is

Connie said...

My favorite fairy tale is the original Little Mermaid tale because it is beautiful, tragic and completely heartbreaking.

My email is bookwormfae(at)gmail(dot)com

Cool contest!

tashiana said...

+1 this is me commenting
+2? i was a follower for about 45 seconds before i read this post lol
my email is

Anonymous said...

I am a current follower, and I posted to my blog!

ShadowsTomes said...

My favorite fairy tale is Little Red Riding Hood because that was the first one I remember my mother telling me when I was a kid!

I'm a new follower

and I'm posting this on my blog's sidebar

Kimberly B. said...

Great contest! I love fairy tale retellings. particularly when there's a twist! My favorite fairy tale is a tie between the original Little Mermaid (the Disney version is cute, but changes the whole message of the story) and the Goose Girl. But I also love the lesser known tales of Brother and Sister and Mother Holle. I'm just a fairy tale buff.
+1 I just became a follower. Woo hoo!
Thanks for the giveaway!

throuthehaze said...

one of my faves is Snow White

+1 new follower

+2 blogged:

throuthehaze at gmail dot com

donnas said...

My favorite is Cinderella. I like it in a lot of the variations I have read and seen as well.

I am already a follower.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Turtle said...

What's your favorite fairy tale? Rapunzel i think. I like the aspect of spinning, the tower etc.
+ 1 for new followers, i'm new!
This looks like a great story!


My favorite fairytale is Ella Enchanted (Cinderella)

Please enter me!!

I've linked you on my blog too!!


Lesley (aka Upper West Side Writer) said...

I loved Little Red Riding Hood when I was younger. I just love fairy tales in general, particularly reading the "real" versions that are too scary for a child. Thanks!


Lesley (aka Upper West Side Writer) said...

I'm a new follower via Blogger; thank you again!


Lesley (aka Upper West Side Writer) said...

I Tweeted about this giveaway as well; thank you!


Monique said...

My favorite fairy tale is Little Red Riding Hood. I don't know why but I really like that one

+1 new follower


tetewa said...

Mine is Little Red Riding Hood, thats probably why my favorites are Paranormals. Love the werewolves.

Lizzy said...

I also posted about this contest on my sidebar here:

Katie said...

My favorite fairy tale is probably Beauty and The Beast. I always loved it.

+2 already a follower
+2 link in my right sidebar

Anonymous said...

+1 My favorite fairy tale is Robin Hood
+1 I am a new follower
+2 I linked this to my livejournal.

Anonymous said...

+1 My favorite fairy tale is Robin Hood
+1 I am a new follower
+2 I linked to this on my livejournal

A. Hirsh

Eli said...

My favorite Fairy Tale is Snow White because I remember my mom use to read this to me in spanish when I was a little girl. I still remember it...

+2 for being a follower prior to this.
+2 for posting this on my sidebar:

Debbie's World of Books said...

Please enter me! dasuzuki at yahoo dot com. My favorite is Cinderella since I would love to have my own fairy godmother make me over like that.
+2 I am already a follower

Liviania said...

My favorite fairy tale is Prince Ivan and the Firebird. But really, I love almost all fairy tales and modern retellings thereof, which is why I want to read ASH.

inbedwithbooks AT yahoo DOT com

Jenni @ Falling Off The Shelf said...

I'd love to win a copy of this book, it sounds great and plus that cover is just gorgeous.

I'm a new follower.
I've posted about this giveaway on my sidebar :

jennilovevirgo AT aol DOT com


Melissa said...

I'd love to win a copy of this, thanks for the chance.

My favorite Fairy Tale is Snow White :)

+2 Tweet:

Thao said...

It's a tie between Beauty and The Beast and The Little Mermaid for me. They're both so cool.

I'm already a follower so please count me in :)

Anonymous said...

Mine is Cinderella.
+1 became follower

Wrighty said...

Great contest! I've always loved fairy tales (they're spooky too!) and my favorite is The Princess and the Pea.
- I'm already a follower.
- I've added this to my sidebar.


Bianca said...

How haven't I seen this great giveaway until now?!

I think my favorite fairy tale would have to be Cinderella. I absolutely love how there are so many variations and spins off of it! It's cool. :)

I am already a follower.
I put the link up on my sidebar.

Thanks you for holding this giveaway!


infinitemusic19 at gmail dot com

budletsmom said...

I think like many others have said my favorite is Cinderella to.

I am a new follower - thought I was but then I checked and found out that I hadn't officially started following until now.

budletsmom at yahoo dot com

The Book Explorer said...

My favorite fairy tale would be Beauty and the Beast. Maybe because I feel I relate most to Belle.

I am a new follower~

I linked to this on my side bar:


Erica said...

My favorite fairy tale is probably Cinderella or The Little Mermaid (does that count as a fairy rtale???)

I'm a new follower

:) Erica

YA Book Queen said...

My favorite is probably Rumplestiltzkin.

+1 new follower
+2 for linking it here

clovergirl0317 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

My favorite fairy tale is Sleeping Beauty.

Please enter me


Unknown said...

I'm a new follower


Emily said...

would love an entry :)

+1 My favorite fairy tale is Goldilocks and the Three Bears

+1 I just became a folower

+2 Linked contest on my blog



Cecelia said...

Favorite fairy tale: Briar Rose/Sleeping Beauty. I think my love has something to do with monstrous thorny plants. But you know...magic, too.

Thanks for holding the contest!


Ninja Fanpire said...

I think my favorite fairy tale is....shoot, I don't think I can decide. Each is unique.

I like the Disney version of The Little Mermaid, however I read a story of The Little Mermaid and it was a bit different, though I don't know if it was the original or anything close.

So, based on stories, I think I'm going with....The Ugly Duckling. For now, and for lack of being able to think of all the fairy tales I've heard/read.

Ninja Fanpire said...

+ 1 new follower

+ 2 Link in blog post:

Rine Inger said...

+1 new follower!

Favorite fairy tale? the twelve dancing princesses!

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