Author: Malinda Lo
Publication information: Little Brown & Company, 2009
This is a modern fairytale retelling of Cinderella. "With her parents both gone, Ash finds herself a servant in the house of her ruthless stepmother and there seems no hope of finding happiness again. But Ash is unaware of her mother's legacy, and that it will lead her to a magical place. A place where love, identity and belonging are all waiting....". After reading this synopsis on the back of the book in the library I thought that this would be an interesting take on the original story, and since I have never really read a book about fairies I thought that this might be a nice change, however, after reading it, I was very disappointed.
The plot was very slow and boring. I don't like being too negative about books through respect for the author but I found that the plot in Ash dragged a lot and I found it really hard to get through and finish. I found that despite it being just under 300 pages, not a lot happened and everything ended really abruptly, even though all of the plot points were tied up at the end. I quite like the twist of Ash falling in love with a female, but I found that this was predictable from quite early on in the book.
I found the characters quite dull too. Sidhean, the fairy boy, seemed a lot like an Edward Cullen type character, dangerous yet somehow irresistable, which irritated me a lot. I couldn't really connect to Ash very much because I found that I hit a point where I just started getting annoyed with her for making silly mistakes and decisions all the way through this narrative. On the other hand, I did like some of the side characters including Ana and Clara, the two stepsisters. Although these were negative characters, I found that these had the best dialogue throughout.
One thing that was good about this book was the writing. I think that it suits the teen age range that it is aimed at and tells the story in a readable way but in my opinion the plot let it down.
Overall I would give Ash by Malinda Lo 2 out of 5 stars as I found it difficult to get through and despite the promising premise, it was disappointing. I think this is an example where I am drawn in by a pretty cover and vaguely appealling blurb and the words inside just don't stand up to the plate. This may be more suitable for younger readers though.