Sunday, January 10, 2010

just finished reading

Ash, by Melinda Lo. My review here. I'm usually not into YA but found Lo's fairy-world totally spellbinding. Anyone else read? Any thoughts?

10 comments:

hampshireflyer said...

Not yet, but it's a 'definitely will' after reading your review :) Looks as if it stands a good chance of going in with a bullet at no 2 on my 'All-time favourite books called "Ash"' list...

Pamala Knight said...

You are on a reading tear, dearest. I'm still catching up with WoT but I see that you already found someone to give you a roundtable on that one. I've put WENCH ahead of whatever my next read was going to be (almost done with THE MAGICIANS and won LIAR in a twitter contest).

Really, I need to get to work editing the one manuscript and finishing the other, so...

I'm off to the Book Book to read your review. Thanks!

*waves*

Readerly Person said...

So glad that you liked this book - it's on my to-read list, and it's so disappointing when something you're looking forward to is not that great. It sounds like this one is, though!

faye said...

Yay! A book that I've read!

I liked the premise and spin of Ash, but struggled with it partly due to my own shortcomings: I read it right after Juliet Marillier's Wildwood Dancing, so I was going in with a different set of expectations. I've been reading a lot (and I mean, A LOT) of faerie books lately, many with complex worldbuilding and playing off the theme of stories/illusion/escape, and I had a lot of trouble seeing past the archetypal characters and plot. Ash IS a fairytale retelling despite its unique spin, but I've read a lot of retellings too--again, I blame Wildwood Dancing which is also technically billed as YA and also a fairytale retelling.

In short: it wasn't what I thought or was expecting it would be, so maybe I should give it another try and see it more focused on Ash's coming-of-age and exploration of her sexuality.

moonrat said...

Hampshire--ha! I'll have to check out #1.

Pamala--yeah, I sure am. All I want to do lately is read; I've kind of canceled all other plans in order to go home and read things for the last two months (I think it's coming up for air after 6 months of Robert Jordan and nothing else). Please don't judge me too harshly. The nice thing about blogging is conversations are ALWAYS alive/current, so it's never too late to come back to them...

Readerly--let me know if you like it!

Faye--what's WILDWOOD's angle? And did you like that one?

faye said...

Wildwood--it's a historical fantasy and retelling of The Frog Prince and the Twelve Dancing Princesses, but still considered YA because of the age of the narrator (who is 16), and the generally PG-13 take on complex themes. Set in 15th century Transylvania, the author gives the retelling a fresh take by incorporating local folklore (her 'vampires' are called by their original name 'The Night People', since the story takes place before the publication of Dracula) and limiting her characters to the social mores of the time.

I liked it a lot, and it was partly because Marillier took every fairytale trope and Middlemarched the whole thing (giving even villainous characters a sympathetic backstory) that anything I'd read after that was bound to be compared. And I realised later that it was totally unfair to compare Ash to it, because they were accomplishing two completely different things!

moonrat said...

oh man, you totally made me want to read that... i also love that you made "Middlemarch" into a verb. as if that weren't reason enough.

faye said...

Doooo it :) it's longer and takes a bit more investment than the typical YA, but it's so good!

Mark said...

I read Ash. I thought a unique retelling of the Cinderella story, and some very sympathetic characters, were undone for me, ironically, because the narrative was kind of a fairy tale. I've never been able to enjoy that particular style of storytelling, and I know I would have enjoyed this one more if the narrative had been more earthy and gritty. But that's my issue, not the book's. I appreciated the gender-swapping of many of the traditional roles, which in a way made the story more believable. But there were a few too many missing details as the story wrapped up, so on the whole the book was just pretty good.

sanjeet said...

I need to get to work editing the one manuscript and finishing the other, so...


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